Winter Gifts

yet we can seem spendthrift
in any season scattering care
like birdseed on the ground, wet snow
no more weight on tree-shoulders
than skies gray or gold or blue—
and remember what you’ve done for me
shoring up my heart, careful
packing and piling
these paths through snow
with cold fingers rewiring
the whole house to sun-blaze
pouring joy through windows
and doors spilling love into the night

Cold like the moon

this skimmed-milk faith
glowing a bit, a movie-god’s halo
(but blue-white, LED, not incandescent)
trembling near nightfall
under sudden river-ice


and the reason we want a plot
a cheer-heart resolution
to this hapless wandering
(eat, sleep, cry)—who is writing
your story with its cast of millions
cross-referenced, pronunciation guide
at the end?


when we stood, this close
to touching a beauty hauled round
up-horizon, the glow you would know
for all its pits and crags
until you woke again
and lost it


The girl looks a lot like you
red hair (but dyed), the nose-ring
of rebellion and my pang
for her parents pulls up short
in self-excuse—I want to say
they are not like us
but can we know anything
of how? of their heart-tides
the thousand-faceted diamond
of one soul in one frail body
or its shattering fault

It’s the same old lava pit, one slip
from the beam and we’re lost
in boiling regret. Can we not
spend your lifetime in fretting
over who and what and why?
your path finds its shape

The Same Darkness

We’ve tried to measure this pit
pace it bit by bit
and examine, and not fear

its black pool. Could we submit
trammel soul to fit—
nothing? For nothing wells here

we slip, fall, fail again; quit
strife for dark (fine grit
of hope chafing deep, unclear)


An asefru for Yeah Write’s June poetry slam.