Late July

The wind
musky sweet combs
through green lindens heavy
with pale blossoms. We taste of salt,
midnight.

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How the Moon Opens

I can’t describe how the moon opens wider each month,
only show you where the door stops on its broken hinge.

The gulls circling above their slow-swirling feathers
have one thing to say: Patience? Patience? Patience?

What we traffic in consoles only by chance. It is salt on
the wind far from the sea. The white petal bruised by rain.

In the night, watching the lighthouse out at the point,
my nostrils fill with that wild bay crushed under our skin.

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A Little Rain Still Falls

The clarinet is a willful thing; it’s played the same notes
upon this man at the corner for years.

I see hawks and foxes in the city these days.
And the lawyers keep building new dens, looking east.

The sun sends one by one its patient photons to strike
and strike and strike. A little rain still falls.

The concrete of the sidewalk is cracked now
under the impact of feet and fallen apple blossoms.

I see no reason for preference between soil and stone;
the wind will compose its clarinet eulogies from each.

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To Stretch the Night, a Comedy of Hope

Maybe it was those nights swilling moonshine,
the torn shirts, occasional blood, but mostly
posturing, that ended soaked in dew and puke
while morning things, voices like creaks
of fraying rope, shed feathers, jeered at Venus
straining to hold the sinking moon above
the horizon, to stretch the night a little further.

She never could and always fled herself, diving
deep into the sea, down where the thick green
water’s cold grasp squeezed to no avail. Maybe
it’s why we bathe in moonlight now, gasping,
under white-flecked stars like sprays of saliva,
the cool astringence goose-pimpling skin, hands
buried in sand melting to the green glassy sea.

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Each Morning, the Cliff Swallows

Each morning the cliff swallows hurry in
and out of nests, as if with purpose.

You never knew the ocean; that’s how it
differs from a mind with Alzheimer’s.

The flights of cormorants low over blue
water are dark threads, undone stitching.

Strands of seaweed clump where water and sand
meet, brittle tangles of memory.

You can ask for nothing more than a calm
evening, the cove brimming at high tide.

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True North

After the fireworks
The moon is a yellow flame
In the dead maple

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Pressing Flowers

Brazen,
lilac, brazen—
pressing flowers all day
to the summer wind, scenting nooks,
crannies

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