Not Before or During

silence does not lie
the way words
on the page or screen
may lie

a little more
each reading
each day

truth comes
after you drop
the phone
into that snowbank


Arrive on the coattails
of a stranger.
Leave on the wings
of a crane.
Be the thermal
that gives the greatest
lift. Disappear into the folds
of the wind’s
invisible cloak. Be
the voice heard,
not seen.

One O’Clock and a Long Way from the Dandelions

Today, I will be
a groundhog, tomorrow
a gray wolf. Another day,
my fingers will wrap
around the cup
that contains all
the saltwater anyone living
or dead can remember.
On that day, I will forget
to fear the church bells
that ring across the snow-covered
lake in this city park.

2016 So Far

She stares at the same ugly
diptych on the wall
day after day
without pausing
to contemplate how crookedly
the panels are hung.

Because it’s a new year,
today she does.

Twin heads
of a smoke-breathing
man with third eye
and goatee. One with
black hair, the other white.
Noise in the background

on both sides, the chins
don’t align.

Then a plastic pint
of whiskey falls
from a man’s pocket.
He doesn’t notice
till two women call out:

“You dropped something.”

Because it’s a new year,
the cafe’s quiet before noon.