Rufus

Traditional red: stop
sign, fire
hydrant, maraschino
cherry. Other

options: a roof
over a white
house, knit cap
and gloves, her lipstick,
the letters on the book
cover I’m reading. The strangest

ones: a squirrel
on a tree
branch, the grass
beneath, the sky
above, a priest’s
shoes, the color

I choose to symbolize
my quiet nights.

Library Coffee

Drops of blood
from an orange awaken
her to choosing. She occupies

the end table because
it’s open. Clean glass
window walls corner

her to be
free to search
an after five

sky. Her findings
will be cataloged
off site.

But One of the Seven Wonders

Won’t be lit up
with LED lights
after civil twilight dies
another daily death. Tomorrow’s

reincarnation won’t be
so famous if Crash
has his way. And we all do
when we speak

the repurposed truth
at the mouth
of some river
or bottom of a canyon

no one remembered
to name.

Not One of the Seven Deadly

I would not drive
on the tracks, would
not question the bottle
of French deodorant or bathroom
caulking if asked. If not,

I would leave it
to winter saints
to return the red
dagger signs.

Pavilion Raising

Inflatable buildings
mean nothing
to me. I’ve seen domes

cave under
the weight of too much
winter. Not enough

poses other problems.
To breathe deeply
without fear

of implosion
requires no posing.

No temporary shelter
could hide
this metamorphosis.

Another Version of Three Loves

I steal. It’s my nature. No license.
So I will count three loves
although there have been

so many more.

Lover #1 had no licenses. Didn’t need
one to play guitar. He jumped
off a stage to kiss me. But there were

so many more.

Lover #2 was made of glass
and tall and straight
and bottomless, which was
the little problem that became
my big problem along with

so many more.

Lover #3 is a secret
especially to me. I’m told
to pray and he will come. But
I only half believe. I worship
the moon, and she has no time
for such nonsense.

So no more.

Say Silver Not Gray

Some words open
too wide to be
swallowed without
choking. I’ve

choked enough to last
into my next
life. It could happen—but
probably not
to me. Once. Who

really knows. Best
to stick with a metallic
beauty and let
urges stew.