Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Breakfast

Green tea peels back
last night's drunken damage,
and the day breaks on 30th
Avenue. Every footstep passing

the sidewalk table eats
a bit of each person that clicks
and clomps toward work.
The day is already done.

Dreams of the reverse path home
fill their heads like water, or
green tea. The leaves sink
to the bottom of this paper coffin.

Dead tired, the writer tosses the cup
and joins the cattle lowing toward work.


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Geology and Genealogy

He spent years under Oklahoma stones. Even after washed and dried, his shirt held their incense.

When building chimneys, the odor of wet mortar settled into his beard.

Portland dust fertilized his boots with city-germinating aromaskyscrapers and sidewalks come from this dust and will return to it.

After a rain, the New York City pavement composed him, yesterday, in his son's memory.

Stone or concrete perfumes him into existence, out of thin air, for his descendants. Anywhere.

Text messaged photo from my dad.



Thursday, April 4, 2019

R.I.P. Coach Hampton

In physical education class, you made me run suicides against the oldest and largest boy while the whole class watched. I was the youngest and smallest and couldn't beat him. He'd win by a hair and you'd make us run again. You were rooting for me, but I didn't know that then. The largest boy was running for his dignity. How could I beat that out of him?

That's my most vivid memory of you and your teaching. Wait.

I also saw you on the pitchers mound of our middle school gym floor. You'd throw the kickball maddeningly and bouncily to the athletically gifted to keep the playing field even. And you'd snatch linedrives out of the air as if you had a gloved hand catching a baseball. My older brother said you used to dive, too, before your heart surgery.

Now I see you eternally diving home. How is your eternal home?