a good note

i like to end things on a good note

 

but I don’t want to leave

        in the middle of the symphony

and step on everyone’s toes

 

as I shuffle silently through aisles to indignant whispers

long before the curtain falls

 

—i don’t want to miss the ending to the show, the finale

 

but I can’t bear to hear the final note fade

        or to see your final bow

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The Bus Stop Bench

One of those days when the rain clouds

Are so low I have to duck to keep my head out of them

And they cover the sun to make morning look like dusk,

Thousands of tiny liquid stars fall to quench the thirst

Of wilting July flowers and lost souls

 

I go outside, coatless, to be watered

Letting the screen door slam shut behind me

In a shower of mist and creaky hinges.

I follow the river-sidewalk to a bus stop bench

With peeling green paint and take a seat

In my star-soaked jean shorts.

I bury my toes in the five inches of turf

Between the bench and the sidewalk

A world for the surfacing pink worms to cross

Where they will shrivel and die when

The sun brings their hot-concrete Armageddon.

 

I absorb the tiny stars in my skin

And my arms and legs and hair become slick

With the gathering galactic water.

Before I never understood why florists spray

The flowers completely if the roots are the part that

Drink, but now I know.

The ricochets of rain pelting my face in the energy of

Each ping of every drop

I sit, covered in diaphanous liquid stars

And I imagine I glow in the gloomy darkness of noon

 

Someone else has joined me at the bus stop bench

To be watered too, I suppose.

He wears a coat with the collar turned up

And a faded Toronto Blue Jays baseball cap

With a frayed brim like laugh lines around a smile

That doesn’t exist anymore

 

The rain only touches his face and his hands, folded

On his lap over wet denim jeans.

I slide over and take his hat off, because I want him to

Feel the tiny stars like I do

He’s startled like someone should be when a stranger takes

Their hat off, and his glare of surprise is brown

Like a cinnamon stick.

He asks me what I’m doing

—You’ll be watered better if you let the rain touch your skin

—What?

—Do it

But maybe he sees that I’m glowing so he takes his coat off

And a grin slowly spreads across a face with a freckled nose

I know he can feel the energy of the stars in his skin too

 

We sit at the bus stop bench in front of a sidewalk

That wriggles in happy fat worms dancing in the stars

But that will be shrivelled and dead this time tomorrow

And everyone else has umbrellas and coat collars and hats

And we have nothing between us and the rain

That feeds maps into our lost souls

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Source here!

(Busy busy busy like bees — I have some reviews coming up, and a couple rants to deliver, but for now here’s a poem I wrote in a moment of summer nostalgia. What do you miss most about summer? I’m pining for walks in the rain, can you tell?)

Sneak Peak: THE NIGHT IS STARRY

They're finished!
They’re finished!

Yesterday I picked up my anthologies from the printer. They are things of beauty. I mean, I did find one typo in them so far, but…the Typo Gods are never totally unforgiving. And I can fix it for the digital edition (which is closer to being published!). Info on where to get a print copy will be posted soon! In the mean time, here’s a sneak peek of what’s inside. This is a poem called BONES.

***

Angles, steep

Tracing over the bones

Holding you together

The knots of hardness in your fingers

That move as if to some beat only

You hear;

To the snap and rotation of your wrist

And straight, smooth lines of

The arms you open.

In these arms I fit.

The indents of your collarbone

Against my face

The point of your chin

Resting firmly on the top of my hair

You shift, and the hollows of your face

Roll atop my head

The imperfect perfection of your nose

Inhaling my scent

As I inhale your scent through

The plates of your chest, over your heart.

The curve of your ribcage

Meeting the pieces of your spine,

Growing to become smooth

Shoulder blades

That roll as you adjust the

Grip on my hips.

Angles

So many angles you are made of

Long and short

Fierce and gentle

Hollow and grabbing

Radiating warmth and

Structure

Around me.

These are what you are made of

The bones under your skin

The sticks and stones

Knuckles

Blades

Joints

Angles

Making the familiar shape of your

Face

Both comforting and terrifying

Thrilling and calming

These are the shapes I

Dream of

The ones that tame

Darkness and bring

Warmth

Light

Safety.

Your angles

And mine

Match.

You were made for me

And perhaps I’ve been lucky enough

To have been made

For you.