True Type

When this conversion is complete, I will
no longer be compatible
with myself and all
I said and didn’t
repeat. I will become a new country
where roads are paved for pedestrians only. Not
an aside. Center walks will encircle
the island—bridges dismantled, memories
beside the point.

Day 3,102

Rape or fantasy, a cat swimming
or drowning
in a river with no name. It had a name
I couldn’t remember as the dream drained

out. Comedians recite poetry—I can’t
write the words cancer, blood, weapon. No
courage. The very subjects I avoid
are the ones I should be wrestling

to the warm, dry ground.
For now, a French speaking club takes over
the coffee bar. And this corner
speaks to me without fear.

Rose Water Dram

They design Kentucky Derby hats
from precisely cut paper and memories half

illuminated by bourbon and slightly bruised
mint. Wide brimmed around the eye, mine

would go up in flames if
I got too close. Still a conversation before

the heat and muddle could count
towards tomorrow morning’s evening out.

Halitus

I baptize myself in rosewater
to shield this body
from those thoughts. A reminder—
we all have a scent. Alcohol
breath that burns
the back of my neck
in a crowded theater was mine
a decade ago. It’s true—we’re the last to know.

Efflux

A sharp ripeness that finally surfaces
in the thaw is not yours. You are solitude
well-spun. Shoes collect beneath
your feet to remind you
how slowly things change—till suddenly long
boots make no sense. Rarely do you exit high
lonesome. And to admit it—never.

Wicked May Day

Wind blows over
assumptions about a season. Not this year.
Come back next. Those tiny buds break
my heart. Teased
into believing warmth
would change me. Waiting
for the next me to bloom, I can’t
put this one in the back
of the closet yet. The crowded front
muffles a familiar hum—to be released.

Kinesics

Stories readying to be
created from a dollhouse’s freshly painted walls. I slept
in that beautiful, long-legged woman’s house
in Georgia in another life. A man who walks
with arms behind his back scares me
with silent questions. Why? When? Where?
Really just why. I don’t want
to wake from this dream to find no dollhouse
with secret cellar door
leading to where it all happened
in another underground. Lyric or narrative
dreamer—who can remember well enough to tell.