An Array of symptoms

No clearly defined beginning of the problem, if it could be called that.  No clear point when normal stopped being normal and started to feel itchily different. Like so many rites of passages or chronic conditions, it became noticeable gradually, over time with bits and pieces of things, jigsaw symptoms, sleepiness, lethargy, increased appetite then decreased appetite, the aversion or preference for certain foods, moodiness, a nameless dread, flushed skin, a strange rash along certain bone lines, the strangest feeling of weightlessness.  She did not know what any of it signified nor did it ever occur to her to suppose that all the other humans her age were feeling a similar array of symptoms.

Gathering flotsam

The hallway fire extinguisher is named Badger

And the rounded effigies on the first floor vending machine lack 

The appropriate replica for diet coke

So someone hand-wrote the words on a piece of paper and stuck it there

In the rounded plastic

slot signifying all the real ones inside

While outside 

The wind beckons

So real, so deep, night-real, night-deep

The way you might pick up pieces

Of sand dollars along the beach as light falls beneath the western


Counting each–a quarter, a dime, or half-dollar

Fraction of the living

Miracle of ocean, deep and full of

things bigger than us

Bigger than either diet coke or Badger or

The things that would keep a body awake

In the deep

Of night

While outside the wind still beckons

Singing lullabies in siren voices

To the sleepless 


The Moon Has Teeth

The clouds are an old quilt

torn and soft with bits of stuffing 

poking through the worn stitching 


And the moon grins 

Teeth gleaming through

Celestial Jack o’lantern 

A child in the winter night

Light held aloft, blanket in hand

trailing off to bed

Only to find

A catenary pillow fort of luminous

Stars to the end of time

No band-aid love

these paper cuts

Crass bits of pain

Catch unaware the

fireflies and sparks rising through

Cloud gray skies

Recumbent dragons-rivery road-

rundown house unblinks as the

broken boy steps in front of 

The barreling  18-wheeler.

Call for the medic, the surgeon, 

the poet who can

Conjure words to turniquet this-

No band-aid love-

All wounds and piercing sorrow

You smooth out your own discarded flesh

A coat laid down at our muddied feet

Temporary tomb

Swaddle  the dead

Call gossamer gauze, 

shroud, or interstitial subatomic strings

Cast lots if you will

For his seamless


Till you say

I would never say

You were just an accidental poet

Shoulders back, wing-perfect posture

You emerge from mid-morning 

Incidental hibernation

Lament- second to last,

Second to last

Explain it is not the tighties you mind

But the dull, uneventful patternless white

I must not forget these words fixed in light 

till you say?

Just a little bit…just a little bit

…but you said, no! You. Just. Said. No.

Child of perfect posture 

Butterfly wings

Please, please always, always

Fly home, my little winged one.