11.22.63

Burning sun
within uncaring blue.
Ardent crowds,
young and hopeful.
A nation smiling,
cruising
to death
lurking
certain in the plaza.

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a.m.

I know you best in a chair,
your legs in yoga fold.
How gravely you have pulled your hair
behind your ears
and with brief care
tied it in a rubber band.
A smile escapes beneath your stare
to thaw mean fears
that loving you could ever wear.
I feel your hand.
When words betray our moments rare,
will gestures hold?

p.m.

Embrace and kiss, briefly, quick
to turn away, back to front, you to me,
accommodating arms and mattress lumps to sleep.
Of course, you tug the single blanket
rolling into it beyond my reclamation.
Such small cause to hate you.

I lie
awake tonight
to the moment of indifference
when loving dies,
when grief has not yet come
to claim its portion,
nor sadness,
nor regret.

The Meeting (original version)

The meeting began with parents concerned
to foster the arts in children.
The chairman extolled the graces learned,
asked for support, a five or a ten.
The treasurer nodded prudent assent,
but his eyes probed the floor, intent
to find the crack, the door that went
into a private plea:  Give me
a horse and sword, the ancient steppes,
and I will ride to fortune
or my grave.

The Meeting

The meeting starts
with parents concerned
to foster the arts
in children.
The chairman extols the refinement learned
and begs for funding, a five or a ten.
The treasurer nods prudent assent,
but his eyes probe the floor, intent
to find the crack, a door, descent
into a private plea:  Give me
a horse and sword,
the ancient steppes,
and I will ride to fortune
or my grave.

Hyakinthos

A lone hyacinth,
accompanied
perhaps by vagrant periwinkles,
proves
March.

You, stranger,
young and waiting
with friends for a bus,
poised like a wrestler
triumphant
here in sweat and dust,
like a hoplite standing firm
against advancing spears,
you simply are.
Spring is.

Who could fault the god
when, on such an afternoon,
he saw your like,
stepped
off his mark
and hurled the fatal disc?

“No More Water…”

How like you
to decide
to jump from the old bridge
to make me know
my mean care for you.

How like you,
drunk,
to stumble from the stone steps,
fifteen feet,
to shatter ankle, plot and resolution.

Or did you hope
to hear applause
even
at your final exit?