29 October 2007

After the Gleaners

I plucked the flowers sprouting from
your fingertips,
green, ripe for the taking,
those awkward stalks
you begged me take

into a jar I put them, onto
the sill they went,
each speaks in turn: I
was a night of sighs, and
I the lace of a cobweb
stretched against your hand,
voicing the insubstantial

and, after the gleaners,
she gathers what might yet
be found, the noise of the
combine harvester long gone,
only the birds for company

shining grains to hoard
against the future, held
hard in the fist, a
promise of bread

and your lands shall
be mine and I
shall be yours

28 October 2007


the well has gone dry again--
and still you sit there
on my fire escape, drinking
cup after cup of sweet tea

barely touched by milk, your
wily fingers wrapped round
the crockery: white, splotched
with flowers, a secondhand

acquisition rattling in my basket
until I boiled it clean, the
thickness holds the heat you
wrap your mitts round, sometimes

wagging a finger at me while you
tighten your greatcoat, settle,
and sip again, your eyes, pooling
black, stare, those ink puddles

as I protest, you see there is
dinner yet to be done, the
potting soil to be swept up, the boxes,
endless, waiting to be checked

off, my signature royally
scrawled on a permission slip,
dinner (never good enough) slapped
with a crack upon the table--

and you would have me go to
Spain, where it would be warm,
your shivers would cease, and
we should live elementally

on sun, and water, and stolen
pears, our kisses thick-sugared, all roads
lead to, all roads lead to....

I laugh and pour
another cup

08 October 2007

Gingerbread House

gingerbread edgings are only the
start--see the velvet curtains
of the interior, your fingerprints on
the silver coffee service on the sideboard, a gift
from your aunt

is it bitter, now, in the winter? how are
the schools?

the felines lounge and stare--
they are not discomfited--they
will still be fed

in the middle of all towns there
hangs the traffic light-go-wait-
stop-green, gold, blood by turns

we wait to be told what to do,
we turn, thick with sleep, to
spill barely formed words upon
the table

we throw the stones, the bones,
upon the creaking floorboards--
they speak, tell their tales, in the night, the
long night and the moon
silvers over the grass, this

accidental working of metals, plucking
the strings there, and there again,
long time gone

the wind plays the grass--sweeter still
when cut and burnt over by the sun