What More Can Happen?

like grey portents,
deep furrows glisten on the brow
of a dark foreboding,
even the wind is uneasy today
wrapped tightly around nameless headstones,
what more can happen,
as if we didn’t stop counting the dead a long time ago,
as if we don’t perjure ourselves every time we sigh,
everyone has lost something or someone,
everyone blames something and someone,
what more can happen,
kings are crowned by ballots and bullets,
heads are bowed by words and swords,
we swallow the dread like unsaid prayers
and the hate seeps out of us like sweat, clogging the emptiness,
till even the gods can’t see us through the fog,
eagles that pecked at rainbows beg for rancid grain,
and yet the omens flood dry channels where rivers used to run
as if the old dead have risen to bury the new,
and you know it is not over yet,
you know what has begun will not rest,
how did we learn to bear so much,
why did we learn to fear so much,
remember how the hills trembled and the sea
turned its guilty face
when love departed,
remember how we picked sides when both were right
and both were wrong
and love departed,
the signs appear like perforations on a brittle horizon,
what more can happen.

Almost Smile

there has to be a way
to write of love
outside the confines of a poem,
scribbled in margins,
ellipses and acronyms that mean nothing to anyone else,
stuffed in spaces where words pause to take breath,
or in the middle of lines so it could mean the blue of sky or sea
or of the snow swept in-between,
see a poem asks for language
and we have none, not now,
all that had to be said, was spoken,
what’s left is clothes hung on a line,
the yesterday scrubbed out of them,
something clean and fragrant, stirred with sunshine,
something that could touch bare skin tomorrow,
not like the almost smile of pressed memory,
not even like the softness of a new stirring,
just love, familiar and well worn,
saying nothing,
like the blue of sky or sea,
or the snow swept in-between,
a vague certainty,
the way it was made,
the way it was meant to be.


it fell from trembling hands
and shattered on the cusp of light
a thousand and one pieces of mirror
searching each other
with empty jagged eyes
multiplying absence

wasn’t it just the other day
the sky had fallen
with that same splintering crash
the sound of broken stars
and the audacity
of freshly shelled raindrops

that is the taste of prayer
scavenging bits of ourselves
stealing from forbidden landfills
creating perfect approximations
out of ill-matched fragments
two parts reflection, one part pain