I Want to Know You

The emptiness in your eyes
disturbs me so.

I’m not sure what you’re thinking
when you stare,
smiling distantly.

Your breath cools the room,
or is that the air conditioner?

Perhaps you are depressed,
but I wouldn’t know because
I’m not psychic.

The harpsichord pecks out a tune
in my mind,
for there is no music
in this bamboo room
where we speak words
that have very little to do
with the stirrings in our souls.

But we share a common interest,
and perhaps that is enough.

If not, then there is only the count,
and the breath,
and your eyes,
which tell me nothing.

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Memory Haunts Me

A freight train at night thumps on a track in the countryside.

There is no railroad crossing.

There is no moon.

The street, hastily paved and potholed, is empty.

I hear a clacking and see movement against the dark landscape, like a kraken turning in the sea.

Or maybe I see nothing at all, and it is instinct that drives me to break the car.

The Mercury’s tires shriek to a stop.

The train presses by, steadily, as sweat gathers beneath my wool gloves.

I am a creature of narrow escapes.

Was this luck or a future portended?

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The Almanac

I saw two geese flying north above the black rooftops, honking like angry drivers at the throat of the palisades.

“Winter is near! Leave now before it swallows you whole.”

I watch them go and return to the book by the bearded man who proclaims there are millions of suns left.

But the geese are a memory house, and I set the book aside.

Then I think of winter, of the snow and the sweat that clings between my sweatshirt and skin as I shovel to the edge of the sidewalk, where it will turn black with fallen smog.

I recall the table fire in my living room, the spiced wine in the slow cooker, and the smell of musty hats and scarves that have rarely been washed laying rumpled in the plastic drawers.

I consider the Scottish cap that sits in the bottom of my hamper – the one that I said I would dry clean when you died.

This is only the second winter since you’ve been gone, and it still smells like you.

I wonder how harsh this winter will be if the geese are leaving this early.

What do they know anyway?

Nothing, I decide.

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