Vestido Azul

I wear one
when you find me
standing left
of center
in an American ruin.
Revived. The color
and fabric
ground me
as I wait
to ascend
36,000 feet
in the air.
The sky is
blue as
I have
ever seen it.

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Voice Under There

The narrator rarely interrupts
the steady drip
of poems
into a tin can.

So unreliable.
She would need
to empty the can
before calling in

the next turn
or swerve
in the plot. Before
whispering details

about the secret
tragedy that will liver
punch the hero
before nightfall.

She would need
to have a hero
to intrude upon
without warning.

She’s got nothing
but this piece

of string pulled taut
and an echo
of tomorrow’s rain
vibrating through.

Darken the Dooryard

This thaw has
nothing to do
with Valentine’s Day
or the ones
that immediately follow.

In a dream,
I immediately follow
a misguided instinct
right down
your cellar steps.

I become
a stalker
your sister finds
cowering beneath
a neglected house plant.

Nothing thaws
in the dream.

Nothing compares
to the look

on her face
as she whispers
get out
before my brother
comes home.

In the Wee Hours

Damn, I remember
those garbage trains
that run on
New York City subway tracks
in the wee hours.

Those dirty canary yellow
flatbed barges on wheels
that taunt nocturnal revelers
as they try to make
their way home

after a night
of anything and everything.

I was one of those riders
without a curfew.

A scene in a movie
reminds me I used to live
there. I used to
stay out so deep
into after dark

light would begin to jockey for position
between buildings.

Would begin to reflect off
metal storefront and newsstand gates
about to be rolled up
into another fabulously
grime-written, frenetic day.

I used to be stupid and fearless
and bold as the horn
that would blast
through the tunnel
into the station to sober us up.

sunk relief

not snowing
her cold smile
preserves the space
between empty
mailboxes

their maws frozen
half open

it’s not optimism
that makes her
think so

the smashed rock
glass was
swept off
the bedroom
floor years ago

that she can’t
remember who
held the broom
or the color
of the eyes

that followed
its strokes

that she does
remember the whiskey’s
deep leather hue

that hinge
between alcoholic
palimpsest and
the minor key
that traps images

inside vivid
ghost craters

does not
rust in
this bitter air