‘Dedicated To’

We sit perched on a branch

Of this town’s tallest tree

Held strong by the knots of long lumbering life

Breathing fresh morning dew that expands to the sky

To be scared at this height is no sign or symbol

The branches, they move and we sway in the wind

To be amazed by the view is a much bolder truth

And the view higher up? I cannot imagine…

I see through her hair

The same sight of the willows

A drooping beauty to which all dew clings

I run my fingers through it to trace

And feel the freshness of her

My eyes follow the strands back down to my hand

And I am certain of its strength

And the power of its kindness

And I am in love

With that very same hand

The one reaching out

So eager to love her

For this woman does to me

What years do to the trees:

Winding limbs around themselves in a gradual self-embrace

Shouting grand proclamations, “I exist! I exist!”

To cradle their wooden bones

And to dance their fleeting leaves

To give height and a sureness

To a growing history

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‘Barren’

I like you best when you’re furthest away

Bubbling over some happy memory

Living through him and through him and through him

 

Because with me

You’re spider limbs and signal flares

A desert fire off the I-5

Latching on and lashing out

Ripping pale ocean skin off my powerful frame

 

So I’ll stand sturdy tall

And drag you along

Through your desert plains, turning shrub to ash

Til we reach a stream, where I throw you over

To continue your pillage

 

Rest my body in the mud

Watch red grow through eyelids

And feel the burns heal

In the comforting cool of water,

 

Life itself.

‘Dim’

Sultry sighs and bags worn heavy,

Topical fantasy makes way for the sun.

Her love was a prison, marked Soviet Kitsch

with rolling white snowhills and blankets of flesh

 

I tumbled her dry, and with wrinkled fingers

She wrote me a note, slipped it into my pack

It read:

“Yügen—

an unexplainable emotional response to the awareness

of the universe.”

The dots on the page pull together connected

And the flowers felt more beautiful in retrospect

 

She came to me at random

Rambling of circumstance and fortuity—

And left in a haze of alcohol and words blooming

 

To meet again, at the death of a friend

A symbol of the summer past

Seems terribly perfect, sob heaps pooling

as they do

 

A new story to grow out of months gone by

silent

‘Atlas Leapt’

I have a doctorate in your geology

enough on the forms to fill a lecture syllabus

Metamorphic and igneous

I’ve fracked petrol from the source

Watched it flow in dripping pleasure

tormented by hydraulics stealing your shine.

 

Textured composition in your brainwaves;

I’ve mapped them.

Volcanic eruptions, thick lava of lust;

I’ve felt them occur,

On my leg and in my mouth and around my

chest where your head sleeps.

 

Synclinal synchronization, a gentle bend downwards

Anticlinal hospitalization, the science of rising from hospice

You could never bear those sickly sounds:

Hospice of a deer, sweetly doe-eyed running

& the antlers of her lover, heaving animal sighs.