Another Boat in a Fog May Not Be Lonely

The corner where two
windows meet. The view
from a dark room
onto a fog-dampened
night. Stories

dissolve when they hit
pavement, or never get exposed
to atmosphere at all. It stings
to be so poised
to burst forth

in a voice soft
and deep, but to be
the one holding back
exquisite blackness
with a candle flame

that laps up
fear and air
till someone’s lover

returns. A woman’s true
laughter will float on
still water

to break through
soot and other romantic
toxins falling out.

New Day One

The back alley becomes
a graveyard
for worn couches.

Nine degrees
doesn’t feel too bad
if I stay away

from bridges and river
banks. Icicles formed
unnaturally still remain

on bare tree branches
in the yard
where firefighters fought

and lost
a year-end battle. A raging one,
it took down

a 100-year-old multiplex
home with pillars.
How can I leave you behind

in a year so scorched?
Give me a sign

that your spirit has made it
through wind chill to now.

Beware Neglected Candles (or, Another Year)

A weatherman’s heart,
a three-alarm
fire two miles south, the furnace

kicks in, a hiss
that warms, cause
unknown, to kick it

just for today,
let the cat out
the back door, safety

from what you think
you want, draws
to a close.