Torn Calendar

Tomorrow’s Five Years Sonnet

I know what I’ll write
tomorrow when the numbers align
with my heart
and lungs.

I don’t know
what to say
about today
in between

the gasp and relief,
freezing rain and fog,
headlights and reflection
of legs propelling

everything we are
forward tomorrow.

Today’s Cinquain: Five Years

Smoke free
today. I won’t
light a Cuban cigar
in Havana next month just cuz
I can.

Brood

I remember the number
three and the hill
I drew to depict
life beyond the lagoon.

I remember the three
swings and the starfish
we killed trying
to rescue it.

Turns out they split
in half, transform
from girl to boy to girl again
without our help.

Even then, I knew
to feel guilty

about catching an extra
whiff of gasoline
in the old shingled garage.

Even then, I was
beginning to forget why.

21-Gram Dream

Before I died,
the world flashed a still
photo so quickly
I didn’t have time

to measure its border
against the shore wrack line.

Now a film flickers
on storied brick
with no end or beginning—
only the between.

Everything else
hides behind the wrong
color on the wrong
block. Tin tile

wainscoting wraps
around the hem
of a skirt
no one dares to own.

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

Rattle

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.