Rounding Error

We are the forgotten decimals,
unnoticed until we accumulate
and cause the equation to break.
We follow the scores with our infinities
and drift, aimless, after the calculator runs out of
memory.
The businessmen, the generals, the gods in their lofty towers
barely understand, barely consider us,
and in their haste – to raise, to lower,
they cast us aside with no further thought.

warmth

The warmth seeps in for the first time in decades,
crocuses peek from under the snow,
and somewhere in a forest north of here
a bundle of rot trapped in the ice
thaws and begins to stink, slow
at first, a memory of a distant life:
the stench is overwhelming,
like molded coffee, like
half-eaten cheeseburgers.
How funny his hands look where the
gloves are torn, like the swollen white worms
that gorge in the earth.
The warmth seeps in for the first time in decades,
and hungry eyes peek from under the snow.

Fossils In The Rain

How did you spot me, way down here,
alone with my vague imprints and half-buried in the muck?
Why did you choose to stop,
your t-shirt already soaked through,
and bend over to brush my bruises,
and take me home with you?
I can’t imagine this being a source of pride;
these wounds carved in my underside,
and yet, here I am,
alone with you,
warm and out of the rain.

Choice Paralysis

A thousand roads lead from this station

Paved, cobbled, dusty, dirt, promising hidden delights

Or reeking of damnation.

A thousand variant lives to live;

Safe, dangerous, sensual, secluded, celebrated, reviled, paved by promises unlikely, some that never forgive.

What bravery it takes, what sturdiness in the heart,

To forsake all other discrete paths

And pursue the road that leads to art

Limpid Heart

It sits in the palm of your hand
a calm, translucent, pulsing thing,
clear enough for you to finally see
what stirs within each chamber.
It knows exactly what you intend to ask
and reveals all questions with a simple rhythm,
and still,
and still,
you can’t help but loop the veins and
arteries around your fingertips,
plucking them one by one,
spilling perfectly logical fluids all over the cement.

Sprigs

I gathered up a little bit of moneywort,
some bluebells, and the flowers
that might be the same shade as your eyes.
I tied them all together with the stem of a
frost-burnt lily,
couldn’t picture your face,
No matter how hard I tried.
I thought of putting them in water,
I thought of pressing them until they dried,
I thought of leaving them with you to top your deep, cold cradle.
It doesn’t really matter, all the things I thought of doing
all that matters is what I did.
Untied the bundle, went out to the dumpster,
and tossed in every solitary
sprig.

Secondhand Sins

They hand down their evils like patched-up coveralls
from father, to son, to brother;
their vices, their vexes, their venom,
their pains, their ancient rituals to
pass their scars on, and on, and on.
This chain will not end,
these coveralls will never be so worn they
can’t be salvaged;
These sins will never be rectified,
they will merely be shared.

meadow (11/13/2019)

the meadow is calm, serene and teeming
with wild bracken and wilder beasts;
the insects are thriving, the calm is inviting,
the deer graze their volunteer feasts.
There is a spark to ruin each meadow,
There is a thought that burns through the night;
some meadows are more useful, plowed,
but in utility, there may be no delight.

Veteran’s Day

A man at a podium with a widow’s peak
who only lies when he starts to speak
told us it was his great honor to be here,
and that, god willing, he’d be relected next year,
and he wants to thank the soldiers, and their sons,
who will take their place before this war is done,
and how peace is a mighty unpatriotic ideal:
Without war, we’d have no veterans,
and then the bugle squeals.