the milkpool warden

for t.a.b.

He came, the milkpool warden
brushing snow off shoulders,
black eyes to cut water
fingertips speaking
in warm runes on my forearm.

He danced in my closed eyes
I saw kingdoms, firelit gemstones,
songs in his low words,
the prince of all wonder
I heard his secrets —

He left at moonset, unspoken,
the music fell, spent fireworks.
I ran, trail faded, trees pressed in.
I bled, to see, to hear — push just once —
nothing followed him.

Years, dark, by the milkpool,
tracing runes with my fingers,
I hummed, the water sparkled,
songs flowered, trees grew shadows,
I found him alone.


for i.l.c.

Whisper wanting under thunderstorm bower, shout —
candleflame flickers in the gale wary
green outside overturned in upfalling rain
cold wet warm power at fingertips — crackling.

and there I told you light in eye
there I thought to have you know.

shudder first, spring cold wind, clouds curl,
raindrops drop drumming humming on canvas
high rage, mortal, life’s thirst with life its own
drought ends so, lightning taxes, hits a tree

I held your hand to mine,
I looked you in the eye,

spattering at the feet, whipping the clouds,
boiling cold, pushing me back —

I spoke my words, you shook
your head, did not answer.

last breath of fury, then drizzle, then quiet.
The sky beast rolled away. The carpet swept up.
I broke through, and hid in the dripping
afterrain of the forest, tree memory falling.

the mayor

for j.t.

There is rain tonight, that once fell
in patterned rivers starred on edge
with covered torches, silver roads,
but this cold dirt drinks it, and
I sleep tonight with a different name.

Each marble was in green mortar
mayflies bounce on chipped drywall
and the hallway filled with stereos
blaring guitars and heavy drumstick – and
I sleep tonight with a different name.

The geese turn croaking, crows wheel
As falcons would, the deep mists
waves banners, rusted mufflers parked
in the glass dome’s ring seat, so
I sleep tonight with a different name.


for l.c.

The thunder cracked and the time
On the red face of the clock fell away
and the wild outdoors pulled everyone inside
gasping for air and flowing with water–

so we sat in a smelly corner with hard seats
and stared through the darkness without
finding a single face, and tried to keep track of
loud voices with the people behind them, until

a quietness was formed, and words became
scarce for the first time no one shouted
over three others all drowning each other
out in desperate want of an ear, so I began

to hear the quiet things, the truer things
about them, a haunting peace that lasted only
till the lights came on and the energy exploded,
and they ran around again while I sat watching.


for j.t.

Some know how the grass grows green and the
angle a hawk flies through the sky — blue for a
textbook reason, where the sun burns to specification
even when it rains. Some know how the sky glows
orange on humid nights, or how a star can shine
behind the moon, or how the leaves turn themselves
into autumn and explode in color by committee.

Some walk and see sunlight hit the waning hillside,
and watch the wind yell to the morning sun and
find where the trees talk in hurried whispers,
as the land arises in communion with the sky,
where the past slams around into the future,
and all melts into songs without words, a harp
at night or morning trumpets blasting soundless.