Shifting


There’s something different ‘bout this place

As if there were two moons

Or armies of unmasked strangers

Who you know are coming soon.

The golden flask beneath your hands

Is burning golden hot.

There’s a ticking at the doorway

Counting all the time you’ve got.

Early Morning Waltz


12:00am

Night clock blinking angry red numbers

Go to sleep pull the covers over your face

But you are alone in your own bed tonight

And loneliness is a bad taste in the mouth.

1:00am

Maybe you’d be less lonely if you were alone

Not pent-up on the affections or the trivialities

Or worried about loving or being loved in return

Free in a body devoid of want or longing or fear.

1:35am

You take that back.

1:52am

A faucet in another room is leaking drop by drop

Night clock still blinking its numbers in warning

Pull another blanket over your hands and your chest

Realize that, no matter what, in sleep you are alone.

 

 

Belfast, PA


There’s a man who sits on his porch step

Smoking cigarettes- drag after drag.

It’s Pennsylvania in the summer yet

He smokes on by his Confederate flag.

“If the South would’ve won we’d’ve had it made”

The flag waves on and on.

I wonder if he’s ever been south of the state

Or out of this town for that long.

He’ll walk right next door to buy a new pack

Then retreat to his poor crooked home.

I’ll be sure by tomorrow he’ll be right back

To waste hours on his porch step alone.

Playground Love


Let’s talk about the night

You let me blindfold you

And lead you all over the yard.

How I made you taste the dirt

And threw you down in the mud.

Let’s talk about our hands

Chilled beneath our mother’s mittens

Clinging to our winter coats

Or to each other as we skid across ice.

You wrote my name in chalk

Next to yours with a heart.

I shot you in the dark

With one of those Nerf guns.

And you didn’t even flinch

When I pulled the trigger.

Under the House


There’s  something in the next room.

It’s softly calling out your name: it’s

A little stranger or a friendly secret

Or it’s angry please don’t touch it.

From the window you cast doubt

Like shadows under a tree branch

Shifting patterns on the dewy grass.

There’s something in the backyard.

It’s digging up the garden flowers.

It’s tracking the mud in your kitchen.

It’s smashing your heirlooms and

It’s calling your name go answer it.

If it was a boat you’d be sinking.

But it’s not a boat it’s your house

You can’t just paddle your way out.

There’s something in your bedroom

It’s sitting on your side of the bed.

It’s taking all of the warm covers.

It’s taking your house and calling

Your name over and under your house.

Your name, called over. Your name

Called over your name. Called over

Your name over and under the house.


I had a dream about you.

I woke up next to you in the middle of the road.

My hands covered in dirt in the middle of the road.

My hands with you in the middle of the road.

I had a dream about you.

 

Fences


Pulling the softened irises

From the mud in the darkened yard.

Pulling the statued eyes

From the window that is barred.

The night the air made way

For the golden mountain love song

Whose lyrics stung “God save!

Sing lonely! She’ll be gone long.”

But the empty field rang silence

Beneath the pleading marsh

Clipping shoulders ‘gainst the fences

Where the neighbors began the march.