You Drew A Wonderfully False World

Chalk lines on a brick wall do not connect, yet
the “c” becomes a circle;
shades of gray
gain new dimensions.

The “c” becomes a circle,
looping lines recede into the sunset,
gain new dimensions.
Your meaning is conveyed.

Looping lines recede into the sunset
only to reappear at the shore.
Your meaning is conveyed,
obscured in distance.

It only appears at the shore.
You are the only one
obscured in distance.
You can hear your branches creak.

You are the only one
in a forest full of branches.
You can hear your branches creak.
Watch the others sway.

In a forest full of branches
your mouth is a knot hole;
watch the others sway,
smearing ink on paper.

Your mouth is a knot hole,
you never bear fruit
smearing ink on paper;
illusions out of colored dust.


My Grandmother's Chest Of Drawers

Filled with coins bearing forgotten kings
it shudders under the weight. I burrow my hand
up to the elbow, fish out change from dead nations,
letting it sift between my fingers: caustic silt
many men lost their lives for, I'm sure.

Always with a clink of medals, its opening jars me:
a brilliant flash of undiminished accomplishment.
The years left an impression, which can be felt
only by touch. A rush of nostalgia I don't own.

They look like pens, vaguely. I try to write with
one, but it has no nub. They extend. I point to
locations on a map marked with multicolored pins.

A bear carved from ivory stares blankly at a swan
made of glass, it's fragile neck wrapped in brown paper,
splinted with a tongue depressor. Open it carefully:
step by step and they won't be startled apart. She always
watched to make sure, lamplight dancing in the corners
of her eyes.


Skeleton Key

Take my gnarled arm,
dip it in bronze,
clip a finger
from its tarnished father
and I'll read your palm.

Back, beyond
the stacks of trinkets:
a scrubbed brass ornament
in ringlets
with pins
for my finger's every indent.


Trying To Talk With A Mouthful Of Blood

My teeth are islands
and their inhabitants
are uneasy. The sea
is always unpredictable.

My tongue is a leviathan
they have all witnessed.

Small shrines
adorned with flowers
spring up in rows,
cut into my gums.

It makes me feel
like an accommodating giant
and a little alone.


I'm a Firefighter, Want To Go Out?

You're so hot I think you might be a fire hazard
and if this gets much hotter I'll have to whip
out my hose, but it looks like you might be too hot
to put out. I think the fire has spread to your
lower levels. Or are those hot pants. Either way
I'm going to have to go inside of you to rescue
any trapped survivors and by the looks of your rear
I'd say there's at least 15 people in there and
they will die of smoke inhalation unless I get moving.
You're a brick house, but I still need to evaluate your
structural integrity.

Don't take it personally.
I've seen good men die from not being careful.


A Shockwave’s Snail Crawl to the Midwestern United States

When the twin engines hummed, his mind settled. Many years ago,
before time’s cold utensils left their impression, he had two
boys. Both he left by the wayside in a land all too
foreign while shellfire smeared the sunset.

Cicaedas sound an alarm, which rushes through the field;
rips open a swath of chipped wood, cut dry. Against
a knotted branch, he stands cupping an axe head,
cradling its tawny stem between two fingers.

All falls quiet.

The silence lingers far after he takes another swing,
landing in a dull aqueous mutter. His shoulders
erupt in convulsions. The sun dilates; a white hot rush
of numbness radiates across
his right side.


You gave us Your only son,
plucked from flesh You call Your own,
told us that He died for us,
nailed upon a moral cross.

Can't You make another one?
Won't omnipotence condone
breaking off another piece
if the whole will never cease?