I love a dead man
his corpse arms
hold me
as whiskey wets
my tongue.

He comforts me
his scent
wraps me
in a quilt
of memory.

I don’t know him
can’t hear
his voice
in my deaf ear.

The quiet
brings him
to me
and I believe
he has come.

Snow Birds

Some find comfort in the warmth
of a January afternoon lying on a
beach surrounded by lizards
not made of the stuff to weather
a dip in temperature or foot of snow.

Tramping through a temporary thaw,
I imagine life on the farm with
boot tracks leading to the chores
of the cold months when the work
winds down and quiet is observed.

More than the vitamin D that the sun
soaks into skin been covered in wool,
the hawk’s holler is the calming balm
that resets the mind to natural rhythm,
the tuck of down smoothing time’s lines.

Bird seed escapes out of the feeder -
gloved hands clumsy on the refill,
squirrels are happy for the slop
just as the pigs ain’t complaining of
the scraps of meats not summer’s salad.

The air is champagne chilled and bubbly
causing a nose drip and icicle fingers;
the birds come calling, feathers fluffed,
happy visiting the feeder close to home
in the still evergreen at the back of the yard.

The male cardinals sport bright red-
their breasts full and hips slim;
the woodpecker is colored demurely,
his constant tenor of beak to tree
entertaining the flutter of wings and seed.

Sand does not track into this house,
hot tea returns warm to the senses,
through the kitchen window, winter;
weak hearted souls lost to its beauty
have regrettably flown foolishly south.

Hearing Crickets

Outside windows,
the night is full
of constant sound:

drunken men growl,
cars stop at signs,
airplanes descend;

and crickets rub
wings together
to play out their

summer courtship,
drowning late night
in walls of sound

so loud that I
cannot hear you
for the silence

it brings to me
in humid air
through the curtain.

Jury Duty

Navigating the parking lot
along with the others
who’d received notice,

I took the knife
out of my bag meant
to slice an apple as

metal detectors would
surely find the dull’d
blade to be a menace.

My bag was stuffed for
a day of nothing to do:
pencils, novel, more papers-

Dumbfounded at what
they would do during
the artificial incarceration,

no one else seemed to be
lugging their possessions
through the revolving door.

Assembled in the din
and silent roar of government,
I busied myself

as the television broadcasted
the Price is Right, contributing
to the Orwellian ambiance.

People circled the perimeters
looking for an outlet
to plug in IPhone, IPod, brain.

No one spoke, nor smiled,
nor made any attempts to
to be human.

The women with the cane
broke the quiet as she
navigated a place to sit.

Great fuss was made
to settle, unwrap, situate
before letting out a string of belch.

And before you know it,
we were cattle to the courtroom
ordered for our duty as citizens.

The perpetrator sat huddled
in his layers and contrition
certain to be found lacking judgement.

The judge stuttered through
rules and regulations citing the
crime of pushing his woman down.

I could visualize him  
drunk on a Friday night,
Tejano music moving his feet

when rising out of
typical domestic expectation,
she screamed, asshole.

He shoved her down.
How does one jury that?
lock him up? charge him a fee?

We were sent to lunch.

Winter Solstice

The sun packed up  
on this winter’s night
leaving the block vacant
for the hours it takes
its inhabitants to return
to light lamps and TV
that interrupts the dark
that is attached
to the shortest day.

The vacancy makes
the early dusk susceptible
to plain thought,
intentional disregard,
and the charlatans
equipped to pull
weak hearts into discord
with the promise of illumination.

Winter does not
cause this to happen
randomly or as an
isolated incident,
rather it holds
in its cold soul
the belief that we
can find radiance
through reflection
in her annual ritual.

Longer days busy
schedules for us
as we race to
keep up with
the energy of
the slow dip of
a summer’s eve;
we’ve not time
to consider what
we can produce.

The long pause of a
short dusk and
the darkest night
can, like flint, strike
firing interiors brighter
than any sunshine
could manufacture:
the light comes from within.