Four Poems

Pennies on the Dollar

In a night market in Taipei:
sky painted in neon, the
sweet stink of fermented
tofu sits upon the evening
as a woman burns joss
paper in a bucket, gold
leaf curling like the edges
of a life. My travel partner
smokes miniature cigars
as she strolls past the mangoes
and durian on fruit carts.  My
lover is in another country:
my brow is wet with sweat
and in the smoke trails
I know much of coveting,
missing what the warm
arms with I cannot get
there despite the exchange
rate, despite the bargaining
under the stars with tones
of Mandarin in place of music.

Originally published in Pirene’s Fountain. 

Afterimage

I often talk to a friend about love,
my love of her, of ropes, of cedars
waning into the slush of unfroze
snow, the way air impacts the trees
leaves them winter-thin and wispy
like a cool emptiness.  There is a
code flashing against the night,
brown-throated wrens hum against
the wind.   Gray sky fragments
in the lovers’ orbits, and I talk
to my friend about all these
things, chilling myself into a
happier glow. It is the wind
off of icing junipers to denotes
the demarcation between
myself and others.  If I talked
too much of love, I’d freeze
along the beachhead. If I drew
too many conclusions, I think
life was a wet spot in drying
sheets. The wind ululates
against the window. There
is nothing more to say.

Originally Published at Full of Crows

Metamor

Pornography is boring
Like watching someone
Chew steak for twenty
Minutes. Lacking all
Context: the smell
Of cherry blossoms
And sweat, the years
Of watching someone
Read Milton and not
Become a misogynist,
The flannel nightgowns
Or their lack.

To speak of bodies, to ask
we to come to bed with us
After a Fellini film or
Complaining about Spielberg
Or in the pauses between
Breaths. Loving more

Than the pulse, the twitch
Of flesh. Consciousness
Between people is too
Bright. Gibbous light.
Half-reflected. Swelling.
What we wanted from
Two or three, what we
Want from one. Glacier
Slow and churning
Like salt slush between
A tow line.

To speak of love, to ask
Of every cliché that it lingers
Into strangeness like filming
A crystal wine glass until
It looks like mountains
Of barren, jagged
minerals.


Originally Published at JMWW, Summer 2009

 

Metamor

Pornography is boring
Like watching someone
Chew steak for twenty
Minutes. Lacking all
Context: the smell
Of cherry blossoms
And sweat, the years
Of watching someone
Read Milton and not
Become a misogynist,
The flannel nightgowns
Or their lack.

To speak of bodies, to ask
we to come to bed with us
After a Fellini film or
Complaining about Spielberg
Or in the pauses between
Breaths. Loving more

Than the pulse, the twitch
Of flesh. Consciousness
Between people is too
Bright. Gibbous light.
Half-reflected. Swelling.
What we wanted from
Two or three, what we
Want from one. Glacier
Slow and churning
Like salt slush between
A tow line.

To speak of love, to ask
Of every cliché that it lingers
Into strangeness like filming
A crystal wine glass until
It looks like mountains
Of barren, jagged
minerals.


Originally Published at JMWW, Summer 2009

 

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