Windy Road

In the tall green; way beyond what needed mowing,
The sun could have blown the lightning of your hair
Again, a presence like a sheet snapping in the wind
Flung across my face as though a crooked blowing
Motion was all it took to bring us without our wits
To this condition of quiet restraint, a delicate find
In these days of gusting discussions on the airwaves
And cables underground, under tables and chairs
Matching couches with overstuffed cushions frayed
Like leather faces buried in armpits and hairy caves
Ashamed of being seen in such poses, humid lairs
From dragons breath and all night pacifying rants,
A collage of threadbare carpets worn most heavily
In entryway and exit, both the same, as history declares
The wooden lead-painted home of my childhood irrelevant
As the storms it withstood when our nuclear family
Took refuge amidst the spent tape rolls and plywood,
As if such trifles would have done us any good the instant
The big one came and went along abandoned roads,
Dancing stop signs twisting and shouting a misunderstood
Four-letter plea to the unseen turbulent atmosphere that felt
Like your stinging hair, rain wet, you squeezed
Past me close enough to feel your breath
Rustle my eyelashes, parting your lips, left, and knelt
Alone on higher ground, above the seas and the slightly
Taller buildings whose bowels have grown beneath
Our cities and streams, mapped with the architecture
Of the blind, built with hidden lights and unseen rays,
(This is really going on, by the way) this, in a place where
Seasons change slowly, a subtle drop in temperature,
Months, weeks, nights without nights, days without days,
Ice flows into a rising ocean, a passage from here to there,
Legions of beautiful and pure spill into poison surface
Like electromagnetic waves moving through toxic gasses,
Towers every thirty six miles so line of sight flag waving
Will tell us all we need to know, except how to replace
Lost embraces, lovemaking sacrificed for the masses,
Converted into energy, photos that we won’t be saving
Unless, of course, we bury them away from sun and wind
And rain, at the end of Windy Road, just across the bridge.

Bottled

That bottle gathering light

These years on the window ledge,

The one strand of ivy hanging

Like an arm in the pond?

But it’s nothing like that

Once you remember the reason

You drained it in the garden

Between the statue and the hedge.

A Similar Thing

The radio said a Cessna made an emergency landing

ont the same side of the freeway I was driving on

minutes earlier. This happened in Gallup

on the way to Salt Lake City from Dallas. So,

I have convinced myself I can make something of it

because one can take such liberties in poetry, the way a gull

dives for food at the stern of a ferry

while crossing the bay. A similar thing happened

five years later while driving back from cold nights

in San Francisco, the sea made me homesick

for the coast of Texas, Baytown, where I cut my foot

on the beach. There, I saw two men pulling

a sack of seaweed from the water. A boy my age

had drowned. The undertow, brought him there

from a mile away. He shouldn’t have been out anyway,

the water was too cold. He was only doing what I would have

had I not seen him blue and swollen.

But I cut my foot and left a thread of blood

to my aunt’s back porch. She told me to wade in the ocean

because salt water was good for hurts.

The water was too cold that day, I said.

And so, driving back from San Francisco I saw that Cesna

parked on the side of the highway like it belonged there.

And there was no news of it, because the night before

John Lennon was murdered; the radio played nothing

but his music and talk of his death.

Soon south of the Great Salt Lake, the smell

made me think of where I had been the day before.

Then, the radio said something about a Cessna

making an emergency landing. It was too cold

that day for wading.