Blue thumb of water,
make me a high-seas sailor
among the pines and corn flats.
Fool me into smelling sea salts
instead of snow melt and Chicago.
Steal the shore from my eyes.
Call in the gulls.
Embolden your waves with the
boom of the ocean
and draw adventure up through my bones.
Shine my face with sea-burn
and send me home happy,
a man with the sea on his sleeve.
It's in clouds
scudding so low I can clench them.
The sky can't be wrestled into possession
any more than my soul can balance
on the summit of a needle-point.
I tumble down the escarpment,
to where the soil clots in my hair.
It's where I learned to climb.
Every so often
I want to scamper back up,
barefoot over boulders
to get the forest out of my feet,
rappel back down and drink
with cupped hands from the wild stream,
to taste erosion from the rocks.
Silence of a dead word
He never uses a word twice.
Articles went early. He's been a man
of sudden nouns and runaway verbs
A specialist in the rare
pink meat of language,
synonyms are his strength
though it weakens every day.
His speech has the strength of pastels
watering down the sky
to a color clenched in babies' blankets.
Meaning waffles into approximation.
"Thin" replaces "flimsy" in a compromised clause.
He loses some implied movement
so he gestures.
You scold me like a statue.
Erect silence, you know it kills me.
You’ve accomplished nothing to be so
cold. This reminds me
of a bold Washington pose somewhere near White Marsh,
off the tangle of new roads,
the bust of God moulding in the forest
the same as a stone bench .They’re everywhere
in the old parts of town. You said an outhouse
had been torn down on the estate, how sad you said,
but you grew up here so you can be sad.
Fort Washington, where we get off the turnpike,
no fort, just a Holiday Inn where you used to drink
before you should have been drinking,
a one-eyed pregnant girl in a story I’m glad you told me.
It is true, I killed a raccoon once,
back in the deep, wet hills of southern Indiana,
no dead presidents, no turnpikes, just a couple of
young Gods drunk on mercy.
They fell like molting feathers.
I watched with jacket over short-sleeves,
their dallying fall to earth,
their silence on the lips of April.
What would my last snow look like,
a shaking off of drywall dust,
cave thoughts melting in the sun,
flung into the warm chatter of her mud,
where nothing sticks but
barbecue sauce I dab from my useless mouth.