Won’t Turn to Stone

My criminal act concealed
for now we roam beneath bare
branches. Follow the river down

for a radical blossoming
before another cyclone wrecked
hillside. Sneezes for no reason—

there’s never a reason
to be so coy. Forgiveness begins
at the head of the falls.


Four children four
seasons—does it begin
with spring or winter?
It all depends—

whether we are dormant
before we live, whether
we can begin again, whether
autumn counts at all.

Prelude to a Season and

Your cold retreat just days
before becoming
officially on 

is a cruel dance
on last night’s sighs
into a buoyant civil 

dusk. You turn
me on only to turn
your back to my naked 

fantasies of an us—two
turtles on a broken branch
over the rising river. 

It crests in the valley
at the convergence 

of the small into
the mighty. Floods 

a grain terminal
in new repurpose, drowns
an island for now, distracts 

me from your absence.
This pulled-up leather
collar collides 

with that last image
I’ve been working
into you.