of the giants we call

zero deggrees yesterday
and twenty degrees today

says mom’s voice on the phone message
spoken in milwaukee
about the days’ highs
holding palm to moss patches
draped on branches of the
giants we call trees
as we walk under/beside/along
rainwater dripping onto palm
brown with red/orange edges
salamander (or is it newt?)
crossing the wet path
on the short loop of a trail
that sometimes follows the creek
and its baby, a tiny tiny snake-looking creature
which i first mistake for a twig
how long it has been since
surrounding myself by these tree-giants
and how it tugs my heart alive
to stand near them
blessed by their quietpower presence
the resonance (part gong, part chime)
of shannon’s rose-metal water bottle
when it comes into contact with other objects
such as a chair or door jamb
c’mon scorp, level up i chide/jest
when gina says she doesn’t get jealous
how we move
the square table under the light
so we can each take a side
fitting pieces of the 550-piece puzzle
into shape
and how we joke-sibling-fight
when it comes down to the last empty patches
filling in
reaching and leaning
throwing shade
and trying on endings of words in
various languages we don’t knwow so we make up
grasping at the waves and snowcaps and
yellowflowers that remain
white opal card
pulled fromn jelly’s stone/gem deck
connect with guides she reads from the booklet
clear up negative self talk
accept yourself as a creature
who is deserving of all kinds
of love

the sound of moving water
that fades in
when the sound of the wall heater
fades out

the shape and shimmer

sweet smell of morning-baked biscuits
radiating out from the kitchen
gina offers the
fluffy/buttery/crusted pastries
saying anyone who’s from the south
knows how to make biscuits

guessing the ingredients in the
lola-made smoothie that awaits me
in the fridge
its cool glass wrapped in my palm
the white/grey of coconut milk/banana base flecked
with bits of puffed hemp
what is a word i ask, my hands wrapped
around mug of hawthorne, ginger, mullein tea
for things in a museum
artifacts lola responds
their own mug steaming in their hands
how i stand in the night
on sidewalk
bike frame leaning against my frame
the way the wet streets shine
under streetlight
the shape and shimmer the road-side trees take
the way the wet air meets my handle-bar curved fingers
and how, no matter how much this city changes, all this
will always feel like home / the known
lola’s red raincoat
flying out around/behind them
in the wind as they pedal, cape-like
shiz’s teacher valentine loot
spilled onto square table
around which we sit
pens to paper
twelve minutes ticking down
and how we laugh in between the
word-spilling silences
and how this too
is a home-landing
distant rhythm of metal zipper
meeting metal dryer barrel
spinning into sleep-dreaming ears

rattled inside

raising mostly-open kitchen blinds
as high as they possible can and the
resulting sun that rectangles itself
along the surface of counter and sink
with this still-congested voice
i read from one time zone into another
the words of chrystos’s i like a woman who packs

an exultation of (meadow)larks
gina says in her sauvie island birding reportback
a hundred herons
unable to recall the tea’s proper name
i ask for the pink tea, the citrusy one
whose ruby color
poured into clear glass mug
is worth it alone
and whose tangy clear taste
is an extra bonus
turn these diamonds straight
back into coal
– overheard lyric from a song which
turns out to be the stable song by gregory alan isakov
while i ink words
onto postcards
smudge of blue chalk
on sidewalk i run over
hopscotch squares
with arrows and directions
and how it makes me smile just as much
as my previous (first) encounter
the mini cherry tart whose crust
could use a little more salt
sliced into four pieces and its
pink-sprinkled heart cookie
set aside on the same table
as the orange metal japanese tea warmer
flicker of candle flame heating the
chrysanthemum, lavender and third herb i can’t remember tea
shiz, jess and i sip from our
small handle-less cups
held round in our palms
what gets rattled inside me when i come across
this photo from a collection of photos by thomas kiefer
of confiscated personal belongings
found in the trash at the immigration detention center
in ajo, arizona
is difficult to name but something about
encountering this image
after having seen this very construction
of fabric-wrapped black water bottles
in the arroyos of ajo desert myself
after having picked them up, empty
after having meal after meal
at the same table with those who were crossing
a remove of the remove
a sharp startle of not unlike seeing someone i recognize
on the nightly news
a double take
a rattle that
shakes me out of my body and then
pulls me back in again

call me sequinning

something like a clown car or
the shit show˚ we have always been,
the brontosaurii (lauren, jesse, lola, shiz, me)
one hour off schedule but still
we lace our boots on and
tromp our way up and down
cape horn mountain
and make it back to town in time
˚(to be noted: we might be shit show but still,
when it comes down to it,
we get it done)
growing out of soft-mossed branches/stumps:
green fern fronds pointed up and
ruffling in gorge-top wind
i wouldn’t call it fear of commitment
i talk over my shoulder to jesse
as he and ziggy and i wend our way
back down
but i am able to articulate
this terror of apathy/complacence/roteness/taken-for-grantedness/dependence
speaking my language i joke
in the back seat about the jar of
crunchy jif which i spoon-scoop into
and scrape with apple wedge
it’s nice to have something shiny
lola says referencing the presence
of someone they kiss in their life
in the backseat as we roll
along the gorge
whose waters swell and shimmer
the POOM!!!!!!! and KABOOOM!!!!!!
puncturing night from two doors down
(fireworks i asess to be purchased
across the river which also serves
as the state border)
while shiz and i grate carrots
for the bbq side dish
perspectivizer i call shiz when
she helps me see what my storyspinning
can so easily obscure
a name for
how partway through (the movie bridesmaids)
gina, shiz and i are laughing
so uproariously that i keep hoping
it will not end,
at least not quite yet
please don’t
call me friend

call me unicorn
call me queen
call me sequinning

call me tiger stripe
call me moon matter
call me swatch of sunset

call me made of universe
(a mobile hung from larynx,
planets rotating inside ribcage)
call me what once was (and still is)
call me pumpkin pastry or coconut ginger

call me tree fort
or arugula patch
call me last harvest
(pecans gathered from the orchard at the edge of
the bike path
dusty shells cracking against each other
in the pressure of a palm)

call me spirit
call me wingspan
call me blood orange juice dripping
down forearm in the morning

call me great lake,
8th wonder,
the sand that made the glass you
sip from that might one day become sand again

call me a ripple in the time space continuum
which has shown us what can happen when
it lines up in our favor

call me gale force (as in: wind)

call me ponderosa pine
call me luminous
call me cougar

call me card zero (as in a journey’s beginning)
or call me seeker

call me all the miles
between the places where our feet meet earth
(you – sand-scraped desert
me – moss-soft rainforest)

call me your favorite practice of being present
so i know what it feels like
to be plagarized

call me personal trainer
call me camera shy
call me boy,
call me the part of the moon we can’t see but know is there

call me kale chip
call me herman@
call me the sound of my 25-cent ring
when it hits the floor

call me origin
call me storyspun
call me the creaking of a sea-tossed ship

call me hot water bottle
call me element
call me the shape of my fist curled

call me the brass section of a marching band
call me blood pulse
call me made of muscle/bone/skin
bending like ani’s buildings and bridges
were made to
in the wind

moon-made or maybe

slap of thin yoga mat
as i unroll it on living room floor diagonally
and the aches that reveal
the places sickness settled
as i stretch limb, muscles, tendons, skin
sharp knife slide-sinking
into citrus skin,
fruit of a san francisco back yard orange tree
gifted with the caveat of
i don’t know if it’s good or not
its tart sweet juiciness
proving its ultra-goodness
which means i kick myself for not consuming a
small citrus fortune each morning spent
at bryant street
they look like a fucking oil slick
gina says about the starlings that
swoop into the feeder
booting the downy woodpecker
out of the bird buffet
one hand holding daphna’s the other
wrapped around shiz’s
surprised to find what the layers are made of
and how the body/heart/brain reveals itself
when i find myself saying
i just want to be home
verdant is not a word i usually use but
how can one not
when referring to the
patches of moss
softbursting in strips
where the sidewalk cracks
something like a bouquet
of silver flowers,
moon-made or maybe stardipped,
bursting inside ribcage when i think of
how i carry
all people i love
in this vessel called body
as we roll from one end
of the nightwaters
(willamette river reflecting back all the lights
of street and building and city)
to the other
on a bridge i have crossed many
times before this one
similar to how i say
that means its working
about a poem when it makes someone cry,
tonight tears come
before i can even begin to articulate
what the sounds are doing to make me respond this way
seated in row q at the portland syphony
about three minutes into
gustav holst’s jupiter from the planets symphony
(precisely at 2:54 in this video)