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Forming Stone Poem

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Courting the Forming Stone

His bed is in the living room,
a mule in a fancy house,
puppet of her willingness
to drag out life another hour.
Her legendary fortitude
like knuckles cracking large pecans.
A spoon parts fissures of his lips
as if a pearl is still awake
inside the shell.
She shoves it in as if
she's raping destiny.
Salvation's urge
as basic as a semen drop.

She brushes his balding arm,
where needles have left
a Red Sea bruise.
Beats out blankets like old rugs
courting the forming stone.
Drapes are dancing in his eyes.
Purple is their color now.
The air a mix of Daphne dreams,
of loose peignoirs
his fingers used to peel away,
and urine of the very real.

On legs of long salami rolls,
she kneads the waiting clot.
His ribs are hangers minus shirts,
but she will iron.
Tubes all braided in a prayer
seem organzied, substantial snakes
with venom that might poison death.
Their ponytails all loosened
by the night ahead.
The last of syncopation strikes --
feathers falling from a bird.
He clings, a magnet to her steel.
He will come back --
a renaissance of rice in steam.


The Old Packard

Raindrops gelled
against the glass --
fiery opals on
a mission from stone.
The gutted Packard,
once spit-shined loafers,
heavy metal luxury.
Its carcass now
the voice of rust
with critters
nesting in the cracks.

She's leaning out
windows to smoke.
Her skirt bunched up,
invaded by bliss.
She's braiding his tie
and his belt and her bra,
some trinity of lust and hope.
Square foam dice,
hanging from
a rear view mirror,
fate rounded some
but kindly left to tumble
in the passing wind.

I imagine the rumbles
in the split back seat.
Drive-in lights
for a Saturday moon.
Those were the days
when tires were full.
A woman's red nails
scratching their way
down his spine.
Their hot breath
fogging the Northern Star.
At sweet sixteen,
no rats, just dreams.
Rivers had such hormones then.


Packing the Pipe

"Lord, keep my memory green."

Charles Dickens

We agreed over lunch --
a meal of stark romaine,
diet dressing on the side,
soda crackers, sagging chins,
shrimp so small they could have
been discarded dreams
in tight and tiny coral curves --
agreed to return to the farm
where memories were emerald moss.

The barn was down to skeletons;
someone paved the gravel spit,
the praline mud and dandelions
that used to bathe our crazy tires.
Each breath was a pipe to smoke,
but we were choking on past,
perhaps a few regretting fumes
from chimneys housing
blue jay straw and leaves
the wind forgot to take.

Fences we had painted twice,
bitched about like rattled crows,
down to kindling, down
to toothpicks leaning
on the gray decay.
Guppies in the stream were gone.
Not belly down,
not jutting tails like whiskers
reach through shaving cream.
Hay was old tobacco now --
summer was a painting torn.





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