Night

spangled banner night comes crawling
night comes
night comes
night, slow night
tear-stained, fevered night comes creeping
in the brush backed hills

why do soft things linger slyly
taunting us
seducing us
when will they come round
to settle
on the lens, streaked loudly

mistaken terms from fading clocks
winking out
winking in
speaking rhythm glaring on
in faded washcloth blue

below, the dam is lit at night
spilling stormcloud current down
nets homespun of cheek and bone
are thrust red handed from the pines

black is burning black
embers glowing
always black
black is brightness
watchful black
tripping black of holes and curves

tilted bottle night comes swimming
night comes
night comes
clear like veins
no garb nor robe but wearing socks
night comes dancing carefully

early night is dreaming heat
to rise and rumple
tied round lips
muffled breath of glass-paned stars
night tiptoes with bovine strides

as knock-kneed night comes crutching in
clutching tight to tops of trees
stumbling down the printed streets
waiting
resting
night limps by
a creaking, ailing, rattling night
the wind wheeze night lungs settle hair

in hazy patterns bound
to black a night emergent
shelters me

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Graphite

a banded film across us
traces more
      than eyelids, more
than stumps of expatriated limbs

every texture drops to quilted
blocks, the gray light,
      frantic
laps the wet cement

the limit of displaced cartilage, a sense
of carving bodies out of clay
wake sifted rain-drops out
            and I embrace the flood

while the cars slip beneath streetlights
the heavy sky hangs, graphite, overhead

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Gathering the Scattered

      the ivy trussed
the men to knotted clouds

in the brooding blood
or in the rapid course of hands
      across some undelivered impact:

the river claps its hands
the river draws back lips of liquid gray
      no one stares the bodies down, they sink,
            gelatinous,
and unprepared

      what they touched began
to sound out, yellow
the dripping noise of paint on sad houses
            in decline

and it is more than coincidence, you say,
      a confluence
or a dream of contact in the stumbling sky

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In Repair

shards of my eyelid
this is how they reattach:
      someone listens in the corner
the corner listens harder

it was the last time the stars spoke
before the surface of the air became an ocean
            and far below
      the graphite is a satellite

when there was waking in its purest form
            I tried to make the room a boat
to ride out the tide

hand over mouth over
            hands that tear apart
      any fabric in between

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Telemetry of Touch

what happened when the snow formed silent ribbons
and the seamless hours rested on
the forests of our breath

when you pointed out to me, in all of morning’s softness
how the snow begins to flake across a dream
and how, shyly
first our fingers then our palms
became the veterans of conquests
new and old

once enfolded in the statued dark
in the cloistered abbey of our glazed pine bed

and was it rain that, glancing,
lanced against the panes, a tremolo
of sky and subtle tones
of skin and sheet:

so grew the smallest saplings, triumphant
in their search for suns directed
like the pregnant spots of dawn
arrested,
glimmering in doubled knots
of gold and blue

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The Clearer Frost of Glass, Descending

the way you broke the world into constituent parts
drifted continents to handle the governing flux
collapsing the repeated valleys of the folded map
to touch the Arctic to my temperate towns.
we were surrounded by the images of
fingers in the grasp of wool (the tips gently
whisk across the glitter of the years I was allotted) less
of our shrouded faces but still more like naked skin.
perhaps the text that lingers in the darkened channels
where the rivulets of memory flow and
begin to crystallize in autumnal shards and flutes
and spires where I find
what we left behind in crowded rooms.

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Division

it is not enough
to be only bones – cold and
slowly become dust:
                  the grandeur of decay

is not enough,
waiting in rooms
      encrusted with
the gems of empty years

and it is not
enough – not any more than what we share
      with all the creatures breathing
in back-drafted halls

      the fit strikes, feet first
not enough, the tremors rattling all
the hollow structures in our limbs

what was not enough, under the unkind sun:
      plastic mockeries of tiny vessels
drifting over cities
            as day bruises into night

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