Saturday, July 19, 2008

flash flood

and then the mountains gave way to a plain
of cacti, ragged scrub and empty space.
away, a little north, a storm cloud raced
the west wind, and a heavy sheet of rain

blocked out the jagged peaks. the radio
was crackling, signal weak, but strong enough
for us to hear the warning of flash floods
in western clark. "go slow, now, baby, slow,"

and in her eyes, the lightning flashed. When she
was gone, with him, and no word for some time
the flash flood crossed in front me. The line
of distant mountains faded, blocked in seas

of gray. just down the road a ways the sky
was blue, and yet the stormcloud held my eye.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What I Didn't Know

and there I was, between the place where I
could still turn back, and that last, wild step
across the edge. The moon, a little shy
of half full, waxing, then, began to dip

down towards the streetlights, took their orange glow
like spray on tan. The road was empty but
for me, a couple trucks. I didn't know
the answer, yet I knew that it would cut

me either way. I didn't know that she
would say it, thought that I would be the one
to break. I didn't know if it would be
spray on emotion, like the color from

the streetlights on the moon, and yet I knew
that there was only one thing I could do.

And looking back, a month now come and gone
I have no doubt the choice I made was right.
The moon, half full again, was sitting on
the strip, as I rode home, and in her light,

the neon faded. When I looked her way
she touched me gently, as she slowly slid
behind the sheet of cloud. If I could say
that I'd take back a single thing I did,

I'd know I'd fucked it up. I've tried to write
this poem, and use the line about the moon
and streetlights, but I couldn't make it tight
enough. It could have been too late, too soon,

too anything, but looking at her face,
I know, at least, I'm not alone in space.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Before Gravity

A hangnail moon, cracked, yellow, half obscured,
lay limply on a ragged bed of cloud
behind the bowling alley where we stood
in late November, Tuesday, I believe.
I looked away and tried to think of what
excuses I could make, what I could say,
besides I’m bored, besides I want to fuck
another girl. The winter air was thick,
the wind, rising from the bay a mile off
was damp and swift and cold. her cigarette
was yellow at the tip, and on the butt,
and all that I could think of was the girls
who finished off their wine, then paid the bill,
put lip gloss on and left two coasters, on
the bar, which they had kissed. They winked and turned
and looked around before they walked away.

I think my average score was low, we bowled
four games, and left, at midnight, when they closed.
At home the dog was waiting, and I thought
how fuckin’ stupid I would be to leave
this life. We last had sex three weeks ago.

I’m up till five am, watching tv
and playing online poker while I read
the craigslist personals. I’m really not
quite sure how I got here. And maybe worse,
no fucking clue how I can get away.
So here we are, at 5am, we three:
the hangnail moon, the yellow smoke, and me.