as idle hunters we followed the stalking sun, horizon to horizon on its endless chase behind the unwary moon. we have guarded it’s ears as our own, shielded our wandering eyes together, silenced our collective tongues against the sins of the day but opened wide our mouths to the vigils by night. we did not sleep then & as the dawn slumbered on we lay traps in the sand & drove dreams between the narrow forks of trees. our star lit sacks were full then, our bodies slack under the deceiving murmur of rustling leaves.

as reluctant warriors we sharpened the tips of spears & arrows on the sidewalks of foreign cities, on the temple walls of villages without name. marching shoulder to shoulder with the armies called down from the morning, burying calloused heels into the soft earth with the dog soldiers, naked but for the sound, crisp & papery, of borrowed feathers & shaky soliloquies, do not loose your arrows into the voices of the wind.

as scribes, fitted with inattention & ready hands filled with details & steady stylus. we scratched incantations & the whispers from the dark, or else nonsense, & the madness of the day. all of this, between the lines of codices & the tidy ledgers of greedy merchants. all f this, under the auspices of dark, iridescent birds lining the rooftops of adjoining buildings & courtyard walls.

as homesick gypsies we unburdened our heavy loads in the places we left behind, saving our laden hearts for more wearisome journeys, more festive evenings. we allowed the wind blow our sun kissed shoulders to the borders & unmarked edges of things, as it compelled us onward, we too drew from outside the lines on the flimsy maps we carried at our sides.

as sinners, reposed & thoughtful , still against the pull of night. our courage calls down the sliver of moon to the fullness of our bellies. our sainthood teeters on the edge of a knife & leads our indiscretions around the room, by the nose & yoked to the dreams of last night where we tucked our memory in with a passing blanket of clouds.

 

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shouldered weight brings a stoop to the gait & a strength to the least of breath.  the way flesh looks in black & white, stretched upwards on rumpled sheets, the way it flashes in recorded light , forgotten shadow.  women’s work & men’s to sorrow, little hands to mend & give away tomorrow.  i would like to talk with the giants from my childhood, towering there still.  i could call to them as friends might, but i’m afraid they would not recognize my shrinking voice, looking instead to the swallows, dipping their forked tails from swaying, empty telephone wires, one, by one, by one.

just a little east of the rockies

Slender fingers tune my heart strings for the song & dance.  Twine the lines of communication that suture this distance between us like telephone wires mend estranged marriages across the bright plains, across endless white pains punctuated by ‘click,’ indelible slips of the tongue.  An open book then, the characters engage in explicit dialogue, though the plot is dog-eared, the spine withered away, along with the untended houseplants on the sill.  Starved of lamplight & a guiding hand, our pen pal gods whisper nothing much to us in the way of answers but for the fevered, cracked earth words fall down like rain, in cool sheets & low tones.  I can smell them from the covered porch, over my cigarettes & the unmistakable smell of dog.

 

Unsettled hearts.  Dust refuses to cling to the glass separating us from our lives past, we never get to look away.  Storms circle & thunder at the edge of the Colorado grasslands.  Timid sentences still looking for their voice hope to find it among the white clad peaks, the aisles of rubble between.  The broken, dirty towns we orbited by scooter, greasy clothes & basement life.  I guess it was your rock bottom but thanks for the vacation, for teaching me to dive into desert pools while the highway raged behind the struggling pines & cyclone fencing.

 

I always compose these songs for the same reasons I guess, Taurus’ are reliable for some things.  Bulls to drown & bones to scrye, my stories read like the cracked heels of runners that carry them to distant ears, canyons leading to nowhere, dandelions seeding in a cup of water.  So many journeys unmade.

 

But I hurl my mighty insults, my airy grievances at the clouds along with everyone else.  Bruising the sky blue to purple & finally black, ten thousand thousand eyes turn upon us & we see ourselves only, staring back, gazes naked & sharp but under a veil of moonlight to bear us a little less shame, thank heavens.

remembered

winter sun turns polished brass to golden honey on the wall.

hearts break at the memories that stick,

flimsy ones a nervous mind fashions of rags & threads

that it hoards in mountainous ruin.

our stories breathe without living then,

they speak in hoarse wind whispers,

for the benefit of ears pressed to moth holes.

 

your hands seemed so large then,

they hold so little now i wonder where it is

that thing they have built is hidden.

we have forgotten how to speak,

words winding round sun lit spires,

coiling like Eve’s serpent

beneath the tree we would all rather forget,

the one we never carved our names into,

or the one you planted before your children were born.

 

on the grass below sunlight dances with shadow

& our ethereal hearts, our feather light feet.

the dark clots around collective sadness,

presses it’s inky palms into faces.

phosphene burns behind our eyes,

sinister in the daytime, so much faerie dust

in the hush of shared bedrooms.

 

early rhododendron blooms look like clusters

of deflated, pink balloons in sheaths of green.

clouds fall like insubstantial blankets we share

but belong to no one, our childhood amnesia hides

beneath them, it’s tiny laughter, redolent & unashamed.