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This was paradise,
Tramping lazily on island time

Among dark-skinned islanders
In their slow-motion routines,
Their bright garments
And glaring indifference
Rioting in the sun.
We rolled over sun-dappled hills,
Climbing through villages
Sheathed in a silence more profound
Than a true void of sound,
Emphatically illustrated
By the occasional peep
Of mysterious life.
From the hotel patio where I took my meals,
I could watch, framed between pillars,
Swimmers thrashing in threes,
Sailboats drifting into the horseshoe cove,
Green hills like tattered velvet encrusted
With red and blue rooftop jewels,
Blue mountains with white halos,
Like prehistoric volcanoes demanding
The demonstrative payment of flesh.
Up the road, a stream passed
Through the timber, toward the ocean,
Sharing the shade with a veiled dining hall,
Wrapped by a white porch and emanating
Its own joyous sounds and aromas
To bedevil the wood.
Up that road
And past those trees
And over that stream,
We climbed boulders by the hissing sands,
Laughed and dodged photographs,
And followed sailing crafts
With passive eyes.
I trudged that night with Ashley
Off the courtyard,
Through the azure sea,
Under a cherry sunset
Like none I’ve ever seen,
Its beauty competing feebly
With the sight Ashley shared with me
Through water like polished glass,
A daring step toward reclamation
Of a life long overlooked.


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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
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the body doubles its warmth.
Laughter snaps
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The Day My Brother Flew

The day my brother flew,
I prayed for the last time;
Asked for his acceptance,
A chance to say goodbye.
Stood inside the chapel,
Whispered through the motions,
Knowing in my chest
I did not believe.
Months gone from that day,
I stood inside a basement,
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Chainlink in my eyes.
A host of white lights came,
Gathered right beside me,
Waited till I turned,
Slowly sank away.
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I don't know what I saw,
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The day my brother flew,
I sat down on a stairstep,
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I don’t even like it.
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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.