Artic Vortex

Frozen limbs
night sky.

The news
frost bites

It’s cold.

Quiet Longing

I long
to be quiet
with you
the length of me
to break
each day.

I turn in
to you
pages worn
soothing syllabic

I long
to be quiet
with you
the length of me
your breath
in my lungs.
Near you
I hear
heart beat
stomach gurgle
and hum

I long
to be quiet
with you
the length of me
in hand.

against doubt.

I long
to be
with you
the length
of me.


Miscalculating the accumulation
I fit my tires in two tracks
to plow down the alley.
A short cut to a spot
that would do for the night.

And got stuck.

How circumnavigational
possession controlled the steer
over 6 new on 5 measured.
It was not the time
to challenge the tread.

More stuck it became.

Shovel in hand full of snow
the stranger at the precise
hour of need, arrived.
He’d his own path to cut but
found to my dilemma drawn.

The ruts dug deeper.

Moving from first to reverse
in rapid succession kicking
up piles of rubber burned freeze.
His exertion sweating to move steel
mixed a concoction of salted ice snow.

Nothing was moving.

As chill set in we found a rhythm
his push   my shift set the wheels
pulsing back to a tolerable depth.
Lapping round the block to find
the spot,  I lost sight of him.


Floating in a tank of warm thermal springs
at the  community center in West Virginia,
the ceiling and accompanying walls were
standard issue park district construction.
The steps leading to the water was like
any public pool in any small town across
America where children play in summer.
The only sense that this was a pay by the hour
was the silver pitcher of water collecting
condensation near the edge next to the stairs.
I felt strange being naked in this public place.
My clothes left behind in a women's
changing room in a basket behind a lock.
At first, I swam back and forth across-
I had a few good strokes before I had to turn,
but I tired of the movement and of the echo
the splash of the water made as arms stroked.
So I turned on my back, chest to the air
and floated. My hair fanned out like a crown,
I closed my eyes and I listened to the
drip of the faucet that had filled the tank.
In this dead man’s pose, I was still.
If my body were not so buoyant, I
could have slipped to the bottom and
the natural fizz of the water would
have seemed like I was still breathing.

In Dreams

In a dream,
I held you from behind.

You leaned across the table,
I could see your back
through the jacket,
white shirt
and tee.

I remembered it
from a stolen glance
when you changed
your shirt behind
the car door
on a hot day.

It was all
I ever got.

But in dreams,
I hold you from behind.
Your back pressed
against me,
my cheek on
the skin
that I had a peek of.