Upcycling Light

if color
is a state
of evolving being

as backwards walking
creeks have begun
to trample hearts

I reserve red
for the moment before
I call it

a night / yellow
for yawning
and other contagions

in early morning
lilt / blue to bury
false positives

during a shift
in seasons / green
is no longer a color

is no longer a mood
we’re allowed to mention
let alone feel

is engaged to gray
and the story has been taken
off line

we all can be upcycled
in secret
beneath the right light

New Weather

drop the fire iron
you’ve been using

to poke holes
in your own left side

untie the noose
around your ankle

pour another glass
of water into the wine

goblet you recycled
16 years ago

let the commas go
free the letter O

from its own mouth
the river will live

on after the thaw raises
the stakes / punctuates

another river
and another taken

out of context
give up the negotiation

you’re no good
at it / find the perfect red

lacquer chair to build
your own cheerful forest

puddles bleed into puddles
till the night stills

either fizzy or flat
facts about erosion

not rhythm or rallies or robots / no
it’s religion

that threatens
to wreck the view

daggers overhead
masquerade as icicles

a fox with its teeth already sunk
into the hind leg

of a rabbit / forearms
of channels begin to tilt

one more ice jam
to force the creek

to flow backward
temperature whiplash again

the next meteotsunami
over Lake Michigan

bomb cyclones
and freezing fog

when green is no longer
a color

Dwell In/On It

I will be Charles Simonds for a day
avoid too many geometries / no more
clay / I will 3D print ruins

in gray resin to go
in crevices of our crumbling walls
punctuating echoes in stairwells

deconstructing another dooryard
Whitman style / affixed
to non-load bearing beams

dangling from exposed joists
and jokes / tucked in a corner
on a ledge too narrow

for even the narrowest
fellow / they will contain zeroes
and ones and I will wish

for the one word
perfect enough to print
all dimensions in glass

sourced from the sand
we buried our small feet in
at low tide / why didn’t anyone

place a nameplate
over the hearth
of the waterfront cottage

I had my 15 minutes when I was 3

painted-on block letters
black over white
no more illusions of steering

this dinghy ashore
in the storm
it’s going to rock / I was going

to remain the name
on its port side
no map to lead to a boat

graveyard / cannot know
if it faded away
or still measures tender fame

Hovering Figure Eights

this dream triptych
is a numbers game
a stolen purse
a missing phone
a mysterious reappearance
of a lost lover
soaking in a clawfoot tub
he still laughs

at the cracks
in the ceiling
you have no defensive quip
to spill before you wake
reminiscences abound
perched on a cloud
where everything you thought
you stored has melted

everything you deleted
to move on
recrystallizes after the storm
snow is a mineral
where have the hummingbirds gone
you know there was a lake
in the Poconos 50 miles north
of where you began

Inside the Megalopolis

a great lake with a protective shield
of ice / cloud streets caught
in action by satellite
a crooked river that got its curve
politely flowing around glacial debris

a pocket full of ice
breakers / 10 months since the last time
a mother to celebrate / oh so cold
stories to share and defend
I’m Minnesotan now / I win

it’s not a competition
till it is with siblings involved

when did sloths become
a thing / where did the angry birds go
almost ready to give up the search
nothern cardinals everywhere
never better in February

If This Reservoir Could Talk

no turning back
I clear my throat

to drown rumors of no Lefthand Run
Creek on this map

in February the robots don’t need
as much room to dance

not if / when
I wait for the Mississippi

to reply / do the math
1 billion gallons in my belly

71% blanketing the Earth’s skin
you and you / 60% river

and me and vast oceans
of relative blood memory

decommissioned in 1993
I am laughing

as geese and herons
and ruddy ducks tickle

my murmuring meniscus
limned at the edge

of civil twilight
when it’s time to go

to the cold room
I will be ready

salt brushed off / fountain turned on
chain-link cloak long gone

hands spoken for
by the owl

in its winter diorama
everything cardboard

touched by moonlight
what can be seen inside

the hollow of a wolf tree
remains a secret / next / I scream

there is more
than one cure

MSP / LGA / MSP

let’s fly with it / mess with
the messenger’s snow lips
time I took a shovel to him
and I in my quilted guilt / want

to keep talking
about the swan / the one
your brother knew
her cygnets floating beneath

the spot
in the sky
where he ceased / fear
and altitude and claustrophobia

and the thrill of recognition
the skyline always appears
from the side I don’t expect
and then the walk with purpose

awakens in me
ice melts / freezes / melts
repeat / here we go again
small / smaller / smallest

fish in the pond
the city in my heart

I am somewhere
in the West Village / 1985
wishing I could wrap
the red scarf around my head

into a hip babushka
that actor with long dirty
blonde hair wears
greatcoat collar turned up

black lace-up boots
vintage pink floral dress hem
visible beneath / fishnet tights
tying it all together

another arthouse film
unreeled / anonymous
our CT educations tucked
inside ripped pockets

just in case
the wind picks up
outside the White Horse Tavern
some of us still wish

we could meet for real
drinks upstairs inside
Old Town Bar / argue
about those damn Hinsdale urinals

some of us slowly
move on / once again I steal
a chance to remind strangers
I am the story

tucked inside facing pages
of a band bio
that stuck together
during the printing process

I am the stitch dropped
from a perfect binding
I will never be ragged
right / look at me

hard enough
I will spill
onto the hardwood floor
I have always insisted on

when carpet or concrete
might have contained
the sound of loss
more completely

so much has shifted
in flight
she would not recognize us
she would still build hotels

on Park Place
loan me money
to pay the rent
when I land on it

Brom & Nina
native New Yorkers
moved to London
divorced / I never saw them again

Brom died in South America
I wonder about Nina
some people don’t want
to be found

rectangular glass
embedded in cement gives
riders below a chance
to consider something besides this

crumbling / draining
rock / don’t forget
and so I do
forget to look

for the Mandarin duck
in the Central Park pond
or in the Hudson
near the 79th Street Boat Basin

I shrug my shoulders
tighten muscles to will away
Minnesota January air
that whips around Manhattan

did I bring this
with me / this guilt
like a thief nowhere near
close to giving up

the plane home
always lands
so smoothly
even in night snow