Love & Smiles

When I dripped ice cream onto my shirt, you smiled and

The sparkle in your blue eyes said, “I love that you’re not perfect.”

But I want to be perfect, to make you smile again with

One touch of my lips to the sweet of your neck.

A Bird’s Song

Majestic—bejeweled:

Red gorgets shine like shields—black-tipped, dipped in gold.

Courting bluebirds stir the swarming insects into the sun’s rays.

 

A fluffy-feathered sparrow swoops down and pounces

on the ground, up with an earthworm. A lark swoops down

And pounces, up with an empty beak, then shrills upwards.

 

A boy, bubbling and toddling, grasps his daddy’s fingers,

Hears a bird’s song, spots the flicking wings

Among the leaves. They clap in bejeweled majesty.

Last Spring

The Pacific sunset refracted—

Long shadows and golden reds.

Her daughter made a sandcastle

And she felt a lump on her breast.

 

Home showering, cupping,

The sedated memory of

The extracted reason why

Her husband left her (alone).

 

Her little girl

Tied a handkerchief

On her head

Like her mother,

And played tickle-tickle with the knot of skin

At the end of the scar,

Above her mom’s heart.

 

Mid-day while knitting she recalled

Her surgeon’s name, put down her needles,

And kicked at shadows and the wind.

Her little girl twirled, thinking her mom was dancing.

Dusk Over Pier A Park, Hoboken

A mother bird nests in the bowed eves;

Her young dead on the ground below.

The reddening dusk etched and balanced

Above the palisades—the sky pressed down,

Distanced.

The clamor of the city’s rattle

Squeezes tight the pulsing blood:

Heels click, flip-phones clack closed,

The last commuter train bumps to a stop

With the weight of the city inside.

A girl and her brother dart ahead, snapping;

Mom and dad stroll close behind, silent.

When she gets older, the girl loses her brother.

She watched the tower fall with him in it

From the same spot they darted ahead, snapping.

Two derelict men kneel down,

Lower their faces to a fresh spill

Of water on the floor, rest on their elbows,

And lap the cool water.

Birching the Dust Below

The tingle on my tongue,

From a late summer nectarine:

Glistening, ripe, swollen,

cracked by desert-warmed wisps.

 

From my lips the tiniest

syrup-rich droplet drips,

birching the dust below,

alerting the ants to swarm, feast.