Fall of Us

That familiar hum inside and out. 

The thrumming TV static-snow blustering my brain 

like when I slid down a steep mountain backward on my ass, 

the board strapped to my boots kicking up torrents of snow 

coating my eyes and nose as I plummeted blindly 

facing only where I came from. 

That happened then for this very day–teleported.

Today’s that cold-faced day.


The snap-to-it chill smacks mightily, 

your face-skin taut with expectation, 

braced to ward off the front, 

the sting of knowing you could trip, 

lose your step and your knees buckle, 

your bones splinter and your ankle crack. 

Something tragically foretold unbeknownst to you, 

the usual chaos lurking out there along your life’s line. 

To feel that approaching crisis is to live.


But only on days like these, 

wedged between enough and not enough 

and itch and scratched. 

Our clothes are fresh but our visions stale, our breath coffee rotten. 

These days smell like winter kill. 

But it’s only the dying fall when crockpot lamb-stew and mulch 

pepper muddy moods built for cutting, 

crying into dust and hanging amulets.


Her neck exposes naked-ruddy latticed vines, 

burnt and creased in spider legs enfolded, 

smothered and feathered like aortic-bony leaves, 

en-sleeving jugular flush–

as if the world pumped incessantly 

in syncopated gurgles, 

muffled to the dull roaring hum.   


Will to Forgive

You just bombarded my world, shattered my sheltered piece,

unexpectedly patronizing the safe haven of an employing

menial job away from my usual world of impotent pledges,

places that belonged to another life, another me, and you say,

“Hey, I remember you. I saw you there…from the court”

Memorizing the cold inside smile like a lightbulb flash, burnt in air,

scalding the fingernail of an infant size will to forgive.

Just pop me back there why don’t you? I’m long sprung now–

for over a year and minding my business, picking up the pieces,

and here you go dragging my ass backwards, sliding me down

there in the dankness and graveyard dreams, the hole of holes.

I could hear my heartbeat in my eyes but somewhere receding

like a mote under the metal mattress of my will to forgive.

I know you were reprieve, a nice girl, honestly asking, earnest,

wanting to be what I was, aspiring while I was spiraling down,

you upward with your youth, all possibility ahead, to recover, 

re-coup, pop yourself up from a crack-split of a morning that 

caused you to fall, while I was on the downslide, much older

career-weary and worry of the world, on my way out of it.

Crushing reason pounded my back and sides of a silhouette stare

piercing the baton flesh of your powerful thump on my will to forgive.

But I too have regained my step some and gathered my thin-self.

Only you jarred me out of pretending nothing is or ever was wrong

and “I will forge ahead,” make it like it never happened, reinvent 

myself, my life, and call it a new beginning replete with hope.

To the place where I first met you and left you in half smiles

on the sooty bench of ash, our smoldering embers of I will forgive.

Until you walked into my store, my place of candy cave-shelter 

to kick me in the flashback and remind me that I am still in it.

Bottoms Up


It’s true. 
Sometimes you must
start anew
from the bottom up.
And not just once.
But often
on a hunch
you climb the ladder
reach for that highest rung
fingers outstretched
palms wide flung
curled tips in anticipation
of a firm grasp
no trepidation
but slip
fall flat to the floor
bypassing rung after rung
the places you reached before
gripping with all your might
flashing before eyes wide
whirring in a smudge of time
shocked and numb
til bottom hits 
and you think it’s done
and it hurts too much
but the spinning ceases
the dust clears
and your body works
not barely broken
and your heart strength opens
once your mind obeys
so you rise again
like a burning wingless wren
clawing and clutching
fighting air and doubt–again
dizzying your stance 
hands out
feet unsteadily chance
the ground
for the grab
and reach it.
You clasp
the bottom rung.

credit:  http://blogs.ft.com