Don’t Say Catalyst

Another city, another black
bird soars over pedestrian

heads. I have one. The least
unease matures into full-on anxiety

about what clouds
won’t hold. I’m not afraid

to fly but do fear those
with the will

to—agents flying, flew, have flown.

Traffic Break

It’s been a year—I wouldn’t turn
to stone or tin
if I ran into you on the sidewalk
in the shadow

of your tower. That we haven’t crossed
paths since we decided to cross
each other off
the list is a sign. Our lanes

weren’t meant to merge
on any slope—slippery or not.


This inner rind is more than a third
place—is the mystery loosened
from its virtual frame. A peaches

crate is just a wooden crate
with spin. The revolutions
per minute for this plane

hum and whir—a fan

for unfurling home’s measures
in one simple night.


Take another day, flip
through pages desperately
seeking a poetic

heliport to land on—damselfly
become aware of what’s precious
turf the way no insect

could. Become the contradiction
you’ve dreamed of
embodying all your life. Chuckle

over the claw
foot tub in the middle
of a bedroom in a rundown apartment

in the middle

of last night’s dream. Just that—the criticism
was a mirage. Plans
to plant a garden inside the porcelain

basin no longer necessary. Nothing’s
real anymore, so do it today—do it now.

After Solstice

Chilled by indecision—even a bad choice brings on
summer momentum. I might

go out after
dark. Could swallow flavored water while the camera

runs. Staged accidental
encounters are the new absence

of light
when I dig deep enough into this primitive season.


Expectations for the long arm
of light to cradle her—better
yet jolt her—into a wider frame

can only lead to one thing:
that after tonight everything begins

to shrink. Or, there’s another one: relief
that summer is poised to stretch across
the best spills and spans.

Permanent Pause

Birthdays are present
tense even when the honoree is past

tense. In a year’s time,
I will surpass him in living

years. It’s a lie
that we can’t catch up

to, surpass, one another. I make
no predictions. Stand still could be

a quality of light
or shade of blue. I can see

only glare—no faces reflected
in the atrium wall, could be

a window if
you’re into that kind of thing.