May 13

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The promised rain
has been detained

the day is just still
with little anticipation

for such a non-event,
and one that arrives

so innocuously—
the thinking

that nothing much will change
in a mild spring rain

by a veil of drops
but of course it will—

everything is touched,
the sidewalk’s sheen,

the gingko’s green,
the clipped walking pace

of the few passerbys
outside the window,

distant and distant,
twice removed—

the rain fills the gap
more visibly, it is

more there, more full,
really, there is very little nothing—

a reminder in these
slouching hours,

waiting for anything at all
to arrive

May 12

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A gap between gingko leaves
suggests a bird—

between real things

for better or for worse—
what makes space negative?

Is it the color of the sky,
what is defined,

or what falls behind,
and is it intentional?

May 11

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All night
in a box of light

geometric cradle
of office buildings

windows still lit—

they obscure the sky
replace the stars

above quiet streets
full rivers of pavement

at mostly right angles—
you are the only company

I keep in these hours
and your hunger, and your cry—

I expand to fill each need
the broken boundaries of sleep

the velvet darkness
of this room

this makeshift nursery
I watch you for as long as I can

through the crib slats
your soft sweet topography

its rise and fall
the spark, the core

of these interminate hours—
the whole empty city

revolving around us
galactic, glacial, forgettable—

the only sound
and the only sound

I hear
is the small swell of your breath

water lapping at a shore
I’m here I’m here I’m here—

January 3

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Rose dawn, pepto bismol
energizer bunny

and funny sorts of clouds–
Friday as surrealist

unseasonably warm
the honey sun

combing the alleys
between the hospitals

and methadone clinics
trash in the street

gold imbued
shards of life

or skeins, more mobius-like
going on and on and on

January 1

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They cancelled the fireworks
but no one knew

the countdown proceeded
and we arrived

at a precipice
with misplaced anticipation–

a bewildered pause
the cork stuck

the breath retained
who knew time

could slip away

even as we marked it
a profound underestimation

our breath dissipating
into the newly christened night

October 9

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Oh how I love the city at night–
the lights, the lights

the quietest signs of life
sharp against the cold air

from a distance the interstate
mistranslated, say

a river, or a winter wind
or one unending exhalation

July 13

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Just past the pier
a sea lion, briefly

and two dorsal fins
like piqued interest

very present and transient
only a few kids saw them

and exited the water
but at a certain point

there’s no longer
a point to reticence–

consider the odds
or don’t it still goes

out like a sigh, the tide
the pier stretching out

into the open Pacific
like the longest exclamation

July 9

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worse than a promise
unkept is one

not made
only implied

no lie

it rained
the evening hours

slumped into night
the difference

between dusk
and dark

said and meant
is gray and quiet

July 7

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Moody rain all along
Lake Crescent, a fresh wreck

the flares like embers–
last night we kept

the fire going until
its bitter end coaxing

and coaxing a few
more flames

until the night
consumed the beach

it is immense
the lowest tide

the endless
starless sky

no clear line
of demarcation

just soft gray nothingness
and the faintest clouds

of breath to prove
our existence

July 4

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a blue stroke
across beige paper

a river cleaves
two banks

look at this place
the contorted

red dirt roads

like open veins
and muddied waters

the stars at night
are big and bright

where does it come from
this possessiveness?

to take establishes
the precedent of loss

so choose
your hypotheticals

why don’t they, if only

then the golden door
would open

simple, easy
another girl got swept away

in the Rio Grande,
how tragic, if only–

oh happy fourth,
tell me again

about manifest destiny
how all this was surely earned