four pink cherry blossoms open

1. walking
half a block
to let the chickens out
into the morning
four pink cherry blossoms open
air light with slight bite
like spring
new needles
on a spruce tree

2. besides
drawing a circle of protection
around myself
and clyde
every time i ride
this is when i also find myself singing
and times when you’re all alone all you do is think
i’m a cowboy, on a steel horse i ride
i’m wanted dead or alive
wanted dead or alive

3. overheard:
talking about latkes
at the shuttle stop

4. tomorrow
you will go running
i tell myself
your body
will thank you

5. rockin around
the christmas tree
have a happy holiday

playing on the shuttlebus
while driving over deserty
so-cal canyons
something feels misfiled

6. searching for
in the card catalog

7. cranking
the art stacks
with the silver spin handle
so i can
slip inside
the parted shelves
on tracks
to browse

8. overheard
on campus:
i’ll give you a hint
it’s easier
if you work backwards

9. in a room
of 50-some
(grads, undergrads, faculty, staff)
this is the first time
in months
i’ve been asked
to state
my preferred gender pronoun
this is one of the ways
coming home
feels like
someone articulates
the death/deadness
of this place
and it feels like coming home
even more

10. you know me/
my routine
well enough
that you ask
if i will be shuttle-waiting
or water-fetching
in hopes
of finding a time
to phoneconnect
tin cans
on a string
from the pacific
to the atlantic
where instead of going to bed
you finish reading
fugitive pieces

11. in line
for pierogies at
the poland house
in balboa park
wrapped agains the chill
lit up air
of december nights

12. for eight dollars
kaya and i share a paper plate
of 6 potato and cheese pierogies
with vegetarian sauer kraut
i convince her to speak polish with the food servers
and she has me share one of the words from our daily lesson
so i say jabłko
and then throw a dziękuję (thank you)
in there for a good measure

13. when i ask
how to say snack
she says

14. kaya
and i
(me behind my privacy leaf)

in the parked car
for traffic to thin out