how do you teach poetry
shall you instruct
how to have a soul
in chairs, facing front
apple on the table
will you tell me how to feel
in alphabetical order
you would do well
to hold class
at the edge of the volcano
the center of the storm

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cedar crypts

sunbonnet sue.jpg

Like a cedar crypt
they lie in bags, All
their childhoods
wrapp’t amongst lavender
and dust, and
the scent of every Christmas
Each disappointment
sanitized
with the colors of quilts
The squares of each dress
every drape
all our lives

Sleeping with the television on

Did I sleep?
I remember moments
when colors flew by
kaleidoscope
and merry-go-round
and you–-smiling
that must have been a dream

our fingers
formed a web between us
and you lifted your hand
to
brush hair off my forehead–-
shivering with the notion
of one hundred nights

I trampled you
and you asked for more
assumptions. predictions. affirmations.
and a storm
of peppermint schnapps
the tip of your tongue
lazy–
saying–
come on

each day
a new destination
to reach that sunset
with you still seeing me–-
and I was drawing you
into every waking hour
the way I saw you

Jesus, you are not a building

A good Friday psalm

You are not a building.
You are not songs, millennia old.
I am yours and you are mine
and that is my joy

Please don’t let me take that for granted
Or stop thanking you–
for you are not a building
or angry mobs, but you are there

You are not this hate-filled debate
but you see it–hear it–and know
what is true–not this circular argument
that breaks our hearts

You are not my race.
You are not my gender.
You are not my house.
But my body is your temple

I beg you to open my eyes
so I see all of the truth.
Is it enough to know that I need you?
I know myself

I am no better or worse
than anyone on my screen, or
on my street, or in that building
that you are not

you’ve been gone 20 years
but I felt you pass behind me
and touch my back
cold and reaching
while I was washing the dishes

if you are really there
you might help dry

crying twice
since coffee
over questions and fears
your voice comes through
the fog of yesterday
the dog barking
the mask peeling
and your generous love
touches my heart
each time I drop to my knees
even so, Lord
even so
You drop over me
a veil that brings
more tears
with only joy

Chasing butterflies

smell pink rose

every green
nourishes me
pulling me further
from the gray
fuchsia and coral
begonia and mother-of-pearl

GE

oh what a whirl
of sight
sound
and color
after paltry days of torpor
I tend to grasp at

bee in rose

so I learn here
what it means
to fill up with joy
I’m a girl
he’s a boy
chasing butterflies
across sun-dappled foliage

GE