for all the sad country ju-ly crooners

june river

love is just the lightning
between old
bitterness and the new,
a thunder that tastes like
antique lace catch-
ing in your throat
as if you had swallowed
spiderweb under a honey-
suckled sky with clouds like
cotton-bolls behind a river city
summer choking
with angry greens
& browns, river current
swollen and diverging.
in the low sky
june fireflies wink still,
flashing for loves
of their own.

your yesterdays


muddy my forevers,
wet river footprints
on the kitchen floor

of the house we’ll never buy.
we argue
over the absolute value

of nothing, the hollows
it leaves under your eyes
when we open the front

door and the world
comes in with the rain.
someone asked me once

why i write
poetry, and i didn’t have
a ready answer,

but after
so much of argument, i
think it’s to believe,

still, in
love, in all its
hot swollen

nothings that creep
like poison

just under the skin,
its falling headfirst
over and  over and

over, somer-
saults into river shadow,
into, again, nothing,

the absolute value of which
is still up
for discussion.

reckoning season

summer passes. all its hot-
cropped doubts and match-
struck storms leave
a vacuum where we used to sit
on high-backed stools

and sip on laughter. this is
why i fall in love
though it makes me sad, why
we kiss on street corners
and write poems

about poems. autumn
comes welcome and in-
between, filling the sky
with empty spaces
to tell a story

of matched rails
and sunlight-through-leaves.
today is a good day
for the beginning
of end-

ings, wet-burnt
and rising as they carry us
off in laughter and smoke,
leave us fearless, bare-
footed in rain.