Next Door

Music streams through the window, conflicting

with my couch lounging and television watching,

rock n rock grooving

and the neighbor kids playing,

and I consider yelling out the window

that the music is great

but can they turn it down a bit,

decide to leave them enjoying their evening.


Then while I’m in the bathroom

that window open to the breeze too,

a man’s voice yelling, stop crying,

no more crying from you for the rest of the day,

and I flinch away in my space

which should be safe and calm

from the male anger outside,

feeling like the child down there on the ground.


From the shelf I bring down the canteen,

instant coffee, measure out a large dose

and catch the kettle just before it whistles.

There is a hush outside, moonbeams

still trickling though the fog and heavy branches

of the fir trees. The cabin is wood and I

are miles from the closest concrete structure,

a lonely hike through the trees yesterday.

I head down the dock and pour out

my first cup of the pre-morning, waiting

as I have all night to wash the first streaks

of sun lighten the darkness, cleansing

your damned soul from my flesh, my eyes

bloodshot today from my vigil, not tears.

Bald Eagle

You suggested turning back to join the crowd watching

the bald eagle in the field, but I said to keep going, the long drive ahead of us.

There is no inspiration for poetry, no joy in the memories.

Abuse recolors them, strips away even the nostalgic remembrance


of happier times in a lost relationship. Stripped the magic

from the rooftop of the cathedral in Milan, walking amongst the statues

with my broken toe and gazing over the city, from the crashing

moving fractals of the devil’s waterfall in Iguazu that overwhelmed my mind


in a way I’ve never felt before, from the marketplace in Cordoba

where I picked up the toadstool earrings from a local artisan,

far from the tourist markets of the capital city with their Argentina-stamped leather.

Will a day come when I have snipped your picture from the photographs of my mind,


be able to talk about the view from the window we–I–saw

overlooking the roof of the church from my temporary living room

without that hesitation of a shadow over my heart where your figure should be.