Exposure Closure

To cash in
a past, pick
a year—1992,
better yet 1991— 

would be too easy.
I’m done being
easy. Narratives
wrap around words 

compressed. A loose loop 

of letters with clear beginning,
middle, 

end would be a legible expose
yourself delivery
method. But 

it’s what gets packed in
so tightly—one lover’s lip
smashed against another’s ear.
Turns out, boys tell secrets too.

Record Store Day

What’s left of her
independence could be lost
on those leaves budding
too early 

to be in tune. Survival
of the opportunistic—the fittest
in a fancy new suit. Who
would wear a dress, 

a tie, to a basement
house party where the pipes
might be about to burst? This leather
jacket has no secrets to hide 

yet. Will there be time? Tornadoes
can’t destroy the true wall
where faces and signatures
are faint but there, if 

you study the brick
long enough and in the right light.

Wellington Place

After all these years, all
you have said, you’re still
afraid 

of him. He has only a few
words left. They won’t hurt. Rarely did.
It was the ones 

he threw at those around you.
To be so privileged
can be a burden. In his weakened 

state, new hip just beginning to settle
into the mechanism that is
what’s left 

of his life, why
this fear? Yes,
you’re losing him 

the way we all lose
one another. There are no guarantees,
no ultimate reprieves. This is a slow burn 

singe around your original
edges. No way comes without terror.
Whose? Yours? His? 

All of those others?
With the spoken
language disintegrated, 

what’s left is this raw
love. You must look it
in the eye. Don’t turn 

your head off his
steady gaze. Remember,
who he is.

Fashion 2010

White, unadorned silk,
her obsession is showing.
How much depends on 

how closely you look. If
you comment on it, she may reply: 

Oh, it’s supposed to.
That’s the style
as is this gray hair.

Before Our First Kiss

We didn’t know. How
could we?  I could be 

in the midst 

of another halo
shadow over hours 

untold. Could be
at the nudge 

and pause as they ripen
inside a green house 

beneath a green roof.
His lips could be 

ready, and I would be unpainted 

and preoccupied
with this spot on a Formica 

table top. An imaginary island
in an imaginary sea.

Van Aken Boulevard

A forest-killing nightmare, a daydreamer rocks
to 70s radio hits on a black-and-white
checked basement couch. Not ready 

to face the daylight pocketed
on a patch of carpet a floor above
her head. It’s the smart 

(ass) ones she goes after with a gossamer twined
web she spits into those pipes
running along the ceiling. It doesn’t always stick.