Leave

A lonely leaf lies
left behind by a shoe
that has tramped it
in across the threshold.


I peek through glass
holding my breath
hopeful to capture the
ground covered gold.


All of the life that
summer trees exhibit
crash so carelessly down
into textured puddles
that crunch underfoot
to end up alone on
the step to my door.


If only it would have
held on for a day more
or even a week so
that I could take time
to absorb its transition.


But it is done. Though
trees bound back to
live after the fall,
I imagine that this,
between us, is left for
the broom and bin.

personne

breeze bathes
sounds caress
first lines come
disappear

dust settles
after heart
hangs sign
do not disturb

words bury
six, seven,
twenty deep
corpse pile

impermeable
silent clay
quick sand
expression

I am no one

Ukrainian Man Dead

The block’s sentinel
molded to a plastic chair
affixed to a slab balcony

knowing nothing, seeing all,
like the Queen’s Life Guard,
he didn't ruffle or speak.

Blue and gold
did not adorn his post,
but his tongue was thick.

Through the blister and ice
of Midwestern seasons,
his surface smoothed.

The ambulance came late,
his body returned to earth,
his soul to Carpathia.

Now she sits
molded to a plastic chair
in this new Ukraine.

BirdSong

Light flirts with the sky
lowering itself into night


bird songs play through
a shade open to cool air


suspended, time is free
much of it still to spend


but the hour on the clock
betrays, set to early rise


tempted to stay conscious  
birds find summer nests


the rhythm of last warbles
lullaby to send me off.

Thick

thick from early sunrise to late sunset
the long day is simply summer’s start

slipped in a white lawn night gown
I lie on the divan deep in delicious want

the cotton swirls around expanse of hip
rounded breasts peek out of pintucking

and lace that crowns each delicately
splattered freckle that has kissed sun

while I wriggle and writhe in absence
of a friendly hand that could release

the long days of neglect built over time
and a heart that is trapped in a cage

little hopes project his image in fantasy
for any inattention paid in shared time

he tinkers and smiths words to disguise
his true heart’s intent for fear of exposure

his energy gnaws at a connection rat-like
careless of the voltage it unleashes

I am gullible and do not see the scene for
I trust what has been told to me before

too deep in the intensity of my own need
I am thick to the pain surreptitiously revealed

I examine the read with the guidance of tags
tricked by his obvious slight of hand metaphor


Evening Song

the shade rises
in the evening letting in afternoon’s easiest light filtering rays sepia toned know what the day has been the sun is not ready to set entirely it rests on the sill comfortably listening to evensong tertia, sexta, nona the hours in June flirting with dusk sight unfailing lines run through battles won and lost time fades slowly the distant drop supported by years still to come in evening everlast

Fingerling

Wicker baskets
full of fancy spuds
on busy weekends
at farmers’ markets
tempt tasters.

Russian banana:
firm textured;
Purple Peruvian:
mealy fleshed;
Red thumbed:
pretty plate.

Roast’d, saute’d, boil’d,
butter’d, salt’d, pepper’d;
maybe a little virgin
olive oil and fresh garlic.

Pomme de terre-
apple of the earth,
seeing it on display,
imagining you in life,
I pick the one I want
a la dente.