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Dawn in an Hour

Dawn is in an hour;
in a night.
A light on the long street
on the grey river,
on a long walk of broken clays.
It takes only a streetlight
to bare the sighs,
the yawn of dark alleys,
of quiet honesty;
the great peace
of telling without cause,
without want.
The arm stretches
and guides the body;
the body doubles its warmth.
Laughter snaps
against brick and glass,
and the eyes combine;
heart combines with heart.
And dawn is in the hour,
in the night.
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To Be Sincere

I dreamed you tonight. 
It was a mishmash 
of interrupted sequences- 
discovering you, catching hold, 
then distance again. 
I woke up regretful. 
I've grown tired of my own 
non sequiturs 
and one-line jokes. 
I want only to be sincere. 
And I've been feeling like 
I have no place 
where I can do that. 
Now I realize it was you; 
you were my place 
to be sincere. 
I should have let you come 
last Christmas.

Palm of the Hand

Leaning against the rail, he looked out over the river with slotted eyes, his hands growing warmer on the rough stone. The water changed as he watched it slide slowly beneath him, filming over with the mosaic colors that clotted his brain. His hands began to sting and he pressed them harder against the sun-baked stone, watching the color leave his knuckles, until he felt the heat in the bones of his fingers. The weeks before the festival were grey and dank and he wondered if it would be worth it to go. Then he decided it didn’t have to be sunny; it could be cool and calm, and he made up his mind to enjoy it. But then the sun did come out and the temperature climbed, and the hot, wet air was heavy on his skin, and he wondered if it was worth it.

Breathing out through his nose, he spun back toward the street to contemplate the next bridge and calculate the extent of his need to see the artwork stuffed in among the crowds there.  He lifted his eyes to the sun to remind his …

I Don't Want a Cookie

I don’t want a cookie
or a roll.
I don’t want you thinking
I’m lost because
once I was sad enough
to write it down,
or because faces
make me cry
with the kindness
of their teeth.
It’s not for you to bear
the flaws in my voice
from a ghost I’m chewing,
when I’m more attentive
to the break in the threshold
than to your hips
in the doorway.


I think, sometimes,
that I can do anything,
but that can change on the way
to the elevator.

I prepare for outside.
Rain makes it easier,
bends my eye to the ground,
to the architecture;
turns everything to gold.
The new gravity holds me,
turns the voices into hums,
the walkers into clouds.

But outside my door,
there are voices already,
breaking through planks of wood
that should mean security,
and I’m in their path;
every word an arrow
tipped with poison.

They’re only voices.
They are not harsh;
they do not threaten.
They’re not aimed at me
at all. Yet I suspect,
hidden from me,
there are faces attached.


The truth is I’m envious
of your pain.
Numbness is not better.
I have become numb,
and here I am now
trying desperately to ache.
There is so much poetry out there,
and I sit here, saddled
with an unshaken heart,
knowing it’s here,
but nothing to point it at.

I’ve been forgetting how
to care about things.
I’ve been surrounding myself
with piles of the things
that I remember, things
that I was built from
when I was bursting
with sadness and love.
I’m going to have to start
falling in love with strangers
for the traits that I assign to them.
I’m going to have to break
my own heart.

But I’m sorry you hurt.
You’ll go through it, and then
you’ll go a little numb.
That’s what we really do.
Coming out on the other side
takes longer than we
want to believe at our age.
But you’re a poet, and you’ll turn
your heartbreak into beauty.
Your heart will break open
and grow flowers.

This Is How They Talk

There's another part, always,
that doesn't want to go,
a shape more practiced
than my humble sincerities,
my tilted resolutions.

I forget to relax my knees,
That I should soften my jaw,
take lessons from the glass,
from the sidelong blurs,
and oblong silhouettes;

take in the everyday words
That clatter around my body.
I should brush against these threads,
learn their girth and texture.

This is how they move,
in great thrusts, driven
by asteroids and thunder.

This is how they talk,
in echos and gasps,
looking right at you.