a name for the hills

jennifer and i tossing the moldy pieces of jokingly/lovingly called
homemade vegan cracker jerky
past the pine knob sign
sometimes thwacking the sign itself
sometimes sending it clear over
the rumble strips cut into the pavement beneath us
rattling our breath, our bikes, our bones
and how the cars that approach on them,
as heard from a distance, sound like farts
or jake brakes_______

unnamed phenomenon:
a name for the hills that we’re not sure
we’ll make it up but when it comes to it
we’ve find we’ve pedaled ourselves up to the top
and back down again

the paper boats we fold

the paper boats we fold
written with wishes

and fastened with construction paper flames
and filled with the purple yellow orange gold white pink
of wildflowers plucked on our walk along the way to the creek
where we let them go bobbing along on the surface
into the summer solstice
and the fireflies we stop and watch
on our walk back

to not re-ink the story

for solstice we talk
about sending paper boats
down the cool and ever-moving (even in wisconsin winter) creek
how this statement:
UPDATE (8:30 p.m.): Funeral arrangements have been finalized for Antwon Rose.
is too final
too quickly
for a human who was just breathing and doing other being-alive kinds of things
only eight hours ago
though i don’t know antwon
i want to grind the hours down to a halt – so slow
that time starts to tip – tumbling backwards into itself
which might allow someone to step in to whisper
into antwon’s ear
into his feet set on moving
imploring him not to run
even when every cell insists otherwise
and all that tumbling backwards into time
might also allow one of us to whisper into the ear
of the anonymous cop
and into his hand shaped around a gun
telling him
to not shoot
to not kill
to not re-ink the story
that has already been written
by cop bullets and cop hands
all over black bodies
how i want this poem
to be a balm
for all those
set to run
because of the stories
they keep hearing about themselves
arriving, always arriving in the form
of a brutalized body
not a balm to soothe the terrible things
into some sort of apathy
but a balm that undoes the message
unfurling itself hurtling alongside the bullets
that zing through the too still air
pausing time or bending it or slowing it down and speeding it up simultaneously or stretching it to one side or another
as they hurtle from machine into body
punctuating the too old and too still-alive story
that says blackness means killable

green i have seen

rain and gray outside i
pull the white down blanket form the dryer
and burrito myself inside
while talking on the phone
to shiz two time zones away
with whom i laugh about grapefruiting
and ask about isolation

gray cat curled in a charcoal-colored sweater-lined
medium size priority mail box
on the porch

the cinnamon smell of granola in the oven
curlie-q-ing out the oven door
into the kitchen
and out onto the porch

the greenest green i have ever seen
of the plantain and other plants mix
jennifer hunts, harvests, cleans and chops
swimming in a mason jar of everclear



trowel delivery! i call out
from the bike i rode down to the garden,
my hand on the trowel handle
and on the brake
look, they’re contra-dancing we joke
about the twerk-off dance club showdown
of girls trip and later we laugh-cry
about the word blooperlessness
to describe the lack of funny antics after the very end
of all the credits
the cool air that comes with the rain
blowing in the front windows
onto our shoulders

cooled and ready

the deer that startles at the edge of the gravel side road
while i bike past
my belly full of strawberry smoothie on this day
destined to hit 90 degrees
turning to thank the creek as i
step out of its cooling moving waters
my hair dripping
my legs cooled
ready for the bike ride home
in the hot hot humid heat
i spent most the afternoon in the shade
on the patio
working on my bonsais
is my dad’s father’s day report

shared while he’s out on a walk
and i’m clipping my toenails
before a late dinner of salad rolls

don’t try

the deer grazing on the side of the busy highway
where the sound of loud fast passing traffic
doesn’t seem to disturb it but the sound of me
grinding past on the gravel on my bike
frightens it over the fence and into the woods
and i call out after saying be careful!
don’t try to cross this road if you don’t have to