small parades

all the deflated halloween decorations
in their greens and purples and blacks and oranges
melted on the lawn
as if the wicked witch herself
trashy i say about the malt balls
i offer as snacks
but so good
small parades(not as in ‘on display’

but as in several in small groups moving along
on the same road)
of sleek horses pulling buggies that close shut
complete with windshields
we roll past in the almost dusk

on a sunday night
along highway 14

all you need to know

the grit in the back porch concrete
working as a grip
to hold my palms, the soles of me feet
as i downward dog and warrior two
in the patch of sun falling through
the hugeness that the honeylocust
has become
i use the word impasse
which feels mostly right

but could use a bit more nuance

how we all look like how we’ve always looked
in our photos through the years,
i spend a lot of time trying to puzzle out
which cousin is which aunt/uncle’s kid
and who lives where and who is who’s sibling
almost urgent with the need
to classify
to organize
in order to understand
that’s how it’s always been with dad’s side
but this time i try saying to myself
you’re cousins
isn’t that all you need to know


i copied everything
dawn says of the vows
the decorations
the arch with the fabric woven through it

elijah, nica, kathryn and i
speedwalking along the forest path
to get across the the creek bridge
and through the abandoned field as elijah calls it
(something once grown there,
now just stubs)
and onto the gravel path that lines the field
where kathryn sends milling geese up into the air
(their great cacophony rising with them)
by running towards them
mom dad and chris
generating verbs and nouns
up too late around the kitchen table
to complete the mad lib version
of the wedding

the lightweightness of

the lightweightness
of mom’s blue cane
as i pick it up
to hand it back to her
in the library
where we meet
three maybe four
as seen from the highways carving the route
from here to there
the clothes i drape in the chilly moonlight
to air the candle/air freshener smell out
hoping the wind will pull the scent from the weave
of my sweater
my hoodie
my leggings
my scarf

we fill up on ferns

how i EEEEP! at the news
first acceptance in what feels like years
at the residency in wyoming
saying yes
to me and my work

the two wild grapes each
that we find to snack on and the
dwindling sips of water that remain in my bottle
as the path with endless switchbacks (and no signs)
plays trickster with us
until finally
the water tells us where we are
and that, barring another switchback,
we are headed in the right direction
how we fill up on ferns
and air
and light
topping off our critical tanks

autumn angle of sun

it’s as if we’re waiting to hear the verdict
whether or not women are actually humans

i say something like this
beyond-infuriated in the kitchen
when jennifer mentions
the gang rape train and
drugged drinks and
other details from another accuser
coming forward to speak up
about this dude who could be nominated
to the supreme court and take away
the rights of women
to make their own choices about
their own bodies

the rest of the day
tastes sour
and sharp
the blue gray bird (heron)
wings spread wide
lifting up into air
while i bike by,
the autumn angle of the sun
splashing an extra sheen
on the moving water

the unbelievable heat

the sidewalk running down the middle of the greenhouse
like a kind of runway or track
that i jog back and forth on
and jumping-jack
to warm up
as the rain goes after the plastic walls
in falling temperatures
the unbelievable heat
i step into
as the tub fills
my feet recovering
from too much wet cold
at an outdoor job
how i slice and saw
at the pot pie
perfect crust
crunchy in its gluten-freeness
the air sage scented
or rosemary
or some savory fall spice
the first poofs of the year
of woodstove smoke rising
from one trailer and then another
as i pull into green acres mobile estate
and drive up the hill

gray, i call out

riding a bike alone through town
the waiting at a stoplight
the taking the lane so that any car behind me
can turn right
the being part of traffic
the moving through the streets
how it’s been so long
since i’ve lived in a place
where this is part of a daily experience
yet how my body memory
knows this

the jokingly required-by-law treats
that jennifer delivers
to my library study carrel:
a bag packed
with peanut butter malt balls
the slot below the carrel barrier
where we pass notes
and markers
back and forth
including the drawing of a heart with a mane
and a cat face and a cat body drawn on
in purple and red and green and pink
is it black or white she asks
as we bike up the start of the huge hill home
about the smoke i see rising in the west
gray i call out loud enough
for the words to catch up to her

from our home-made mad lib

sparky the small dog
who must weigh 10 pounds
fallen into the down blanket crevass
between us
sleeping into morning
it was so cold, i thought i might wake
to find the ground covered in tax forms
we both laugh a lot at this line in particular

from our home-made mad lib
that we leave on the counter
at lisa’s place in town where we dog sat
the red/black box
wrapped in sheer maroon bow
lisa brought us from the chocolate place and how later
we pass the truffles
(one red and faceted like a jewel,
one domed and with a lacquered looking strip running across it
[the sheen/depth similar to a tiger eye jewel or
a polished strip of wood])
and one pyramid-like
with little cacao nibs tumbling off
two of the neighbors
and their two dogs
(everest, the month old border collie) and mollie
tumbling over each other
and chasing and jumping and
too cute for most words
though i do say something about
how this is some quality puppy tv

the huge round rising
of an almost full moon
against the lavender blueberry sky,
sun just about to dip down
into horizon
what luck
to get to follow it back home

there is no ‘away’

the impromptu quiz show
noa and i put on
in the kitchen at lisa’s place
trying to guess the answers
to whose party it was
what kind of cake was there
what kind of games they played
there is no ‘away’

this is a common statement/theme
in the films we watch
about plastic
and the problem of it
swirling in our oceans
and everywhere else
the statistic in the film
that states one million plastic bags are used
per minute
in the world
and how modbury england
became england’s first plastic-bag-free town

the dead dinosaurs will carry you

i have a car!
and it has fossil fuel in it!
i sing/exclaim

about the complexity and the novelty of it all
the dead dinosaurs
will carry you up the hill
jennifer says

about me driving up the incline
that, on some days, is too much work
at the end of a day of work
to pedal up
which isn’t to say i will now bike to work every day,
i won’t.

i hope it never feels normal i say
about the first drive to work
in a car i just bought
in the most expensive purchase of my life
(which actually wasn’t that expensive for a car)
that i’m still in some denial about

the stunned fledgeling
on the cool ground
just off the porch where grey kitty
bats it in its downy feathers about

the scene in the plastics documentary
about the nurdle spill
(nurdle = pellet of plastic that serves as raw material for making plastic products)
along the beaches of hong kong
after the contents of six forty-foot shipping containers of nurdles
washed ashore,
the beaches appear to be snow covered
or made of white sand
but it it’s all plastic