Friday, February 15, 2013

The Baby in the Bathwater

for Jay and Vera, sorely missed

Nothing about their past was barefoot and pregnant
or one too many highballs after far too many hours
of always knowing what was best.

She wasn’t forever on hands and knees with a bucket and a brush
or seeing nothing but her reflection in the after-dinner dishes.
There was no unaired laundry begging for an airing.

They started sharing a bed after Korea and courting
and asking for permission and it never knew force
or the passive acquiescence to some muscle-bound need.

Their babies boomed into existence only after two loud smiles
were muffled by quiet propriety, smiles that stayed wide open
and naked for silky whispering and staring and all things being equal.

They shared goodbye kisses, welcome home hugs, and one hot
vacation on a beach in Mexico where they learned what tequila can do.
He called her Mama until the day everything turned into cataracts

in the bleary back of his mind. She called him Dad – even after
he turned nurse-bound and refused to remove his souvenir sombrero,
no matter what, until she walked into the room.



Tuck Magazine - February 2013

Toll

My head often aches in the morning these days
as I rise early for coffee and solitude before
dawn and its persistent nibbling away.

My first cup cooled and quaffed, she awakens,
blesses me with a bleary-eyed smile, starts
another cup, packs my lunch against the day.

I change his soggy overnight diaper, coo and tickle
him into the innocent belly laughing of his age,
join him there as he toddles into her arms.

When neither can see, I press my index fingers
into the sides of my skull and curse
this ache.



Tuck Magazine - February 2013

Thursday, February 7, 2013

If It Was You

If it was you,
you looked slimmer.

Why were you
all prettied-up
at the store
where we bought
extra bed sheets
that one time?

We couldn't
stay friends,
could we?

I was there for shoes.

I was there with you
just that one time
(and every time since).

No,
we couldn't
stay friends.

Well, if it was you,
I turned around,
looked for you -
wanted to say

those were awfully
soft sheets.



Full of Crow Poetry - Winter 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

Floating

Sometimes the halfway
between sleep and dreams
feels like floating.

Tied in the middle and suspended
by a big bunch of helium balloons,
my arms sag,

my fingers just touch
the surface of a still blue lake.
I follow

ripples in every direction,
listen to their gossip,
for my name,

for yours.



Decanto Magazine - February 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013

Chatting

Some days,

I grind against
breaking open the email
and jotting down,

Hey, how are you?

with a casual whistle
and a halo,

crossing my fingers
you will read
between the line.



The Toucan - February 1, 2013