Poems and Lovelorn Thoughts, Vol. XXII



When the rains came early,

Coursing down softly and slowly

Over the sleeping earth,

She liked to believe that where

Each drop hit,

A redblood flower red as raspberries,

Soft as a peppermint heart,

Began to grow. This was how

The Sky gave us

Forgiveness, she believed,

And this was how we learned,

After ceaseless centuries of snow,

To breathe, to melt,

To thaw.


My Lady of Shalott


I have always been like

Flowers drenched in water.

My veins flow like rivers stilled to a stop,

The sun waxes and drips sugarwater

Slowly, Slowly like a tonic and when

It lands on my fingers I almost love

The scalding as much as the

Wetness. Paper roses and mirrors, this is all

I have. Sometimes I wonder if I myself am

These walls and this tower, or if it is all

A dreamscape, if I tuck in the view at the

Corners because the edges are just too

Jagged to bear and I don’t want to see

Them. I do not know if I would rather forget,

Or if I even could. I sit staring

At scentless flowers through reflectionless

Mirrors. I am a memory Floating down

The river, past villages and rushes

And gaping peasants who say I’m a sign from God.

All I wanted was Sleep, for mostly, I am tired.

I am not the flower bud, but the forgotten

Petal that blew off when no one was looking,

And floated down under the rushes

Where no one knew.

Second-Half Sky


On pale waterlily feet, she tiptoed

Across the stepping-stones of

The sky’s second half, sending

Ripples humming out across

The algae-bloom pond. The birches

Bent and crumpled like paper dolls,

They wore ruffled dresses the color

Of melted butter. The frogs blew bubbles

Out of their noses, and when she

Popped them floating in the air they rang

Out giggling like high notes on a flute.

The reeds gossiped about the turtles

Next door and the fish gargled water

In their throats to make

Each other laugh. She sat down on

A silver stepping-stone in that second half

Of the sky and listened to them jump and

Croak. It was a green waterlily giggle-gargle

Song, it rang out humming as it kissed

The algae-bloom pond.