At wet cross streets a sudden
cypress flames out rust
red against the winter mist.
Only my mother sees this.
think of it as a child in a red coat. Think of—that child is my newest poem series— that child is my son on his adventure— that child explains my new direction in writing.
that child on a flat acre of woods and the whole
acre pried and cut from the earth like a table top
I never understood
why you wanted Death to rise
within your life, personified
as a trick in his late twenties.
Glassy-eyed. Coked up.
His right arm flicking ashes indifferently
as he lay next to you
in the dark. Without emotion,
as he breathed in smoke,
considering the hairline cracks
running along the ceiling—
considering your t-cells spinning languidly
in thin-walled veins. Sometimes while you slept,
he would curl beside you, caress your forearm,
and tap inside the elbow to raise
the lines of green-blue channels,
to loosen out a casual
bruise for a matter of days.
He would watch it fade
from a dark violet to a sickly green...
At the bus stop, we watch the other couple.
They have hidden themselves in a corner,
away from the general movements of travelers.
There is a quiet casualness in the way she tugs
at a strand of her straightened hair, as she pulls
back her sleeves, exposing her brown arms when she leans
against her boyfriend’s shoulder. The same slow motions
you took, angry and drunk,
leaning against a bathroom wall, marking
your arm with a paring knife, cutting soft scratches
into the skin.
For a number of weeks I noticed this dark blue hydrant squatting in the middle of his domain of a ragged meadow; over a few days the undergrowth emerged as a slow developing flame of colors, a prairie brushfire growing out of control. Despite the drought in the region these wild flowers are burgeoning everywhere— the landscape burns overnight.
Fortunately, the road has a level embankment so I could park the car, throw on the hazards, and step out of the way of on-coming traffic without much effort. What surprised me: on the edge of the field were wild berries, already with a scattering of red-black berries forming. Driving on the road of course one cannot see the various plants. Everything blurs into a impressionistic green, brown, or yellow, depending on the season.