Old Man and An Apple

Old man, the bite has taken away so much.
Your deformity makes me laugh.
Out on the ledge I left you –
I left you without a hole to hide in, red face shriveling
under the sun’s glare, browning slowly in despair.

It’s not easy to explain the things in your world.
If you couldn’t be swallowed whole like a fawning cherry,
then you shall suffer to be sliced into appropriate sizes.
I’m no god of yours. But I could be a mouth,
a stem, a colossus, or the orchard from which you come forth.

Old man, the blood you bleed is sweet.
Your anemic face stares up at nothing.
Of my own body you remind me –
You remind me of my own worm-eaten flesh, tossed
into the cruel October air, browning slowly in despair.

It’s not easy to explain the things in my world.
When your core grows bitter you will understand me,
until then we are two apples hanging onto the same tree.
Who is this god of ours. Is he a mouth,
a stem, a colossus, or the orchard from which we come forth.

 

Originally published on November 17th, 2015 on my old blog. 

Eighth Piece

The rain came ever so softly,
like the cat’s paw, or the wind-chime’s song
sung by a pair of sparrows on telephone pole.

I stayed up at night mending the lint-balled hem
of my heart that barely kept you warm last winter.
Time never stopped passing through the moth holes.

Out on the rain-soaked lawn, an old pair
of faded memories died tragically on the hangers.
I wrung them out while you, love and a raindrop fell.

Love

Through loving near, you have loved afar.

A stray dog stuck his head
into a garbage can, eating candy wrappers,
searching for white bones and a mother,
hiding bruises behind his ears,
wanting a home, maybe a long year
of bread and silence, having seen
too much of this world…
You ran home and hugged your pup
who was born tiny as a lily bud,
raised in your palm, an innocent nook
in your summer bed, not knowing
what home is when his whole world is a home,
and through loving him you have loved all lost souls.

A waitress bent over ketchup and spilled beer,
a lonely swan in greasy apron, shedding five drops of tears,
her girlhood, and a button, for overdue rent,
a center stage dream, and endless arabesques,
nicotine-stained face, someone calling her name,
table number eight, two men and a milkshake,
and she pirouetted, pirouetted to her fame…
You ran home and hugged your baby sister
who turned sixteen in a new dress, an autumn-eyed belle
with a nightingale voice, in love with a boy
with piano fingers, who wrote her long poems about seashells
and eagles, and all the pretty rhymes belonged to her,
and through loving her you have loved all fleeting youths.

An old lady went to the market
with a four-wheel-walker, hair whiter
than the cloud, each wheel in place of a child
gone into the world and could not come home
for supper; an empty nest, clean floral tablecloth,
two canned soups, a loaf of bread, three bells
tolling for her day, and slowly she went, slowly she went…
You ran home and hugged your mother,
kissing her hair and lines into surrender, like all mothers
she told you not to worry; not about her nor the others
entering this season, smaller than winter leaves,
trembling in life’s wind. You gripped her brittle bones to sleep,
and through loving her you have loved all greying mothers.

 

Originally published on December 3rd, 2015 on my old blog.

Onion

This is not about
how she makes me cry.
It’s not even

about the tender heart, tied
to a secret, hidden
beneath her

white organza dress, unattainable
despite my teary efforts.
You see – this is about

her coming to ripeness in my garden,
a full moon rising
to the high throne. Indubitably she is

the queen’s picking, fattened virgin
bulb, green stalks
soon to flower. Overnight,

poignantly and nervously, she drags
her robe of white mist
in slow waltz, my sweet deb.

Come daybreak I will have to take her
out of her loam-perfumed
boudoir, and marry her off to the gentle

yellow bell pepper.

 

Originally published in Mount Hope, Issue 9, Spring 2016

The Upstairs Neighbors

The daddy must be gnawing at the bones
of the mommy who coos, coos and coos
over the crying baby who makes a boo-boo, like all nocturnal families

do, oh they do, don’t they, they do

the clunkity-clunk, the yakity-yak,
and the bibbidi-bobbidi-boo,
the happy rigadoon and a mouse at two

in the half-moon bedroom. I’m running out of
sleeping capsules, my tricolored silencio!
Red, white and bright starry blue. Saviors of America.
I mean, insomnia. No, really, I do
mean my nebulous wakefulness
at half past two.

Tell me what I should do, do, do
to stop my roof from – boom! boom! –
falling down. The woeful spinster clomps, clomps, clomps

clomps down on my papery skull. Why wouldn’t she take off
her wooden shoes? Is she masking the echoes

of the owls’ raucous hoots?

Up, up, up
into the reddening sky
I see them go.

They are all in cahoots!

 

Originally published on October 29th, 2015 on my old blog.