hip juts in clay skirts,
a cloth cast, wrapped. Glazed domestication.
Her waist pinched in naked air,
goosebumps smoothed by artist hands
and oven heat.
Hair pleated. Braided permanence.
And her eyes cast down,
and she always remembers her
Phantom elbows bend,
shadow fingers mingle at the torso.
Raise lilies for her motion, in memory.
Her reminiscing, an apparition.
Her imaginings, a coy thing.
Envision what was,
her fantasies. Haunt her.
of fingers twitching,
palms pricked by lily stems
and sharp leaves, gripping.
His nose blurs
from this side of the pane.
Fingertip smudges blot fine lines,
swipe detail sideways,
sweep across oval beige
that begs my eyes for clarity.
On seeing an emblem—
an unconceived sketch.
Nameless by distance
and fingertip prints,
by steps, uncounted, from car door
to coffee shop. This pane, a film.
I fill his face with my stories.
A name into his nose’s bridge,
a wife across his bottom lip,
purpose in his jagged jawline—
his blur, a wanting canvas.
Framed, made real.
This pane, a gallery.
Blur eclipses behind a car door, closing.
Stories rev with his engine.
Leave me to witness
a streetside exhibit,
Yellow carpet foliage.
Papyrus trills matted with rainfall,
pressed by stepping sneaker soles
and ironed by baby carriage wheels.
Ruffles lift with the wind,
catch its rush under loose edges,
bend to wistful provocations of flight.
But these leaves hold their ground.
Steadfast, stubborn like concrete.
Mark their sidewalk space
and weave Autumn rugs
from curbside to doorframe.
Here, a blanket to catch our footfalls.
Frail threads pile to cushion our heels,
cradle the weight of our hurry
as we grind our boots into its permanence—
Its life, a temporary thing.
A welcome matt for cooler days.
These leaves invite our stepping
until winter crawls too close
to warrant welcome strolls.
Here’s to unstable grounds—
When the soil slopes sideways,
sudden shifts, tectonic shock
from still terrain—
Your toes dig for traction
but shaky Earth is numb
to balance in your feet.
Here’s to this shaky Earth—
To quivers from its rocky core,
to quakes that question your kneecaps,
to ruptures that threaten your spine straight.
bristles up your back,
call veteran hairs
across your arms.
Imprint the Earth’s sideways into your normal.
Here’s to the caves and the crevises,
the potholes and the mudslides.
Here’s to facing the unforeseen slopes,
to scaling the motion
from one peak down
to new unstable ground.
Stillness is in moments.
Let these fields condition your feet
to ride eruptions
your next moment’s peak.
Kitchen mornings lulled into overcast.
Gaping windows welcome Autumn—come.
Sit stoolside, crisping leaves. Wet your lips
and sip the silence of a sleeping home.
Find solace beside last night’s dishes, still
caked with lemon crumble, crusting. Rest for work.
Motion will come. Rest now.
Crisp in our quiet—
A young boy rustles sheets upstairs, dreaming
pancake batter, firewood, crunching leaves.
A town, turning.
Recycled corners flip to busy streets,
frame shiny cars queued before red lights,
tastebuds dry for Friday-night cuisine,
a paycheck celebration—
and another door, cardboarded
Local windows watch, hollowed.
Make room for more elite.
cornrows of worn books—
convenience stores, gifted from father to son—
a shoemaker’s countertop, dusted—
he lived upstairs, once.
Windows see and have seen,
polished for the turning.
Scrubbed of local fingerprints
that pressed from the inside.
A generation’s farewell.
Visitors peer in, anxious waiting.
What will lift these gleaming floors?
Widen, palm. Stay
stretched until you trap
the fruits of your searching.
Widen, palm. Blossom
until resolve drifts towards your buds,
burrows between arabesque petals,
swallows your worry.
Widen, palm. Grasp
the blessing of your stretch.
Let winds massage your spine—
Let roots grow taut in vacant soil—
sway to passing leaves
and map their route upon your base—
August heat threatens longevity
but gardener gloves nurture your interim.
A moth slips by, rests on nearby petals.
Skies dim—a cricket sings its evening prayer.
You, coasted towards my dusty Skylight—
papyrus thin, lonely gusts weigh you down.
Tapered edges quiver in evening breeze—
wind resistance filed you. Jagged curves.
Amber overtakes your emerald shine
far from your origin branch. It reached up.
Vibrant clusters, jade in bushels flourish
and you glistened, once. How long did you dream?
Did you ache for this, this empty dwelling?
Skylight dims—glisten, your yellowing hues.
Glisten at my edges—a muted
brilliance. An epoch
sunset. Gilded mesh borders
the arch of my periphery—
uneven, like thread lines sewed into your binding.
a hushed ovation.
at my edges, sideview
Let us crawl inside and cradle our arms.
Let us mind your radiance
and we say nothing.
is one among many. Delicate curve,
ballerina limb elongates bowlside—
silver extension, perfect steel stillness.
Marvel its patience; its waiting; its breath.
Centered, glisten under overture lights—
statued posture precedes its practice steps.
Envious limbs of similar skill stare,
sidelined. Pointed toes peak behind curtains,
half-drawn drawers, veteran steppers. They watch—
glimmering faces accumulate dust;
arches grow stiff in backstage clusters.
Your spoon inhales stardom, readies its steps.
Brief eight-count breaths before its closing stretch,
sidelined again—too, one among many.