mis-taken

She mourns the hyphens
that have rubbed off, worn away, merged
into their attachments. Language

breathes and breaks
in two—always to be healed
later. Scars visible

but not mentioned. Syllabic
grafts in time, she gives herself
permission to talk

in her sleep—to herself,
to you. And you could reply
if you believe it’s right.

Sleep Demigods

If I am everyone
in this dream, who are you
to tell me how

it should end? The use
is mine—and disuse. You are
a figment trapped

in a smoke ring
I rarely produced. You are
the one my unconscious

heart won’t forget.
Winter afternoon naps
are the best. Caged trees

in snow banks stand
for a patience
I’m still learning to wake into.

Horizontal Escalation

Let this be my plea
for relevance: be it subway
or skyway, I can see myself
out. I know when to exit.
I exist.

Three Weeks

I am a new habit.
It’s Friday, and someone always expires
on a Friday. Old habits die

hard. Otherwise, they would be soft
inclinations not worth
overcoming. This pattern

language needs
no more words.

What Wants to Live Here (Day 3,002)

I challenge you
to an anthropomorphizing duel. How

do we know if the building is alive
or dead, if we have calculated our own life

cycle correctly? At dawn, our sickle-shaped
swords will whip up the air—slice

a few particles of uncertainty, strive
to kill these questions before

lunch. One of us isn’t going to make it
to the counter in time

to witness walls that talk.

Paul & Arthur

Their discussion continually boomeranged
back to the dialectic between body and soul—one can wait,
the other won’t last. And still as time passed,
it was that physical form he would choose. And still
I wonder about separation

anxiety, about the risk
in pulling things apart.

Speak To You

Cave walls inside
a candle prophesize fear
and anxiety lessening
as the flame flickers deeper

into itself. And do you recognize it—am I
about to embrace a moment
that ignited you a century ago? And you
100 years ahead, this could be yours.