Poems and Lovelorn Thoughts, Vol. XII

5 AM


And you can

Hear the sky at 5 AM,

Crackling soft sienna,

Muted and mulled,

Burning, cannon glow

Muffle-dulled behind the

Brown clouds,


Embers in snow

Mummified in


Apple cider

Screams, and the city

At 5 AM

Sleeps sleepless

As it burns.


Love Song


Little bird, little bird --

You and your little raspy

Song, your tiny button head,

Your corpse so china-fine

Upon the wet grass, your

Tea-cup skeleton so prim,

So thin -- are more

To me than so very

Many things.


Ode to the Cold


They curse you, poor darling; they

Hate your sharp bite and your milky gray face

And the way you unexpectedly curve

Around bare ankles. They shove you aside

And spit in your lonely eyes, and still, still

You watch over them every morning. I suppose

You can’t expect everyone to understand,

But still that doesn’t make it very fair.


They curse you, poor darling, but I --

I am in love with your pale arms,

Your frosty peppermint glaze icing over the sun,

The strange alchemy by which you turn my solid breath

To curling ribbons of incense,

The way you take up the light and make it fall

Like powdered sugar over the land. There

Are few things as romantic as that white sugar

Dusting my hair, settling upon my eyelashes,

And I just want you to know that today

You painted the clouds the very same wordless color

Of everything I’ve ever hidden behind my eyes.


Control Burn


In the space reserved for

The occasion, still strewn with

Last year’s Easter eggs

And their months-old chocolate prizes,

The unbeatable Aura lay out thick

As a mist on the moor,

Thick as human sight

When it blinks once, twice --

And then no more.


In the garden, bruised but exultant

In its periwinkle scars,

She did not wait for onlookers or even

For the sun; she required no

Witnesses for this sort of work.

She swept away the old eggs

And weeds like eraser scraggles,

Traced her scars into pleasure pictures,

Every puncture point constellated

Into a cloud-garden dreamy in

Seafoam. It infused the dense haze

With the scent of rosemary

And electricity and soil and bread.


In the space reserved for the

Occasion, she unfolded herself

Erupting into blue sweater fire

So white-icy-hot the air pressure plummeted

Into a confused morning, and the chickadees

Suddenly tore in hoards through the wetlands

With beautiful boisterous song. If you

Had been there, perhaps you would have thought

It was snowing, the fog and the ash

Came down in such thick white flakes.


But you were not there, and there is

No way you could’ve been. All she left for

You are the old mildewed Easter eggs

With their sad chocolate prizes, and the

Faint moody crackle of electricity

And flakes of silent fog that smell like bread.