A Closed Book

Sun faded sage cover
Brushed velvet from fingers after bedtime
Opened under a pastel petal comforter
Lit by a flashlight and the promise
Of a walled garden blaring
Bellflower and lilac purple
Magenta primroses with saffron throats
Among a hush of lamb’s ears like the edges of well-thumbed pages

Resting on a crowded shelf in my flowered wallpapered bedroom
in my dorm room
In my first apartment
In my son’s nursery lingering
The way the memory of a brushed geranium
clings to your fingertips

Alone on my own little bit of earth
Electric lime coleuses and violet etched fern fronds,
punctuated with scarlet begonias
What is left of your gold letters is
burnished calligraphy lady’s mantle on my shoulders
I sit in the shade peaceful as a closed book

Secret Clocks

The mangled heir tucked away in the catacombs
Forgotten insane aunts stowed in attics
Every family has its mysteries

The outward facing dial
Placid and round
Ordered and ordinary
Slivered into relateable hunks

Yet behind the smooth panel
thrashing and twisting, torn needed secrets
Caught on the gears’ teeth

Each member with set roles
in repetition
moving in rhythmic chaos
Marking time

Woe Is WiFi

Ode to a feckless phone without mercy
If only I could I’d fling your heft
O, device of delight shining brightly
Dragging my joy to its lowest depth

When your role was to make me happy
Instead you’ve rendered my plans bereft
Pixelated frozen true crime documentary
No podcasts, no paranormal audiobooks, no nothing left

Yet a skein of wool has never betrayed me
And my knitting magazine soothes my distress
Thank the fates for my paperback by Anthony Berkeley
Take that spinning pinwheel of death

Tilt A Whirl

It was never meant to go this far
Just wanted to fly on the Whirl A Gig
To scream ourselves hoarse
As the wind caught our secrets

You held my hand on the Ghost Train
It was never meant to go this far
Babysitting money splurged
On hot buttered corn and cotton candy mouthfuls

Cherry ice warm lips
Missing that last bus
It was never meant to go this far
Closer than close, the best of friends

Sawdust clings to our sneakers
Walking for hours beneath uncertain clouds
Still flying
It was never meant to go this far

Tell me a story

Curl into me, little one
I will keep you safe
Your back to my chest
Your hands in mine
My arms are the only cradle you’ve known
Our breaths mingle on Auntie’s sofa

Tell you a story
It’s too late for stories
We have to move again maybe
Okay a short one
The one about the hedgehog
With blow bubble wings and
Bunny ears no bumblebee ears that’s right
I tell the story
You tell the story
it’s turns into a long one

Things will be better tomorrow
Whizzes across a lake faster than light
Tangled strings of me woven
Soaring from beneath the lake’s surface over the treetops
Until your breathing spins into restless dreams
Twitching like the fluffy tail of magic
Another adventure put to sleep
Another night saved, another day to make it right

Late of Mary Lynch, 1869

Electric air bristles with revulsion
Quiet enough for a dropped pin
The world has outgrown sideshows
At least our consciences like to pretend

Truth be told we’re not very far from the freak
shows we’ve only added a markup language spin
Penny Dreadfuls have morphed into podcasts
That teach us it’s never a mannequin

Late of Mary Lynch, an unassuming volume awaits us
Deeply tanned and bound in its curio of sin
We crowd as close as souvenir hunters under the gallows’ shadow
Our flesh undulating for a glimpse of forbidden skin

From gruesome to wisdom
the mind flinches free of its voyeur glory
Grasping one could hold all that’s left of a woman
and still never know her version of the story


Sparkling and paint-splattered, Saturday oversleeps turning into her pillow
Pillow soft Sunday urns for another day and a trenta iced coffee
Coffee carries Monday to work in a fireman’s hold
Holding her promise Tuesday clings to the edge
Edging from the brink Wednesday throws her leg over the hump
Humpback chest Thursday breaks open spilling pages free
Freed Friday shimmies down a fire escape with handfuls of sequins

Five a.m.

Door creaks open

Betwixt my legs
Head in the crook of my knee

By my soles
All soft belly and sharp claws

On my curls
A crescent hot pressed into my dreams

You walk across my chest
Flop down to Luxuriate in lethargy

My eyelids flutter against your snores
I awake into your somnolence

Your Eyes open, a hopeful yowl
“Dammit I’m not feeding you.”

Your Eyes shut

And The Night Draws Near

This is my hand
Deep in my pocket
Over my heart
Covering my eyes, oh God

Covering my eyes
Laying in bed
Never wanting to get up again
Here is my hand

Another morning
Weighs on my chest pressing
Over my heart
Take this hand

Pinned to the sadness
Deep in
The pocket ripped patched torn
Bleeding precious need

To reach out to rise

Pictured Rocks

How much we love each other
An anniversary surprise
Pictured Rocks
Your gift to me despite your fear of heights
Let me take your photo
Back up you say
Take it all in from
First date to first grand baby
That woman just one of many
That woman you talk to late into the nights she is seconds
Our love is decades
Cool sandstone heavy
No one understands
How much I love you
In this our marriage Indian summer
What we have weathered
Ribbons of iron ore red, copper green, and limonite revel
Our love is stone polished
Back up a little more baby you say
You send me to the edge
I’d go to the edge for us

My knee the one that always gives me troubles gives out
I stumble back
My hand that has reached for yours
In the dark
When I’m afraid
For years
stretches out now
I reach, you run
You kick, I drop

Like a stone
Tumbling to the pebbled shore far below
No one understands

How much you love me