Accidental Beauty

If you can’t think
of anything, put the cap back
on. Don’t let it dry up
for good. To be

too poised is poison. That opening
in the woods

where you veered
off the path is the true
hinge to it. Don’t forget
to swing without occasion.

Clumsy Truth

When she spills
a cup
of tea

in the same
place at the same
time twice

in one week,
she knows

her body’s not
done yet. And
it may rain.

This Year’s Color

Radiant orchid
throughout each season—even now
when rain can’t quite

wash away the most hardened dirty
snow. Somewhere the temperature

drops just enough at night
before a warming settles in. Somewhere
someone sings,

“California Dreamin’”
to coax things along. Someone

somewhere is still searching
for a word that rhymes
with orange.

My New England Roots

Are showing. I am not afraid
of gray

days and midnight blue
evenings—the Atlantic

a skipping stone’s
throw away

at all times. Barnacles
hosted in the seams

of everything. Four distinct
seasons, each with its own

drama—highs and lows.
Connecticut and Massachusetts

call me home at the least
expected moments. I don’t

always answer—but can’t
camouflage my soul’s saturation for long.

Since Elevators

Who names their son

Otis? Since
the Beatles, who forgets
where to look

for the sun? Since Big
Star, who’s got it
worse than December

boys? Elevator
music gets this December
girl down.

Ice in Formation

It could be a horse’s white
mane that hangs

over an outdoor
sconce. Week after

week, it doesn’t melt. Is it
permanent? She hears

a recording of her own
voice and wonders who

might want to curl up
inside it till it thaws.

Beyond Truro

Will she find
shelter for her words,
bed for her enjambment, a bath

for her stanzas. Not
a question–merely
a series of projections

to use
as stepping stones
to reach beyond

memories of rain
pounding on
a roof

to the rhythm
of failed love.

Blazing Darkness in Three Syllables

She will learn
how to locate her
own duende,

so she won’t
have to borrow

yours anymore. And now
she gets
home before dark.

And They Call It Pictionary

Corsages not corsets. Shawls
over the Venus

de Milo. Motel
not hotel. Architect over

poet. Defect without
sheepdogs or

a diaspora.
A clock,

a kite, or a barn. One
last busy signal

before the station
wagon rolls over another

gravel road off
the map. No one shouts

when hitchhikers with 2x4s

return, mumbling,
“It’s just a game.”