Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tupelo Press 30/30 Project - Poems 11–15

Poem 11

[Under Revision]

Poem 12

Winter Morning Walk

The wind biting
one side of cars,
every cross street
pushing it under
your coat, swirling
around the torso,
up through the arms.
Bad circulation pilfers
blood from your fingers
sooner than last season.
This must be
getting old. Plod
uphill, the bus stop
funnels the wind chill
in either direction.
Cold, inescapable cold
tightens the skin:
you know right where
your keys are. Clenching,
unclenching hands,
lowering the chin
to breathe the warm air
out, hang the wetness
leaving the body,
a promise of more
cold to come
but not now. Now
there is waiting.
This is not new.
Lately the letters
do not return
in the same month
you sent them,
not even months
that end in embers.
At this point
you could not
lick the stamp for fear
it will not stick.
But this is not
the hard part;
the hard part is seeing
soil harden, glass snap,
water turning white
and cracking underfoot,
a type and shadow
for skin, your skin.


Poem 13


Snowflakes fall
through the night-colored windows
into and out of sight,
unaffecting from your looking place
where you raise your eyes,
lowering them again into so many words,
symbols of senseless things
never caught at the end of a tongue,
never melted in breath,
their comings and goings unknown
to the world’s insides.


Poem 14


This evening holds nothing extraordinary. Not even the chives in my soup
are restless. All the major religions have heads on their shoulders again
and the pilot lights to all my old flames have gone out the open window.
I even had time to read today—a book, even. Imagine reading a book.

I met the author in college, a friend of a friend. She was older. Forty-something
pages into not being able to put her down, I read a letter she had chopped
into lines. It set me somewhere between spotting her name on a poster and peeking
through the blinds when I knew she’d be naked. Those hormones have ebbed,

mostly. She tells me about the moon: we are forlorn, she says, thanks to her place
in the sky, drawn to her majesty precisely because we can see it. There is no reflection
not conceding its surface to her at some angle. I was thinking about her tonight, wondering
which of my windows she’s chosen to smear as the soup steams itself back to sleep.


Poem 15


A nearly full moon
Layers of ice under snow
Your breath in the air


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