I love you too abstractly

I love you too abstractly
in red herring words and white feather feelings
that come together inexactly
at unhemmed edges,
where the fabric pulls too tightly;
I wish I loved like Miss Golightly
buying shoes and strumming something
or with the force of storm clouds sparking
as the thunder eats the lightning. 

Attic Dwellers

Set this scene and knotted 
heard a sound
like a mouse scratching
nibble, dribble, feet
so fast across the attic
and up spread unrested feathers
of pigeons nesting
in pineapple-upside-down
bowler hats, all brocaded
and dusty, wide and
filled to the crusted brim
with straw broom bristles
and yellowed paper flowers. 

Depraved Heart

Tin soldiers with
white-washed faces
watched and waited while
a blood orange sunrise
spilled on the oil fields
and ran straight across an
Arctic ice sheet
screaming mayhem and
cold, cold murder.

French Onion Soup

At midnight, all the bells in the deep
brown seaweed start peeling 
away layers like an onion
soup with too much cheese and
no one smiles in the camera with any truth
on your lips, I read your secrets like Braille
(by feel) and your demons hang back
on the monkey bars, flex the iron grip
or steal the flaxseed from the bread
crumbs always need more flavor.

The Seven Year Itch

Oh smash it down—
smash that reflection
with a shatter and clamor
red ribbons rent and tattered.
A flag flickers in the wind
on a tall, white mast
rising over a sea of glass 
at the front of the carrion fleet—
she ran from bad luck
on fair weather feet. 

There’s nothing natural about it

Rejects on the corner
making merry has never tasted
so cold, anachronistic 
my mother said leave love out of it
and we did, jumped the transatlantic
wire with wooden shoes and 
inside-out umbrellas, nettles
boiled down make a soup
as good as seaweed, stringy—
but we can’t afford to be picky. 

In a Hive

Drum beat hums
in a hive, he found her sitting
with a locket on a chain
mail delivered through a slot
machine said don’t be in a hurry
as the windfall won’t be coming—
I’m sorry but the options tanked,
the crisis hot and heavy
took the back seat in the motorcade

and avoided mausoleums, for the present
in your hands I’d say, but
no one says just what they’re thinking,
clustered lies all piled up like honeycomb
and laundry.

Time Melts, Colors Bleed

Nothing fails me quite so wickedly as
words! when they turn against me,
huddling up in a corner and refusing—
refusing to play games with me
sulking, like a child with no cake
(no flavored tea, no raspberry jam)
with clam-shut silence resonating
through the whole house, and
only my (time melts, colors
bleed) impressions for company.

Business Casual

I’m mastering a polka-
dot dress and a little case
of Thursday morning nit-picking
has soured my work ethic
for near eternity (or close enough),
so if you see this in the crystal ball tonight
(me barefoot and dancing
in the midnight-painted street)
don’t be shocked, don’t shake your head—
just come and join me. 

Straw & String

There are specks of raindrops
in the bluest skies, accumulating
like dust and cobwebs on a broomstick
of muddy string and yellowed straw
(not clean at all) and
with so little time to sweep out those
cavernous pits and
craven self-interest—
well, nobody dies without a little bitterness.