TEARS AND THISTLES
Just once. Please listen
to the incandescent knives
and nettles of desert bones
you and Mother stirred from ash.
Flush your wallet down the toilet;
ring the doorbell just because.
Come sit with me in tissue wrap
of hospital gowns we want
to take a shredder to.
Curl my hair (it's turning gray)
behind my ear; pat it down
despite the sweat like commas
in a wayward phrase so I will
know your hands are there.
I'd rather not rinse earthly
from my fingertips
without having known you
deep inside the guts of soul.
Tears are burrs. I'll grant you that.
But shaving in and shaving out--
this ginger dancing æround distress,
a breach of hope like pacing
after wedding vows that tells the bride
her entrance was a big mistake.
Nervous toes are tapping drums.
This theatricality, a sleet
stormed stage I never chose.
I need to hear the
creaking fact of tenderness
like final gasps of dying doves.
Feeling thistles on a tree.