This cup grows old while the table
overflows, wobbles then lists
—for a long time now the watermarks

smell from smoke as the dim light
from wood hour after hour
shedding its colors though the chair

pulls you closer, smoothing the way
through daydreams and the mist
that quiets its makeshift sea

empties the Earth with your mouth
kept wet to let in the waves
that once had it all, were walls

for a room now fallen on its back
though your arms ache from lifting
over and over forgetting where.


What did you expect! with just its scent
an old love note lights this lamp
the way bats sip from flowers and darkness

and though the ink has soured
it’s the night that’s draining you
as the arm around her shoulders

—word by word it becomes again
a butterfly, is dipping into the flourish
over your name lit by hers and shining.


It takes stone though your breath
heats by waiting for something to change
the way sunlight inhales, unnoticed

is floating alongside these graves
in riverbeds and kisses—stone
can save her now that the ground

has more time to count
each mourner coming by empty-handed
looking for someone else

––stone! without the rush, left in the open
in a pillow filled with mountains, not yet
the one day more as a ready-made hole

melting your lips for their brightness
—every afternoon is blinded
by a stone made from wood

as if smoke could start over
and you hear a long ago name
rising out the light and emptiness.


Though this leaf was a child
when it let go your hand the branch
took a little longer, was weakened

by its over and over reaching out
while the tree no longer moved
—a heart was being carved

urging it on with your initials, short
for kisses, kisses and the afternoons
that have no light left to offer.


You weakened the paint with salt
from the off-white evenings
changing colors in the open

misled the can by lifting it
close to your arms then campfires
and songs still getting together

reaching out for the trails
that dip into your heart
are carried along as the streams

wanting to rush through walls
one by one—you begin
with your fingers, disguised

as there and back and thirst
then mostly it’s the photographs
and certificates whose frames

were already promised
spiders, moths, corners
that have no other place to hide.