Sink

Drowning above water

Meant kicking

Thrashing

Digging nails into

Anything close

Dragging down another

Sodden, macerated flesh

Too long wet

pierced by

Points of a disproportionate

Fulcrum

So desperate to lever

To survival

You pivot the hand saving

And push it under

Bends are the least

Of the pain

On shore

You gasp and gag

Guilty

Crying for the crime

Woman slaughter

Suspected

But the suspect

Isn’t drowning

But swimming

Deep

Safe

And sinking

Feels like such

An unexpected bliss

Arms around you

Able to life the weight of

You, wet

Or dry

Sinking

Feels like

The warmth in a

Room with a closed door

Sinking

Feels like

The most natural

Wanted

Hopeful

Risk you can’t imagine

Fighting

Waves of a softer sort

Such a

Delicious

sink

Erudition and Examination

 

 

And tomorrow we’ll

again

I hope

maybe we could

if you want

do you

you decide

whatever you want

whatever 

you 

want

Did

I

really 

take your breath away?

That’s

what I want

hand on 

your chest

feel it leave

lips inhale it past

I want 

to be dizzy

from the

exchange

ideas and air

I want 

the good 

on paper

to be good

from a 

beginning

base

bucolic seed

on cotton

theory

become practice

academic 

become 

not by the book

by the hand

from straight crisp pages

inked only by their

unknown printer

to fingers curled 

from their own experience

not empirical evidence

based in 

experimental experience

without theory

But I have a theory

and I want to experiment

learn

put hands on 

have

hands

on

interactive

erudition

by examination

and not

be found 

left

wanting

Reflecting Shadows

Looking out

looking in

looking through

rounded panes

myopic 

too long focal length

can’t see

shuttered out

light kept inside

if you trust 

the reflection

not disctracted 

by the glare or

the intentional flare

artist in action

accepting allowances

for fighting 

ugly gnawing 

inspiration

the upside down

turned round

picture distorted

to reality

can startle to 

stillness

of inconsequence

look inside

your lens

leave the impression

to the glass

shatters can 

be swept

hearts are harder

to brush aside 

to shadows

fill

your light

Waves

The lights of shore are farther

Than they tease

Water colder

Than the wind on pier

Promises

The waves pull you in

Fight to fatigue

Surrender to surcease

Your body yards from shore

Lifetime from where you started

Floating

Buoyed only by the buoyancy

Of exhaustion

But the skyline is beautiful

And you aren’t willing

To let your head drop

While the city lights still shine

Waves

to land again

Elastic Limit

Elastic Limit

I’ve never heard you laugh like that
he said as we swung
from the end of our rope
tied up and together
working with one hand
for all of us

The ethereal dentist hears you smile
and will check
your teeth
for cavities
before you open your mouth
again

Pull your cheeks until
your lips crack
from neglect
as if you have time
when you keep losing
your balms
easy when you
carry so many bags

Stretch
and give
and ache
and will another inch
because they need it

It’s going to snap
and your skin will                                                                                                                                           bear the blister from the shear

Buy another chapstick
Stack another box
Load another worry

Pray the elastic holds

and the limits forgive

Hides

Hides, it does

Tucked in forgotten drawers

Cozy under the bed, warmed by dust and lint

Sometimes I wipe it clean and hold it in my hands

The hurt

Nostalgic remembering

When we were thick friends

On the pillow together

Faded Polaroid

From a mistaken photographer

The image was meant to mollify

It murdered

I dig up

Bones and flesh

Surprised by its

Incorruptible

Resilient

Buried

But

Not dead

But there is wine

For the cemetery picnic

And cake

To feed

The happy living

When they learn

So I plant it back

Among the webs

And smile

Knowing I’m now the keeper

Of the hidden rest

 

My words are meant for hidden reading. My poetry collection The Gone Side of Leaving and my debut novel Drowning Above Water are now available.

The Gone Side of Leaving

Drowning Above Water

Watching for Embers

 

Watching for Embers

Starting again.
Over.
Old to new.
Broken to patched.
Curled around
to upright.
Blowing out a candle
and transitioning from
wicks and fire
to electric light.

Letting eyes blink in awe
of a power
before unknown
but here
now
blinding and stark and
driving out shadows.

No going back.
Don’t want to go back.
That way is darkness.
That way is dripped wax
and blistered fingers
and the risk that
any strong gust
can turn illumination
to devastation
flicker
to uncontrolled flames.

Going back is
peeling skin
back on the corpse,
sliding and slickness,
evading re-animation.

Too alive to go back.

But looking back,
can’t be stopped,
headstone keep the body buried,
the body unable to rise
but the head can still turn.

Left alone, that ember,
that red memory
can spring to life.
A careful bellow
and guided hollow
and the ash and orange
return to dance.
What the pyre didn’t consume before
it now takes to sate
midnight hunger.

Done on purpose.
With purpose?
Having the courage
to plunge down the snifter
but not the will to seal it,
not able to strangle it
letting the smallest whisper
of air in
to encircle and
keep alive
what could be killed.

But can’t be killed.

The wisp of smoke
kisses life into the lungs.
A center of magic
if the new world
and its promises fail.

Undisturbed, it waits,
wills,
wants
the chance to
consume.

The ember watches.