the loneliness of train whistles

tracks over Mayo
the loneliness of train whistles
has been known
to keep us up at night.

when there is moon,
we play hopscotch
on  old sidewalks

with chalked silhouettes
of desire. when there is not,
we walk white-footed the rails

by the river, counting
darks between shadows
until the sun

comes and grows and
our backs bend too heavy
so we turn them

from the creosote-soaked
tang of the city
to dig holes in dry dirt,

filling them up
with all the weight
of emptiness.

from “notes on physiognomy”

joshua tree in black and white

i hung my heart from the stiff arms of a joshua tree
to dry in the mojave sun.
the veins tightened and cracked,
muscle fibers stiffened and swung
ever so slightly in the rarefied desert air,
paling, and against the blue blue of the sky
it grew beautiful for a moment,
beautiful as all the poetry in the world.