monsoon season

steamy breath of asphalt cigarettes

sandals slapping puddles and the dogs

scurrying, tails low, to avoid the raindrops

skittering across poppy petals

faraway thunder grumbles in

the half-sunny, half-black sky

and i keep walking, still

far from home

Something Summertime

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I am chilled coffee and cream at sunrise,
too many scars in a bikini,
a pale diamond in my bellybutton
soaking up warmth on the dock by the lake.

You are Grizzly chew, always spitting,
and downing cold beers like water;
rough cheeks and fresh sheets,
stretched on your stomach as you dream.

If you don’t love me, it’s okay.
I will exist with or without this.
Kisses are not promises,
like I used to believe.

Thinking about it

I am thinking I might call you up
and propose we spend the night

entwined in a tired sticky pile
as the crickets sing outside

I am thinking I might drive
along the freeway and into the stars

to the night diner where we split
milk and cookies and I won’t feel bad

about an evening of extravagance
and spontaneous kisses

on my cheek, my eyelids, my temple
and sleep-heavy sighs in the dark heat

I am thinking tonight or any night
my heart swells like this with loneliness

The Nights of White and Dark

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Yellow and orange trees have given way to
so many brittle skeleton branches bowing down.

I can see my coffee breath steam out over the table,
dying near the vase of drying flowers.
Last night we had to pull on extra blankets,
because the pinprick stars danced above
in a way that relayed, Summer is gone.

So pull out your warmest overcoat and wrap your
body in scarves and gloves. The frost has come
to claim your skin. The snow will settle between
your eyelashes, the wind will spiral tight around your spine.

Prepare yourself for the nights of white and dark.
No thermometer can relate the chill that will slip
into your bones. So let it suck the marrow out, use you
up. Surrender yourself to the freeze, let it reduce you.

You will be paralyzed. You will not understand why.
Sink into the earth, beneath the icy crunch of dirt.
Death is part of life. This is only a change of season.

Bisous (Kisses)

Merci mon ami, mon chérie

You explained, accented, the difference:

Like ‘honey’. A music rolling off your tongue

Effortless bisou caught between our bodies

Until I mimicked your words one time

too many. You pleaded please don’t

Pourquoi? I apologized yet

yearned to repeat those Rs sliding

through your mouth

And the reflection at the bottom of my tea

isn’t nearly so neat as your whimsical murmurs

vienne, vienne and calling my skin sweet.

Our sun sets as it does– coucher de soleil

and in three weeks, what will I have to show for this

besides cool fingertips tracing my memory,

lilting phrases jumping hoops in my head?