though the wings cannot yet be discerned

6:30 am
sky made of red-pink patches
as seen through the spaces
left between tree limbs
the day in insects:
1. two squash bugs found on the inside side
of window screen, i pick them up between my fingers,
open the screen, and toss outside – they leave their
jolly rancher green apple scent behind

2. the distinct sound of a cockroach
falling from the ceiling (crawling out of the crannies
between the beam and everything else )above my bed and landing
near the pillow (this time, i’m not in bed, but sometimes i am)
followed by the distinct sound
of me crushing it between pieces of paper

3. one cricket on top of another
connected at the tail/rear
slightly pulsing
on an edamame leaf as i pluck
pods from the plant
emory showing me our chrysalis
that is beginning to turn dark
though the wings inside cannot yet be discerned
the mossy minty greens
of emory’s shirt and shorts
(close in color, but not the exact same)
and the purple of his crocs
how i tell him i like
his colors today
the crunch/chew of the piece of
licorice gum that emory pops from its
foil seal pack and drops
in my opened palm

the crack of dried edamame pods
splitting in half and the dried dirt that falls from
the uprooted roots
as tookie and i
pod by pod collect the seeds
for planting next year

the pink blush of pomegranate jewels
spilled onto the small plate that we
pass around at the meeting where the
sweet tang bursts in our mouths
on this equinox we eat appropriately:
a dinner in which almost every dish
is made of a brilliant orange color:
mo’s moroccan stew with the season’s first
butternut squash perfectly tender and rich,
the sweet orange bell peppers cooked alongside the beans
and the sungold soda (special quart of sungold tomato juice
mixed with cistern bubbles
for an effervescent experience)
tokyo drifting tyler jokes about
the car that shot up underpass road and
tokyo drifted onto sandhill road
in the moon-n0t-up-yet dark
while the crew of us
make our way up the road from lookfar
and how, even though tyler isn’t even complaining about anything,
i tell him quit yr bitchin which is already
a funny phrase on its own but is especially
funny to me at this moment where it doesn’t
even apply

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the rhythm of this harvest

with our earmuffs (sound barriers, not warmers) on
we (sometimes me and jacob, sometimes trish and i,
sometimes me and one of the two visitors by the names of
adam and alicia)
work our rhythm out- reaching for cane
(tanlged in its tallness) and feeding it to the clacking
grinding moving mill
while down below at the sugar shack
the fire in the boiler heats up and
stan and joseph work in the mists rising
from the steam pans
and we take turns sipping just-pressed (green) sorghum cane juice
and taking in the light, the flavor, the rhythm
of this harvest
sweat forming at my knees and
rolling calfward
on this late september
88-degree day
while i rotate between
gathering and feeding cane
to the mill

moving the paper labels over
damp sponges
to activate the adhesive
before placing them
on jar after jar
i sit and repeat the motion on the porch
with cynthia and mo each doing the same
i’ve experienced it for 23 years of my life

i say (while also acknowledging its power and magic)
about bleeding once a month and now
i’m done, i’m over it
joseph feeling my flexed bicep
as i carry a case of sorghum-filled pint jars
to a shelf in the sugar shack
this is the hottest sorghum cook day
i’ve ever experienced i tell cynthia
who is sweat covered
from feeding wood to the red-hot heat
of the boiler whose temperature
should remain between 90 and 100
the red scrapes that the sharp ends
of cut cane leave on our forearms
(their signature ‘i was here’ mark)
and how it becomes habit to keep feeling
the slightly raised skin around them

this is your growing edge bruin says
how the pre-sunset light these days
coppers everything it lands on

emory with his red rope and padlock
the next mario manzini saying
wrap it (the rope) around the chair
and my wrists and me if it reaches
and then lock it
and i’ll escape

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all kinds of gold

the ginormous bug
(which if i remember correctly, trish calls an assassin bug,
or perhaps a soldier bug
and which the internet tells me is a wheel bug
[which is a type of assassin bug])
i find on one of the clothespins on the line
as i clip my tshirts and skorts and hankies and underwear and socks up to dry
and bring to emory who tells me to show it to cynthia
who just showed him a chrysalis made of
all kinds of gold

what punches me in the gut
as baigz talks about the drilling
under the mississipi
for the pipeline in progress
is how the process involves
first drilling all the way across (underneath the river)
from one side to another and how
in order to break through
the un-break-through-able earth
water is taken from the river
then chemicals are added
then it is drilled/blasted through
to make a tunnel
and the chemical-saturated earth that is bored out
is carried away
by the truckful
and dumped 5 miles or so away

it’s official – today is the day i give up trying
to describe/repaint the sunset sky, i’ll
just say this:
a mass (cloud – thick and dark) moving in
from the north and west
a mass whose north and south edges are visible at the same time
a mass whose thickness doesn’t let light through
but it’s edges are gilded, sherbet-like, or
the place in an actual rainbow between the red and yellow,and before that, it was the way the light
turned everything it fell on
gold and glowing
(which i consider to be the universal signal
for being called to stand/walk/move/be underneath that sky –
to lay oneself in the rocks on the road
to take it all in
and when i say all i mean
i didn’t even tell you about
the lightning rippling behind/through
the mass
nor did i tell you about the jagged edges
of some other clouds
further north and west
whose darkness and discernable edges
against the varying intensities of glowing pink
look like paper edges
torn against the glow
nor did i tell you about those other kinds of clouds
off to the east
that look like drops of moisture about to fall
from a ceiling but still clings
moments longer
lengthening before its own weight
pulls it down

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as the sky gives itself

how the light at this angle
at this time of year
falling through loft window
encourages/invigorates/makes so much feel possible
and makes me want to do everything i love
all at once
the blood spot
(still wet and bright)
on a leaf just outside the fortsythia
where emory and i were sawing/lopping
in efforts to maintain the fort
and later, the blood on the sink and
a dot/drop on the floor and how i
wipe down the dried smears on em’s arm
and how he holds his hand higher than his heart
like i suggested and how joseph ointments the baindaid
he wraps on em’s pinky finger
whose flesh is flappy and ragged
but the cut is not so deep

we should probably lay low em says
after his finger is bandaged and wrapped
and after i’m done organizing
the chaos that is the first aid kit
which dottie jokes should is more like second aid

a name for seeing new views/land/road
when one runs farther than they have run before
a sort of opening
perhaps similar to how it felt
to hit the highway in the early morning
with tony and brent

on my first month-long road trip as an adult
which somehow felt different than
our family travels (always by car) as a kid –
a sort of opening / celebration
rubbing my fingers together
to sprinkle the salt
on cynthia’s delectable apple crisp
humming/singing – a name for the sensation
in my cells, in these limbs
of a post-run/post-outdoor-shower/post dinner body
as the sky gives itself over to stars and
night and i lay on the loft bed (also known as a foam mat)
not bedtime but just a call to be in stillness
and feel my ribs risefalling
while i take the shifting light in

the eastern screech owl sounds drifting in
through window/door screens
while the closing credits to a serious man
rise from bottom of computer screen to the top
dottie, ty, cynthia and i
lined up on the ginormous futon,
none of our feet reaching the ground

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the necessaryness

trish describing a wild cranberry bog
in minnesota
the soft feel underfoot
as we wait for other frisbee players to arrive
and christina and i both laughing
about the goofyness of that word
which trish seems to repeat a million times
in the box! in the box! trish
calls out

while our team of two plays hotbox
against christina and mica
it was a harvest moon last night
ty says

and partial solar eclipse
somewhere out there
beneath the pale moonlight
mica and i singing

like we’re in a musical
with dramatic gestures
and very loudly
as we climb/descend the steps
leading to the whitehouse
already full on lunch but i cannot help
hitting that rainbow-sprinkled doughnut
sliced wedge by wedge
in the mixed box from dean
perched on snack counter

the bright green of and steam rising from
edamame scooped out of boiling pot
as i process what ends up being 12 quarts
of pop-into-your-mouth protein
tookie and isabelle
doing that side-glance
that musicians do with each other
as they sing the song on the porch couch
about vapin the pepto bismal

the necesarryness
that exists sometimes
for a door to close
at sunset
to a clean clean room
something fortifying
in this
moonstar, the all black-cat
with one gray hair on her forehead
who was the runt that emory wanted
and is therefore small
purr-curling zipped up in my hoodie
rhythmic sleep-breathing

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dance like you own the place

red tailed hawk
cawing as it lifts skywards
off electric wire pole
there you are i say
because i have been wondering
about this encourager of swiftness and movement
bonus pack i call out
about the three chocolate covered almonds
trish hands me after asking
if i want one –
perfect power pellets for working my way through dinner
for which i roll out garlic buttery biscuits,
food-process chimichurri with sundried tomatoes,
stir fry edamame in ginger, sesame oil, tamari and sorghum,
and flip thin slices of illinois squash slices on their pans
which end up crispy and bright yellow
and tasting like pringles

how i call out RAINBOW!!!!! from the back yard
and then walk around to the porch to tell them
there’s a bigass rainbow
glowing bright and full
in that sky over us

sorghum i say when sarah asks/jokes
what’s your secret
about the prosthetic hair
clipped to my actual hair
falling down long past my shoulders

mica and trish and i laughing
in the gravel parking lot
still sweaty from the dance party
as we rearrange the magnetic letters
that say uncrap your life
on the side of someone’s hybrid
to read: unclap your fire
and how we are still laughing

as we get in the car
as we are pulling out of the parking lot
and even as we are well on our way down the road
tom-foolery i call it and trish says
i feel like a teenager

you can put my dance moves in there mica (or was it trish?) says
about the detail collector
which ones i ask
i liked my fins she says
about the final part of the party
where we took turns calling out
dance like a (fill in the blank)!
for instance: dance like a spider,
a basketball player,
like you own this place,
like you have no shoulders,
a fish

from the water world:
Women hold umbrellas and wade through a waterlogged street in the rain in Hyderabad, India. Monsoon season in India begins in June and ends in October.
– voice of america, day in photos

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a lifetime to land

it has taken a lifetime
to land in this body i write
and read aloud and
talk about the rhythm of my running shoe’d feet
on gravel/mud
and the unraveling of this inherited tendency
for apologies
stepping away from the mercantile porch
after writer’s group, alyson takes us
on a monarch chrysalis tour
of the courtyard revealing
the black one which means it’s about to burst
maybe today and when i lean in close
i can see through the black stretched chrysalis skin
to the familiar orange/black/white markings
of wings that have not yet fluttered but soon
will know the air it dips and flits through
roller blading joseph says and i laugh
for what feels like five minutes and
fruit boots baigz chimes in
having been called such
by those on skateboards at the park
which makes me want to get a pair
from the water world:

A koala soaked by floodwaters sits atop a fence post to escape the deluge in the town of Stirling in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia. – voice of america, day in photos

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