magma in the floodplains

something frightening
about the weather report for tomorrow on the radio
(that i listen to while stitching the first row of quilt stitches
across a band of white)
that goes something like

a high of 51 degrees
and a low of seven

the racket (of color and sound) of cardinals
going after the juniper berries (once snow covered, then revealed in the thaw
of a two-day fake spring
and then being rapidly obscured again
by the rain-turning-ice)
scattered in astonishing amounts
across the commonhouse lawn
the brightness of my blue jacket
used as a leash 
on jack the jack russell terrier
who ignored me when i sternly told him
you stay here and go home
when he caught up to me on my three mile walk

to apple’s place
in the nearly 50degree  temperature
of this fake spring day
in the pre-sunset hour
tonight’s sunset colors:
phase one: pastel tye-dye
phase two: magma in the floodplains
the prerequisites are that we must know the chords
(or they must be easy to learn)
we have to rock loud and sing loud
as apple and i take turns
on the electric guitar
which is almost more novelty than we can handle
the songs include:
i love rock and roll
blister in the sun
smells like teen spirit
a princess and the pea sortof situation i say
of the pallette we put down which includes
an area rug
two sleeping pads
a deluxe winterwarm sleeping bag to climb into
and  one sleeping bag for padding
and two blankets to boot


how i jump

in the dream
the fresh snow-covered ledge
stapmed with hearts and letters and hello  kitty pictures
and how i jump from ledge to rooftop and am slipping off
struggling to get my grip and swinging by a limb and sizing up the distance
between me and the ground
while in real life
a soothing hand moves through my hair
the laughing kind of tears in my eyes
at the pupet show birthday video
that we film in front of the orange couch
featuring an array of sock creatures:
stripey, penelope and mousie


the scandanavian handclap game
at jumping jack junction
how we double over
in our doown and wool layers
when we miss and how i cheer
when we get the gist

candlewax  she says 
about the sunset colors and i say
lavender blueberry, i think i’ve said that one before and
jem and the holograms
as we walk the lightbrown gravel road
headed out of the wind
the dimness i say appreciating
the glow of three advent candles (which she later realizes should be four)
and the floorlamp turned down low

brittle air
a cold night slap
on bare cheeks as we
crane our necks
brilliant lights pricking through
the inky dark

the short bright path

the short bright path
of a meteor
as seen out the car window
in the pitch black of a moonless 
4:30am sky

i hope you don’t get glued i say to ted in the dark of a day whose sun has not yet risen,
a farewell wish in reference to the weird progress/decision
oof the medical industry to not stitch nor staple but glue people back together again
who have been sliced or split open

tangerine lava flower, that’s the color of this sky’s sunrise i text
and later: now it’s lavender charcoal with lemon burst

freeway retaining wall
a blight on the landscape 
(the freeway itself, another blight)
though perched on top:
a bird of prey
grey head and mottled white body
an innundation of box stores and strip malls and all the signs and billboards
that go along with them and then
a V of geese
flickering overhead
and then another – 
this is the advertising i want to read

the sleep sheep coo-ing in the background
while madix in the purple light asks
for a hippo story, no – a jack and the beanstalk story, no – a hansel and gretel story 
and after that, a stuffy battle
(in which sometimes the stuffies battle, but most often, they just have an adventure)

such a small

a lab for noticing what you need
and making boundaries and requests
he says
about winter
and gives me permission
to float out the window or onto the ceiling
in the dentist chair
if i want/need
on top of some layers
and underneath others
i wear her grey hug
to town and back
nothing like sitting in a dentist chair
to make me feel small
and then there they are
wrestling with the thing that it hurts to bite down on
in order to take the Xray
which requires three different hygenists to get it right
and they take a total of twelve Xrays 
just to get a good image of two teeth
you’ve got such a small mouth one of them says
with a smile that i am grateful for
as the hard edge of the thing
presses into the space under my tongue
making my eyes water
and maybe the pain is the trauma here but
more realistically, it is the disempowerment
of handing my body over to other people
who have a kind of access to it (and this particular knowledge about this part of it) that i do not
and when no one’s looking
i tap three times
over my heart (which happens to be on top of the crunchy papery dental bib)
like jenafr taught me
beam me up i mouth

like a parent dropping their kid off at school for the first time
or at their first overnight camp or sleepover
i tell mica from the back truck seat
while i reach my fingers through the cat carrier door mesh
he gets one and a half scoops twice a day
his favorite place to be petted is under his chin
he likes to drink a lot of water
when he gets frisky, he likes to play with foxtail or willows or things like that
and later, the cat carrier on the bed of mica’s room i tell him through the mesh
she’ll be good to you
and he is looking the damn softest and cutest
i have ever seen


names for the sunset sky
as seen from the rise-fall of the gravel hills of
county line road:

little twin stars
tangerine flame

in the otherwise

awake with the first lines of color/light
streaking sky
6:20something a.m. and what i presume to be last night’s fox
barking its metallic rusty bark
in the otherwise silence of 
a cool morning
saved one for each of us emory says 
of his homemade doughnuts
in the big round wooden serving bowl
whose sugar cinnamon crumbs
i press my doughnut into
while emory dips his
in the million dollar tea
before each bite
with doughnut sugar on our hands
we take turns asking for nouns and adjectives and adverbs and silly words and celebrity names and places
scratching the answers into the mad libs blanks
with a just-sharpened pencil – 
turns out boot is generally a good and entertaining noun to use often
and drunk a similarly good and entertaining verb
the barn emory says, stressing the the,
distinguishing it from a barn which is the first
falling apart building (besides the silo)
we come across
all at the edge of the valleyish prairie
edged in by forest on all sides
the creak of the door hinges
that comes with every small breeze
that moves through what emory guesses what once was a storage shed
which still sports a mysterious 
small stall / mud room
at the entrance
forgotten i say about this round haybale em and i perch atop along with jack
and by forgotten i mean rolled off to the side, out of the pasture, off the path
in a place where it looks like it has been sitting a while
and later i think about how full my haybale-sitting-atop-of quota is
for the past four years and it is
one of the everyday magics
about this life out here:
world as seen from atop a haybale so big
that you must fling yourself against it to climb
or find a way to rig a plank to walk up to it

how i can wrap nearly one hand
around gibbous (the gold orange cat)’s abdomen
and feel all the ribs and vetebrae

the bizz buzz of a wasp
whose back tip is caught in spiderwebbing above my desk
as it wriggles and twists and otherwise frantically moves
attempting and attempting
55 degrees
at 10pm
on december third,
tomorrow’s high in the mid 60s
need i
say more
🌠🌠🌠 every shooting star you ever see will be laden with me
i write thinking about the phenomenon
of how we are woven/written into 

yes, december

december and we’re
running around in shorts on a 50-something-degree day
across the field whose grass is still green
yes, december
liveable she says
of the six room floor of the building

that people have been living in for twenty years now
funny how the mississippi runs right through manhattan she writes
and i am so grateful
for all of our shared languages
including the carrying on of metaphors
that can be drawn out long
over time
and across great distances

is there even a sunset in New York City?
i ask, following up with here it’s gold foil and strawberry ice cream
it is a long and old habit – seeing fruit in the skycolors
the bright wafer of moon
coming up against talcum pinks and blues
that hold the space
until dark is ready to enter

if it were a metal, it would be rusted
is one way i would describe the fox bark
which trish and i hear
while we round the gravel corner on foot under a full moon
wher we stop to listen
and talk about the finer points of coming out
of a dark forest
which is not exactly how i would name it for myself – i might say something about crawling out of the wreckage
of a broken machine – a machine that we made and had such pride and hope for

in the dusking

with the scrap of kindling held up victoriously
like a celebratory scepter i call a jubiliant,
welcome home while mid-fire-building
to  baigz who walks in the door
of the not-yet-warmed kitchen
the deer carcass
under a juniper tree
hard to tell in the dusking light but might
have been a casualty of a missed shot or 
who knows but her entire rib cage
overturned and unsheltered at least five feet
from her skin, her doe eys

icy peach is the pre-sunset sky report over here
and over there she sunset reports
We had icy peach too!
And scarlet ibis feathers.
And lemon peel.
and one of the things i realize
while staring down sky trying to come up with more
is that the difficulty comes not from trying to name the color
but to name the color/light combo
and later i report back again naming the sky’s progressions:
cigarette glow
and neon blaze


the rosyness of stan’s cheeks
against his white hair
making me think he would
a perfect santa claus
though he might need to get padded/gain weight