Like new leaves to frost in April

so many things can get lost
forever. like that cutting I stole
from a prickly pear outside the Mexican place
in Oyster Point when I lived there
for six weeks, learning
to deliver babies. never did
get it to bloom, and never did catch
a kid, either: one little bud
all I wanted to make it feel a little less
like killing time. I hauled
the thing back up the coast, nurtured
it for years, flowerless; left it with the rest
on the backporch that day after
mother died.  haven’t troubled
my hand with cactus since—
the yard all lavender and rose now,
like that bubblebath I brought her
that she never got to use,
only with thorns.

This night, there are no stars.

watching sky darken,
we contemplate
words like leaden,

sultry, in-
digo. but leaden
is closer to

the slivered prison
of my rib-cage,
bars behind which

this ache pro-
creates. sultry
means barefoot river

afternoons and indigo
has always been
grotesque, except

on peacocks.
so instead i watch
raindrop veins

on plateglass,
think of melting &
the sublimation

of misted breath,
remember sweat
on glasses,

graveled chaos,
rug-burnt morning
sunlight before

the world changed.
but these windows
will not open and we

feel guilty for
our guilt, wonder
why the stars

stay absent. are
river afternoons so
different, now?

we watch and already
rain is slowing; veins
close & strand drops

in streetlit glass,
almost like star-
light. almost.

 

untitled

a bone-wrenching hollowness
sucks all coherency from my worlds,
blows through and over me in gravel
on monochrome knees, jags pushing
blood to my palms and fingernails, the color
gone from my heart, my face, cold;
like hers.