cloud forest

my baby taught me what’s good about being alone:
the magnetic pull of grace—

wisteria, cafe molido, sky laced with western gulls
every morning with the windows gaping
spores of spring sneaking up flesh sleeves
brushed tin percolator brim boiling to the
temperature, despite the altitude, of my own
heightened senses right now
swinging clocks and quiet trees at work
we learned how to break time when we challenged the sound barrier
but i just want to enjoy right now this moment
to salivate a memory

right now, how do i get back to that place
must i faint at the fringes
(is there no other way?)
must i always need like rock’n’roll
cups of steam, herb-stained teeth
slithering into a black dress in the essential mountain fog
mistaken for someone else only for the night
candle burning between me and a serious man
downed our drinks and steeped our bodies in the harbor
thick tannin made for muddy water
we couldn’t sludge out of—

(that was years ago.)

right now, i toe-grip the sand near world’s end
alone
but not lonely,
thinking how you’d enjoy the view.

april tanka

   round red pomo-naut
   you are the apple growing my belly
       and the cyanide tumoring my brain
            wet slice of cantaloupe
                ripe black opium
                    static stalking radio pollen
                        cadet blue overalls
                            creamy sweaters sway
                                plum sap showers ooze (on the lettered keys)
you make my sensor tendrils sticky—

I wish I could convince your scent
                                your taste your feel
                                    to stay
                                        to come closer
                                            to turn into touch
pale winter hands reaching for
                                        shy rosebuds
                                                                shattering pale pink globes
                                                    of ice

escape from jersey city

peppermint chamomile dreamin’

half-tea fuzzy sleepwalking to

where logic and yogic converge

climbing up the palisades

spiked hands on abstracts

tourniquet in fever-sheets

strands of hair caught in knots

like bark splitting gums from teeth

killing metropolis, called the cops

off the grid, no river too wide to cross—

you know where you’re going,

but do you know where you’ve been?

balasana (child’s pose)

she carries it in her hips:

an emotion

a longing the length unfurled
of the lined rings in sequoias

she carries it
with his intent
(sometimes
without permission)
in between

and through her lovers,
she carries it further
(sometimes her lover,
she carries it, too)
and resists that it sag down
or topple out

she notices it
when walking,
stubborn and obese
by the way others call out
and stalk or gaze
and fade away

sometimes she drags it
through
the largest widening
making room for
another in pain

she carries it
in a baby’s cry,
feels it against
her babe’s thighs

she carries it
whether she is called
mom or jane or
any self-given name

and it only rests
knees to chest
in the privacy
of the couch corner
or the bathroom sink

it funnels
to the crease of the paused book
when she’s done
being a woman for the day

when she can release
it,
shrinking slender into
the not-so-heavy
flanks of a girl

even alone,
what a woman carries
is not only hers

but of everyone she loved
and looked at
that day, that year
in all times, both
in fruitful deliverings
and arrivals unheard

float, 5 minutes

soak your body in salt
to reverse its course:

while you are dreaming
does time flow fast or flow slow;

can you decipher your currents
from the ocean’s own;

I’m wavelengths away
~~~barely~~~
a profession muffled
an underwater echo;

if you succumb to the depths,
do you think you could hear me?