smell of creek water
clings to my hair like algae
waving, rock-bound rust
I slip under the surface
feet pressed against the furred stones


the sun sets hotly
singeing weeds, blinding hillsides
baking the gray dust
in the cool of the castle
stray winds run through the courtyard


kitchen addition
our childish spaghetti
swift nick of chili
greens and garlic; our palates
carved to spoon fruit of the earth


the sun rose, brand new,
like it wasn't tired of this
sour old up and down
stand under the fresh circuit
feel the first rays fall to earth


dark morning hour
the thumb of nightfall still pressed
to the sleeping streets
the moon slips from the sky, a drunk
vanishing from a bar stool


my keeling ship, ten
feet of rope to lash my hands
to the shaking wheel
adrift in this wild sea
I grit my teeth and pull north


spillage of small stones
pastel houses cloaked with vines
cracked concrete, wild weeds
streets coil and branch, endless
as days fall to wet evenings


drum beats, heartbeats, sweat
thighs shake, muscle and sinew
grinding to the noise
the thin sling of a whistle
cuts through like a laser beam


my two-ton head, squared
as an anvil, pounded smooth
by hosts of hammers
I drag it across the room
the dead weight, the crooked neck


the flat hand of heat
clamped over our mouths; dim noon,
the oven's belly
ice dwindling in a glass
dish of cold grapes furred with frost


grease-soaked paper bags
chinese take out, white boxes
the curl of red ink
we spoon rice on the front porch;
husband and wife of three years


air a cubic mile
chain of dew suspended,
creeping swelter wall
clouds roll on tank tracks, hover
heavy and deadly, bad men


piano wire nest
on the hot sidewalk, hammers
and pins like lost eggs
the rotting carapace, smashed
mahogany funeral


sun leaks through curtains
pulled tight to blind this house
the still dark air within
an avocado stem shimmies
in the breeze of a box fan


in this tin-roof bar
we unwind the evening hours
over bunts and runs
baskets of popcorn, cold beer
the bat cracks, we stand to leave


inversion of two
your wonderless passage home
my keen displacement
race down city streets solo
eyes glued to your graffiti


crack the spines, white scars
and yellowed pages, dog-eared
creases of affection
stack these treasures, brittle leaves
and the scent of vanilla


the sky broke open
let loose a thousand clenched fists
on the morning streets
punch-drunk and soaked, we scrambled
for bus doors, our mouths agape


smoke-hued feathers
plumes of steel, red-earth and lead
layer in disarray
patchwork tussle of pigeons
stabbing beaks at spilled breadcrumbs


eyes peeled open, raw
from gummy half-sleep, clenched hours
adrift in a dark room
my head is filled with stuck gears
gauze and words I keep from you


we perch, tenterhooked
on the lip of darkness, deep
black ocean trenches
our eyes hoist flags, plunge curtains
scramble to form blind order


thrift store bric-à-brac
chipped saucers and stone kittens
pink pasteboard boxes
glass bottles with a thick inch
of syrupy pine cologne


coffee on the steps
painting my toenails in the
early morning sun
my unlit house is full
of silence and sleeping men


the sweating alley
bricks baked red, hissing steam
from sweat drops, spilled beers
aunties and uncles make time,
share seats, mouths lined with years


the dim bulb glows orange
in the darkness, filament
a thread of lava
we talk in shadows, glasses
sweating under summer stars


woodsmoke and cured meat
the scent is everywhere, curls
through parted curtains
cicada sunset, cool dark
graveyard full of fireflies


overnight green stems
thrust up, thick and verdant, sweep
out in search of sun
turn the pot, hear hymns of praise
drifting from the knotted roots


inkwell sky, lightning
flashes of neon, rumbing
mechanical churn
hoist my charm in the midway
he takes a photo, laughing


standing in a lot
hands deep in dirt, tangle of
weeds at my wet feet
rain-swollen clouds perch above
threaten mildly, cross house cats


sky crowded with stars
wall of buildings stand sentry
flush us to water
we fight our way upstream, swift feet,
bridge muddled with people