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Found Amid Old Music Boxes

The candle is old, I remember when
its flame wavered in the window-breeze
behind the curtains of her walk-up flat,
the wick is waxed over, I pare it back
and light it one more time

Chagall 2019


The Spoils

I just had a tussle – a major spat – in my mind,
in which I played both parts (I think there were only two…)
anyway, it went like this:

I, with a low-pitched voice, yell: Says who, you?
I, high-pitched now, respond: Yeah, me, that’s who!

A wrestling match ensues, and all I can see is
a ball of dust, an indiscernible mass of
these two entangled, rolling on the ground

Then, silence

As the victor, I have earned and am executing the privilege of
reaching out to you, to describe and to attest to
these events which took place

Chagall 2019

Ere Guitar

Maybe it’s time
to resurrect
an old question:
Have you ever been

Chagall 2019

I say, “You have glitter all on your cheek.”
She says, “I believe those are nebulae.”
I look closer, see the stars, ponder, “Hmmm…”
She asks, “Why do you hum?”
Even amid the resonance, I can tell
she recognizes the tune, so I say,
“Hum along.”

And now we ponder
the wonder of her

Chagall 2019


When drowning in the short-term throes,
stick it out

This is as the long-term you
would want you to

Chagall 2019

For Your Homework Assignment

I stare aimlessly while a stink bug – halyomorpha halys,
attempts to insert itself into the crack of
a crock, where the lid seams the sourdough urn

Chagall 2019


it is lured by the culture, the life that is there in the fermenting sourdough starter

I have flicked them from screens and they alight each time
in the spacings between the wood planks that comprise the porch deck

of the family Pentatomidae,
they are masters of the flat squeeze

oddly, they often end up on their backs and are unable to turn over,
an unusual and certainly less-than-preferred characteristic
(with respect to survival-at-large, for any species)

in France, these are
punaise diabolique

outside, barefoot, in the damp misted morning,
I listen to the calls of rising birds in the back,
and I raise my head to respond

not necessarily
do I
imitate their calls

but rather
I try to convey
the same gist as they

being certain to prelude each song
with the tag of the proper partner
– the one to whom I am intending to reply

for each has their own lilt,
it’s me, come listen…

there are many on the rise
this shining wavy day

Chagall 2019

Nightlight on the wall, two hand-spans above the baseboard,
glows amber under its shield, lacy-silhouette on the matte-paint-finish behind,
while the rest of the world tapers silently to blacker shadow

I stand back, illuminated, afar, without sound, to observe,
awaiting the event, I realize that I am the tableau before me

I hold her close to ground existence;
she is the figure

If ever displaced in time or space,
she and I will pretend the other is simply beyond the door, nothing more

But for now, beneath the nightlight, I place our blanket down, huddle under,
warm save the small breeze through the eyelet we leave,
for the coming and the going of air and light and spirit

Chagall 2019

Read The Top Line For Me

Consider an imaginary line
drawn from the pupil of each eye

If these lines run parallel,
then – and only then –
can you be certain you are
focused on infinity

Chagall 2019

Any Spots or Floaters?

The diaphanous blurs I see descending are
surely falling angels

Chagall 2019

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