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the watchful

Farmer Oak awakens at the touch of dawn. The window is boarded up.
Light seeps through the cracks and he pulls the blanket over his eyes
while the cat curls into his shoulder.

There is a cup of water on the nightstand and a lamp with a bulb at half-life.
His stomach speaks.
Nearly breakfast.
Heavy footsteps walk out of the room next to his and pause at his door.
-Awake?
Says Tom.
-Nearly.
Says Oak.

Tom turns on the radio. Music sinks into the walls.
The cat turns over, mumbling something in her sleep.

Farmer Oak cranes his neck to look at her,
then pulls the blanket over her chin.
He shifts his weight. The bed creaks.
Her dark hair tickles his nose and he brushes it aside, gently.
She turns to him, still sleeping.
Her face, calm.
He is watchful.

 

—-

written for Memory

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venus de milo

Sleep escapes me
A step beneath me
No arms to guide me
Muscle and bone

Come and find me
Those hands inside me
This sheet around me
Street lights and stone

 

 

***

an attempt at rhyme for: Street

evening

Begin with Atlas.
The world nestled across his shoulders
The weight is a kiss
Something heady,
soft and full of life.

Now passing cars stencil shadows across the wall,
follow their movement.
Evening casts a sheen
across the kitchen table.

see it?

silver and blue and perfect?

Diane thinks:
Why must the world be a burden on Atlas’ shoulders?
What if he carries it freely?

Picture the earth is a book full of stories
he holds in his arms,
where one face rests in the crook of her shoulder
fitting perfectly,
smooth skin
dampened hair
curling
in divine exhaustion.

End with Diane,
listening to breath.

 

leap day

Elation.
Greetings after hours.
Bars of light spill through the lattice.
Callahan.
There’s a forest out there
swaying with sounds
Coarse
Heavy
Like his green eyes and whiskey breath
After their first kiss by the garden wall near the streetlight.
Brick fence.
The wind picks up,
gathering under their coats.
Waiting for the moment
to do what is right.
Entwined.
Fortify.
Faculties align.
Until a glass slip pools around her ankles.
Then a smile.

—–
Leap

a song of you

Sun salutations in
a room full of light.
It’s a reflection you see
your arms stretch
above your head
to the ceiling, slowly,
falling, at rest in prayer
fingers splayed
spread eagled
where palms do touch,
thumb prints sternum
solidly now
the heart’s centre is eager to see
three words come
to life at the base of the spine
or curl in the hollow of the throat where
love’s last breath
is but a whisper upon awakening.
Here this is the beginning of everything.

charlotte

“You’re so strong,” Virginia says. “I can’t imagine having to put up with that. Having to see him everyday. Listening to him speak to Claire. They way they sound together, as if none of those months mattered.”
Charlotte drinks her tea carefully. She tilts her head to the right, looks at the table and forces a dim smile because it’s what her body does naturally.
“It’s not easy,” says Charlotte. “But the truth is I need the money.”
She thinks of Claire’s giggles and Max’s voice softening past the cubicle.
Virginia squeezes her friend’s hand sympathetically and Charlotte gently pulls away. She doesn’t want pity. She only wants to be honest.
A sunbeam slips through the clouds and past the window. Charlotte tries to hold it, turning her hand over on the table. The light hatches warmth on her palm and rests there.

the first

The first thing he sees is the back of her head.
She wants to go to him. She wants to say so many things,
but she doesn’t know where to begin.
When she steps into the room, he pulls off his headphones
and stretches out his arms.
She notes the breadth of him.

People forget about the window. They move in and out. They carry themselves across the hall with heavy footsteps. They open the fridge. They close it.
They wash their hands. They fill their cups with water. They drink, deeply.
They say, “Good morning” and “Have a good night.” Everything must be good. People forget about the window and blinds. They forget how flowers wilt
without the sun.
“It’s so sad,” she says. “They’re dying.”
“Why?” He asks, though he already knows the answer.
They work in a place without any sunlight.
They smile as she says this.
They don’t know why.
They can’t help it.
They forget.
Why.