naming sky

the way one of the windows pefectly frames the tall conifers scraping sky
in the neighbor’s yard as seen from the couch
where i peruse the national geographic issue on gender
she hands me a clump of bright pink succulent-like blossoms
fallen to the sidewalk and i pin them
into my updo swirls
lemon ice, new copper, blue vein, grayberry, and rose cantaloupe/cantaloupe rose

we practice the whole naming-sky-at-sunset-colors thing again

a name for the meals that get picked at and go cold
or are slowly effortfully eaten (moving food around in mouth as if it were a ball of clay)
because of these things in us called hearts layered with all the complexities of being human
and how there are words and not words
for all of it

sacred assignment she says when i name my work as to trust and hers as honesty

sticking around she says with a question mark and i feign arm-to-arm, side-to-side
glued-togetherness, joking
that we might need to go down to the hardware store
in order to remedy the situation

for tradition’s sake  she says
eating a spoonful of mint chocolate chip ice cream from my bowl

the bruisedness

the shine of the mississippi
as seen from this bluff lookout –
how the land rises up around its banks
an echo of the columbia river gorge
only on a smaller scale and with 
different plants
including trees whose leaves turn 
the scarletest and the pumpkinest at the same time
because i know you like to get up high she says about our climb to the blufftop
referring to the dream of a crow’s nest
(like in the mast of a tall ship)
at the next place i live

sweet subtle pine needle in-the-sun scent
carried on air
from the edge of the golf course
on bliss road
over the underlying smell
of fertilizer spray on the
green green grass
the bruisedness (feeling, not appearance) on hips and collarbones
when strap the backpack
whose weight i carried some miles last night
back on
to walk the rest of the entire length
of lacrosse
in the bright sun and swirling leaves

the rattleclatter of the bus moving us eastward
while the sun lands in all the corn
not yet harvested
verna on the hospital steps
black bonneted and reaching
past one layer of skirt
into a deep rectangular pocket sewed into another layer
for an index card wtih handwriting on it


how on the walk down,
i tug jennifer behind me
as the oncoming traffic approaches
as we walk the road made more for cars and a little for bikes but not very much for humans walking.
water that could be warmer
coming out of the spout
and tumbling over my shoulder
filling the 5thousand dollar bathtub that came with the house
which looks a little like an oval ginormous soup bowl
and we talk about power