fevering / i’m coming home

in the not-yet-light early morning
i kiss spotty the aging cat on her forehead
(and i would kiss her orange eyelashes too, if i could)
and tell her i love her
and that i wish i could take her with me
_______
the sound of a ping pong ball
being volleyed back and forth
echoing through st. paul/minneapolis union station
at seven-something a.m.
_______
it feels good to say this
i write alongside a photo of the sunrise streaking
clouds with gold across the morningblue sky
above the freight train that fills
the bottom of the frame
i’m coming home
_______

tracks criss-crossing the snow-covered
mississippi backwaters
for miles
mostly deer, i gather,
but also human
and certainly there are also birds and
possibly raccoons and
surely coyote and fox and…
_______

how right there
in the too-hot amtrak station side room
juniper scoops me
as i wrap my arms and legs around
and how we press our cheeks into
our faces into
our whole selves into
each other

_______

juniper and i in a backseat of the rattly bus
the heater blowing at our feet
while we pass a bowling alley
where one guy takes a little oblong/rectangular wheely bag
and wheels it along
do you think he’s got his bowling shoes in there juniper asks
yeah, and bowling balls and gloves and all his other bowling stuff i say
let’s see what this other guy pulls out of the car i say
just as the other guy pulls out a thing the same size as that wheely bag
but has paws and legs and
turns out to be a dog –
how the laughter explodes out of us
at the ridiculousness and perfect-timedness of this
and how we replay the moment
at least three more times
because it was that good
_______
the flight of the welcome home eagle
seen, first, through train window and
later, through rattly bus window
as we ride the highway so curvy
it takes 45 minutes to ride 20 miles
_______

falling asleep
to juniper’s falling-asleep breath
me fevering
our limbs and torsos
pressed together