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.
Do you fear such heights?
Body weight cumbers flimsy vine,
Lodged at porch-sight, your canopy highrise—
agile feet shutter tree branch skirts,
invite the morning to lick its leaves,
amber glistening forest satin
as you leap, pray the next leaf
a sturdy dwelling.
Do you doubt your footing?
Dash across tightrope
aged by yesterday’s rainfall,
you forward thrust, a mindless certainty.
Trust in fate and veteran instinct.
Vertical leaps, your playful ascend.
Your acorn cove three branches high
and I wonder:
as you survey my inhabited ground,
do you envy my planted feet,
gaze up, questioning?
Chesire – your blue lips bare analogue teeth.
Programmed reproach, you mock the ticking time –
whispers twitch, jeering at each second passed.
Perched, your smirk taunts the wasted breaths below.
Tick, your stillness aches, begs in mockery:
Foolish wasters, how I wish I could
let this coded grin dysfunction.
Quiet my paws in moments,
descend from my station,
Mock my daydreams:
Gazelle, your mother’s treasures have marked you.
Her prudence files your uncalloused hooves;
her outlook lengthens your hindsight;
her patience cambers your spine, bows your head.
Regard her alert, the twitch in your ear —
and you’ll feel the earth pulsate under you.
her emerald stretches, quivering soil,
your sudden still: you, a mindful frame. You
feel him encroach and your mother’s warnings
flex your hind legs, counting down your spring.
lodged in my teeth.
Too comfortable in that crease
between tongue and cheek,
and your foul taste is tangible,
plasters my palate
in peanut butter quarantine.
Stale cereal snarls –
your morning breath
inflames my gums,
your oven fumes
froth behind my lips,
gurgle back toward my lungs –
I inhale your off-putting,
and you consume me,
in dinner leftovers.
I try to scrape you with my pinky nail,
floss you from
and still you
suck your tummy in tight
and hide between
toothbrush bristles —
a naughty child crouches in corn stalks,
ignoring the third dinner call
as the sky grows dim
and the porch light flickers.
A recluse, I watch –
subject to my post
over there, across the way. I watch
an untouchable world. I marvel
at closed circles,
her eyes cast down at her book
his lost in his daydreams. I wonder
how they can be in solitude
with their elbows grazing so gingerly,
as they are.