At dusk a breeze of relief
skims over shoulders
light losing its grip on ambition
as dreams take over their domain
strictly business as usual
fireflies fluttering
where bees spent the day foraging

Smoke signals
from a passing car
smell like longing and leftover
Christmases never used up
give up your spot in line
don’t be afraid, when
night falls with its treasure

you wrote the script

not sure what you thought would happen
manboy who wormed into my heart
lying and expecting no consequences
perhaps everyone else accepted the blame
when you stomped their hearts to ragged bloody bits
but mama didn’t raise no doormat, all that
just part of your script and I burned my copy

Her figure

1920s-stockings

He never knew what he had in her
her angle – something
between silk stockings and
late night gas guzzlers
even the police tread easy

That figured –
he was sick and tired of the triangle
the crossed lines every time he called
and she did not answer
feeling her there, listening

‘What do you expect from a woman,’
she’d say, and laugh. ‘Hell, I don’t
even have to pay the light bill anymore.’
His face ashen, for how does a man
be a man – left daily in an airless cube

Wearing a tan trench coat
trying-too-hard
written all over him-
he’d seen Casablanca
once a week for a year after she left-
twice over Christmas

So when she showed up
he wasn’t saying no to anything
let alone stockings, heels
and a black cat-in his haste-
not checking the price tag

With no options – except to run parallel
to her wants needs desires
for he would do nothing to slight her –
this magic in silk and lace

his thoughts somewhere dark and wet
at an adjacent angle to his wallet

3 a.m.

I am too long awake
with my companions
greedy for my attention
impatience and discontent
on either side

Whimsy comes by
in a lavender tutu
and laughs at us
doing her best
with hand stands
and shadow puppets

Impatience wiggling
my big toe
while discontent
drives a truck full of words
through my brain

I am too long without sleep
delirium, keep me
from loneliness
as you pass over my body
closing my eye-lids
without warning

Open letter

Your presence is not required.
I am not the same girl, face down
on the cold floor for relief
not the same needy sycophant
begging for crumbs

Your presence is not requested
at the birthday party for this
newly born woman- not so penurious
as to give nothing back, but not
your problem anymore. My friend

of the east, of the wind and the meadows
showing up out of nowhere with your
five piece one-man-band, and I
with just a knack for getting to the
heart of things, driving you down

Your presence is not required, on your knees.
I won’t demand and deflate
the ego of your youth.
I have my own-and when someone has
got their own, they don’t steal anymore

I have this new path I’m on
mottled with the unknown, and
no map to speak of. Your presence
is not required. But if you would like to join me-
the path stretches far ahead

It wasn’t nice calling me silly

just because
You can’t figure me out
how I could be so hot in your ear
then give you a chill every time you rub me the wrong way
weren’t you the one clinging to your teddy bear
every time the wind changed
If I am to die in the summer
pick me up in your truck
and take me fly fishing
because I never learned to fish
and I will feel I have failed at this life
if I never bait a hook
beyond the figurative
the one I carry with me everywhere
a smirky mouth all painted up red
watching the vampires
that come around during the day
eating up everything holy
they can stuff into the pot- pie
grabbing at something pink and wholesome
and smashing it to bits
taking my pretty little lips
to the dark side of town near the freeway
where love is cheap and
no one is thirsty
and they stand in line for hours
to get a glimpse of the king
I heard was still alive and well
and scalping tickets on Sundays
in front of Our Lady of perpetual coping