As It Always Moves

Feeling for the fresh, new calluses,
Like the ones father was given,
After he buried the hound dog,
And wouldn't say a word at dinner.

Still that child,
Without any brothers or sisters,
Walking out along the fenceline.

Family Farm

You are
The tall grass I
Spent the whole summer
Talking to God in


Perhaps the incompleteness
Is where we're supposed to fit
Pascalian nostalgia for trying
To merge into us.


Other Impressions Than the First

Your face will forever
Rack me of all coherency
Like domesticated fusion

Being Small

I remember,
Leaning over ledges,
Looking up staircases,
Watching the tops of the trees,
Pass backwards through sunroofs.

I've seen meteor showers,
Barely keeping my eyes open it was so early,
And I've woken up outside.

I've looked down on highways from mountains,
Made forts under covers,
Cautiously peering out from under the edges,
At a foreign world.

Rain running down windows,
Still holds my attention,
And when I get groceries,
I always ride the carts,
Out to the parking lot.

Being small is,
The best thing that ever happened to us.

Unwelcome Projections

In my dreams, not the ones where we're in incredible places, but the ones where the months fly out from now like so many dealt cards, I sit on a bench with its best days behind it, I wonder who put it there, what age of civic engagement it must have been to put a bench by a lake so distant from anywhere else, in fact I can't remember where I am, only that it is peaceful and that you are somewhere. And I'm always holding something to give: a mess of papers, wrapped up poorly-prepared cookies, once a cactus. So I know you must be coming, but the there's not much sun left, and first I sit atop the bench, then lay down across it, then return to how I started, with my hands and whatever item in my lap. And I feel that where I am must be so hard to find, that I know you must be looking, but when it gets dark, but never so far along that there's absolutely no sun, I start to worry that you wanted to find me but had to give up, and it's just me and the lake and the bench still, but no longer peaceful, and I worry, and I wake up.


Where Your Hair Sticks To Your Forehead

In silence,
He held down her pointed shoulders,
Against the sharp intake of breath,
Leaning, one leg up on,
The bare wood panelling.
"It's balmy" she finally said,
And he thought of all the places,
He wished he could take her.

Wooden Bowls

We closed the church doors
And Later we regretted it
Over fowl and bread
Madame De Beauvoir, did you ever skinny-dip with someone you had a crush on?


Wise Beyond Our Years

Off down the way
From the railroad crossing we hid
Waiting for the train to come rumbling by
Your lips to come rumbling over mine
So much time to come rumbling after itself
Like the dirt falling from your red knees
As we stood when it was quiet again

For the rest of my life I would hear that train
A truer heartbeat than my own chest
Meting out the deeper tethers
Like they were the very rails it ran on
And towards the end
I stopped trying to see beyond its natural bend

Off down the way
From the railroad crossing we hid
Your hands felt like the answer to so many questions
I didn't know I had

Generation Gap

Our heads filled to the brim,
Minds like a rolling boil,
That when they finally cool,
And we skip buttons at last,
Our children won't know,
Looking into that still water,
If it's still too hot to touch


Hole in the Wall

My hand,
Confident on the small of your back,
As we listen to the harmonies keep,
The spaces between them perfect,
Like middle school dancers.

And we laughed at how odd it was,
For our bodies to briefly match our minds.


I love you like you are the other half of everything I do,
Like you are the finish to my sentences
And the light when I turn on a lamp.
I love you as a culmination,
As if all of my senses were meant solely
To be aware of you,
My eyes to see you, hands to feel you,
Nose to breathe you,
Ears to listen and mind to think of you.
I love you as a first response,
Like how I love the mountains and open lanes at night
And I love you with all the time that I have to give.

I love you regardless and with no hope of stopping.
I love you because pulling a book off the shelf,
I always want to see your face from the next aisle over.


(Tiny) Circular Logic

So many things,
Have to be said,
Across too small breakfast tables,
Over linoleum floors,
Under doors that don't keep the heat in,
So that they sink in,
So that you remember,
Everything, every bit,
Was done in the name of

Sunday crosswords,
Bad impressions,
Softly speaking hands,
Across a much too small breakfast table.


Thumb and forefinger pulling,
Nipping at the burgundy upholstery,
He thought:
I can feel my whiskers growing.
Which of these demons can I deal with.
Are any of them ghosts?
My stomach is empty.
This too shall pass.

As the fire flicked reminders off his barely four year old wedding ring.


How to Say

I keep coming back to this dream: You were asleep in the passenger seat, with the back adjusted to be as horizontal as possible, and you were wrapped in the thickest blanket we had brought. I drove us out of the campgrounds, and then I had the unstoppable feeling that both of us were perfectly content with that moment, and that that made all of the moments before then more vivid and unique. I counted the miles to the rise and fall of your shoulder, and drove in the complete opposite of my normal style to keep you asleep. That's how it ends, with more driving and those good feelings and you resting beside me in the early afternoon.


To [People]

You are honestly, despite whatever you may have tried in the past, be it any cream, ointment, surgery, or twin-switching, ridiculously weird. You are something different from me, but not at all separate. You are downright peculiar, and it shows. Loudly. And that is why I love you. This is something that once you come to understand it, will make you feel awesomer. We are all paste-eaters who were sick and tired of these uncomfortable shoes and just wanted it to be 5 pm and time for a snack already, in one way or another.

Certified Escapee

Here's to all the curfews
You never intended to keep.

Get them back by
taking leave of your nursing home
via the window.


If I happen to find myself 70 years old,
The vast majority of what I say had better be jokes.

Washington, the Evergreen State

I want to sit,
And be silent,

With you. More than anything,
With you.

I want the wood of the house to breathe,
In line with our breathing.
I want to mark time by the rising and falling
Of your chest.

I yearn for that evidence of another world
That you brought to me
Like so many precious things.

You are such a precious thing.

I want to meet a child,
Who has run ahead of his parents,
Chasing a creek under grateful shade,
And I want to tell him of the love of this world,
Using you as an example.

I want my first reaction when I wake,
To be to reach for you.
I want my first reaction deep in the night,
To be to reach for you.

I like that I always reach.

Listen: Cherish the people
That make time utterly irrelevant.


In the fall
We dried the tomatoes ourselves
And told stories of what our grandparents did

Waving from a Train Bound for Aveiro

It's little things,
Standing still,
Eyes closed,
Looking up,
Inhaling the rest of it,
That keep the priorities straight.

It's big things,
Midnights making schematics,
Losing speaking terms,
Taking sides,
Generation gaps,
That strengthen the heart.

It's beautiful things,
Holding hands,
First days,
First dates,
That keep the pages turning.

It's rare things,
Being smitten,
Laughing where you can't breathe,
Finding your centre,
That keep us young.

It's you,
It's you,
It's you


Down the hall,
Our young bare feet scamper,
Lightly on the carpet on the wood,
Wondering what's supposed to happen,
Turning corners going straight,
Tangling up teens and twenties,
And sequences,
Doors serve to man a watch,
As our young bare feet scamper,
Up onto down on cotton on springs,
To finish books that have been bugging us,
For weeks now.

There's Going to Be a Lot of "I Told You So"

It will be big,
It will be massive,
It will blow every one of our minds,

It will be like a parade, but on steroids!
And everyone will know everyone there.

It will be full of motion, like dancing,
It will be one giant overdue airport reunion!

I honestly cannot wait,
To see every one of your beautiful faces there.


Pretty, Caroline watched the flower basket twirl,
Canterbury bells peeking over like baby birds,
The houseboat was just right, she thought,
Maine was just right,
Ike was just right,
As if from some mental connection,
Which she secretly believed in and he secretly believed in,
But neither would mention it to the other,
For 52 years, which might as well have been forever,
He appeared behind her,
And the Canterbury bells spun,
And he touched her just right,
And that's how I was put here on this busy planet.

Who says there isn't a God!
Who could possibly be that blind?
Faintly, a piano
Whispered away while the children
Fought to keep their eyes open in their beds

How did that story end?

Well It Was Worth A Shot

A man, once,
No one remembers his name,
In the minutes before he died,
Thought up what, to him,
Seemed a very promising venture.

As he died,
As people were busy not knowing he was dying,
He queried his creator,
Who was busy creating other things,
Why he shouldn't perhaps live on?
The man had acquired a vast amount of knowledge,
More than anyone else on the planet,
And had contributed and advanced even more,
And would it not be a terrible crime,
To let such a prize dissolve right then and there?

His creator responded:
"But that's what's so impressive about death!
You live it all and then suddenly,
Wham! Zowwy! Poof!"

When Holy June Came

When holy June came,
We forgot what we had learned,
And stayed inside way too much.

Crowd Me

It all feels very,
[Hah. Feelings.]
Open, spacious, slow,
There's a perimeter and I don't know,
What could possibly be beyond it.
But it's flat where I am,
Yellow grass and moss,
And room for just one more person,
In all of this space,
We need so much more space than this life provides,
Room to thrash, ramble, pace, cartwheel,
See how far we can spit.
It's incredible how much I want you here,
In this not big enough space with me.


It would be a Thursday,
Because they're the best for surprises,
There would be pastries,
There would still be bits of flower on the counter,
I would make a drug reference,
You would put up with it,
My hands would rest lightly on your hips,
(The best part of the day)
I always think we fit perfectly,
One against the other,
There would be a window, curtains and a breeze,
There would be a park to get lost in,
There would be jobs patiently waiting for us on Monday,
And years to swallow us up,
And years and years.

The Other Side of the Coin

The jumpy eyes,
The searching, scattering, reassembling hands,
The mental fox hunt,
For hints of hope, what's more:
The things you don't see over the phone,
Desperate, determined, exhausted, and wanting,
To get it, to click, to see you smile,
Because of me again,
Fragile though it all may be.

I've lost the ability to say my chances, and I'm sure more than a few people are glad to see me finally on the receiving end of this thing.