Still

Still

 

I want you as the morning stills, birds not

yet singing their songs, clouds still unformed, hiding

beneath the red horizon, waiting.

 

I want you as the noon shines down, blaring

like a trumpet’s call, paws and feet pounding

against the soft and hardened ground.

 

I want you as the sky turns to gray turns

to black, and stars begin to swirl, as the dust settles

for the night, ready to rise again day after day.

Mount Olive

Mount Olive

 

I saw a sign at the graveyard, Now Hiring:

Sales professional. But who would want to work

there knowing you’re the cause of more Dad,

you’re the coolest balloons floating in the wind?

I block out the sun with light

I block out the sun with light

 

of my own, flip the switch and shine

brightness into shadows, scaring

the demons away. Crosses hang

on my walls, but don’t protect

me from the dark. So I turn

on my lights and block out the sun

rising boldly in the sky.

Balance

Balance

 

Corpus Cristi is tomorrow, noon on the dot.

Church bells will chime, ringing in people who will flood

the pews and spill into the aisle, standing room

only. I rub my eyes and blink real hard, making

the bright lights blur. Stayed up all night writing

poems that wouldn’t leave my head, imprinted

on my heart. I stare at the marble floor, tracing

the little rocks with my eyes, trying not to fall

asleep, the homily’s words just a buzz in my ear,

an echo in my heart that I fail to hear.

It feels so good

It feels so good

 

To lie next to you, bodies warm

against the cool night air. We watch

the sky fade to gray and pull

the covers up to our chins and sigh.

Our cheeks flush with new warmth, and eyes

twinkle with sleep, then sky grows pink

and birds start to tweet and stars fade

away. But the moments of night remain.

Braced For It

Braced For It

 

I wear my brace day and night but nothing

seems to help. Tore a tendon in my wrist.

And life is not the same. Can’t brush my hair

or brush my teeth, or even tie my shoe. Can’t

push or pull or press without pain. I wake

up at night in searing pain waiting

for it to heal. It throbs and throbs and throbs.

I hope it will heal, but when it doesn’t,

I say a prayer. Ask for healing. Go to mass,

lay their hands on my skin, trace their fingers

on my bones, and make a wish.

Mirror

Mirror

 

I caught them watching me, saying I’m slipping

away, just like Aunt Brenda did, 50 years

ago. Sick. I’ll dig in the trash, grab scraps, torn

paper that Mommy threw away. I dig past bones

and grease and clutter of things left behind, to save

what everyone sees as junk. It’s precious.

Should be left untouched. I know they wonder

of what will become of me when I’m old, but

I have it under control. Things are okay. Not

normal but still okay. Healthy. But we’ll watch

the clock hands tick and tick and tick away.

Cody

Cody

 

It’s been a week since we talked and I waited

for my phone to light up with a blink, and with one

tap and a flick we’re connected. I want to say

 

When can we talk again? But I can’t

be reached. My phone is out of service.

But even if it wasn’t, I know it wouldn’t ring.

Water on my Skin

Water on my Skin

I squish my water bottles as I drink
so I can slurp the water through a tunnel,
snake it past my teeth, afraid of getting wet.

A splashing dolphin lamps sits above
my tv, a prize from Chuck E. Cheese,
grows dusty, always left unplugged.

I don’t shower in the rain or touch
the garden hose, I watch as roses wilt
and die, heavy with buds that will never grow.

Even when you’re lost

Even when you’re lost

 

the dirt knows you. Dust to dust, swirling

in the springtime breeze, whispering sweet

melodies as it touches the trees and blows

past the birds and bees. The worms and beetles

call as they crawl under rocks and mud, waiting

for the shake of footsteps to cease. You never

lose your way through the trunks covered

with vines, always guided by the stars

above, a God who walks beside.

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