A kiss, for the mint girl

Come, silly familiar boy, and we'll be off
to the land of Indian food and exotic movies
(at least for tonight). We'll tell revisions
of stories told before; your workplace,
my writing, the cats, weekend plans.

Then you'll drive me across town, in a truck
which is gathering years in the same way
that we're collecting grey hairs. We'll park
in the back, to avoid the gauche teenagers,

and duck inside for our secret rendezvous
with a Kevin Spacey movie. Do you remember
our first movie? I don't; I liked moviegoing
with you better once we settled out which

Inhalation: cleanup

Several days afterward, I found your snifter
lying in the cranny between sofa and table,
having come to rest next to the wall
after being brushed aside during the party.

The cats hadn't bothered it—yet—
but the dust was starting to stick, feather-
soft, to the rounded rim and fluted bowl.

I reached out to it, one breast pressed flat
against the side of the couch as my fingers
danced tantalizingly close, closer, and finally
brought the elusive glassware within reach.

Victorious, I cupped it with my fingers
and brought it gently to my nose, in an airy

Venus rising

Leaving is never so easy as saying hello.
The whippoorwill outside my window tunes its song
as the sun readies itself for its morning stretch
vaguely past the eastern horizon.

The odometer respools as you stare ahead,
counting bags or trinkets—or layovers—in your mind,
while I search for the correct iteration
of farewell for you.

Your flight leaves in forty minutes,
in which time you must complete the march
from counter to metal detector to counter, again,
while I take the car and drive back home,

with the knowledge that the space of a weekend


It was the cherry-time of the summer season,
and you were gone—and back—in the breath of a year.
The posters on the walls warned of spies, and treason,
and the sins of idleness. You spoke not of fear,

of loss, but instead: dancing, drinks, shore leave -
of when we could be like other couples again,
sedately married, with no need for Navy reprieve.
I bobbed my hair in eager anticipation

of reunion, and opened your letters with knives
kept sharp to protect the flimsy paper inside.
In May, the letters stopped coming. Were you alive

all tags: 

Another woman's daughter

I fear the days you stand outside my door,
too timid to ring, too determined to leave. Your
presence comes and goes, waning and waxing with the moon's
movements, from new to crescent to full. A tune

composed of someone else's notes, you are
as familiar as my dreams and fears and as far
removed from my life as I could have made you.
Was I wrong to sacrifice you to the hesitant altar

of selfishness, ambition, greed? It is easier to think
of planned vacations and toys than to sink
emotions, time, love—myself—into the bringing of life,


I. Perigee

Our ends of the world diverge on Sundays,
whose mornings I spend in blissful sleep
while you, dutiful, arrow-straight, make haste
to wash and clothe and drive. All to keep

the Sabbath. In the winding arch and curve
of your days, this one claims itself parahelion:
the closest to origins; the day to observe,
revere, reflect; resolution.II. Parabola

Two lines, if not drawn in perfect parallel,
deal with the pains of intersection at some point.
They meet, then disengage, and tell

all tags: