The Kiss (Hour 21)

he carved my lips

with a rusted spoon

one that Gulliver might use.

the rust a crusty blood stain on the stainless steel.

the spoon dull from overuse, the Lilliputians moving it

           in and out of the mouth

as I lay bound.

he scooped out my flesh

with a forefinger and middle,

probed at the corners

with fatted W tips,

flaying me open like a pregnant catfish,

exposing me

to the metronome click

a beat of rightness.

there is one way to kiss

to satisfy the lust of correctness.

smoke belches from your lips – a Mount Saint Helen’s –




substituting words.

The Ring (Hour 22)

Don’t stand that way – disgusted.

You are not a jilted lover or a poor peasant.

You are not quite ready, yet. Your jewelry waits

on the bedstand. But I, my Love, cannot wait. I dream

of releasing your hair clip and catching your locks in my hands,

inhaling you in one deep, lengthy breath. My lips quiver as I imagine

them on our naked neck. That look on your face, as you lean into me won’t change,

and your hand with the ring will travel to my back, under my shirt. But that ring, it doesn’t belong to me.

Sunday Morning Drive (23 & 24 combined)

These are my favorite kinds of mornings:

Gray dawn

Water on the air

Scent of wet dirt

Low clouds.


The thing about this kind of morning is that I could be anywhere.

If I sit still long enough, just sit in my own memory, you are there with me. You are always driving. My head is leaned back against the rest. We are both laughing, and I look over at you, and you are looking at me. Coy.

As if you know it won’t last, but you keep that secret to yourself.

Amtrak (Hour 20)

Sitting in the train car, I chose the SkyView cabin as we cruised through Glacier National Park. I wondered about the engineering behind the trestle bridges cleaving through this wondrous beauty. Clouds misted around the top of the window, blocking my view. My son, two years old at the time, stood at the window, pointing to bald eagles, moose, and elk who munched lazily on the mountainside. I wondered about the Chinese who laid most of the rails through Montana. Those men who woke every morning with coffee, looking at the same glaciers as me so many years later. Men who struggled to communicate, who families didn’t find out until months later if they fell from the mountain or were crushed under railroad ties. Amtrak continued to cut through the countryside, no memorials. Just the same path cut by man’s hands from the mountains to the plains.

The Milky Way

That night, I stood opposite of Cassiopeia

reading for her as she smiled at me, iciness

separating us. I floated from her grasp

into outer space,

steam rising,

naked, exposed.


Orion hovered, casting a shadow

over her love, eyes locking with mine.

I sipped from the Big Dipper,

and spent 84 years traveling with Uranus.

I dated Aquarius,

befriended Ursa Minor, that lovable bear,

surfed on the rings of Jupiter,

laughing without a sound. I danced a slow dance

with each of Saturn’s moons, taking a bow after the ninth

set me free. My muted mouth moving, wordless.


The queen gazed in the mirror

as I backfloated through the Milky Way.

Table for Two

You sat alone,
so confident, so true.

You sat alone
at the table for two.

Did you picture her with you?
Did you smile through truth?

Before you sat alone
at the table for two.

Did you frequent the shops,
laughing, comparing what was bought?

Before you sat alone
at the table for two.

A bottle of wine
became a glass just for one.

As you sat alone
at a table for two.

You drank only coffee
no dinner or food,
just you with yourself
at the table for two.

Last Yesterdays


Scars from 18 years ago


mark your shoes.


The lost yesterdays


sing tunes –


you’ve forgotten the words.




Dirt devils skip down


that sidewalk you once walked.


A penny looks up from the dirt —






I found you there lost in the tomorrows


you had not yet dreamed.


Looking at today through eyes


of youth


and age.


The Creature (16)

Arctic temperatures

did little to slow

the creature.


As the scientist became

thinner, weaker,


the creature

seemed to grow, embolded.

With gloveless hands

the creature

whipped the dogs pulling the sled.

The creature’s

hideous eyes didn’t water

from the blistering cold.

The creature

leaned to the right

then left

guiding the sled

as much with weight

as with training.

Frostbite fled

the creature,

in fear of muscle tissue

and blood vessels.



the creature

peered over his shoulder

and saw his impending capture.

This ice, he thought,

this ice will save me.

Sacrificial Cakes (14)

It is what it is, will not explain what once was.

This story of resourcefulness may cause you to pause.


Parvati did not cheat and plan to hurt,

she molded her son from earth and from dirt.

The son who questioned his sire and birth

got his head lopped off and replaced with the truth.


What will we put there, where his head used to be?

Why, what’s the very first thing you might see?

An elephant’s head, it truly must be.


Not done with the fighting, his brother was next.

The boys were arguing, as brothers will do,

but who was brightest between these two?


On a peacock Kartikeya took off on one day.

Ganesha stayed back, circled his parents and lay

at their feet, his devotion that ran oh, so deep.


Always so clever, so wise, and so true,

his belly burst open and he dumped out a few

sacrificial cakes,

surprised by a snake.

He stuffed them back in,

securing with snake skin.


So, when you have questions about the intangible and abstract,

Remember Ganesha and his elephant’s trunk.

Word Choice (13)

The evening’s mystery began

with peculated public money,

a scarred elbow,

children filling jars

with tomatoes

and frogs.


Of course, steam rose

from the ground,

Hot from the sun

but wet from an afternoon

sprinkle. He buttoned up

his raincoat, lit his pipe,


heading out into the night.


1 2 3