Returning HomeA house waitsReturning Home by Moonbeams
in its empty foyer,
flowers pressing into walls;
the rain is bright on the asphalt
like an unwiped tear
as if to confess
there is no such thing as far away,
only yards that swell
over their fences
to keep up with feet
and stretch past windows,
beneath our nostrils
like surrogate mothers--
cafes, diners, sun-streaks in the table;
I've seen her
in the permafrost, maybe,
in the lean of traffic,
her voice drowning in air-horns.
She keeps stations hushed
with the secret that home is just a few miles away--
the arrival and the leaving
never quite dying in the gray yard,
never malnourished in its travels.
She Burns Holes Through TimeHer doddering handShe Burns Holes Through Time by Moonbeams
once out-stilled hours,
fingers twined over cigarettes,
wrist shooting like a dagger into the mind.
The heavy screen even,
was a prototype of eyes for me--
a scoured patina sunset
over dirty streets.
Even before the sob
lodges in these pipes
her carpet is red as funeral.
as I trace these walls--
masking tape curled
like late ribbons absent of fastidious hands,
pictures paling into the glare of their frames
it is something gradual;
nature pulling her to its breast
like a new infant--
nicotine yellowing walls and lamp-shades a thin
marrow of her.
Even before the hour hand in the clock
falls into an oar
the glass may as well be an ocean.
It bobs with her image,
still strapped to curtains,
like a wardrobe waiting for its ghost.
Learning To PaintWhen you discover the use of shade and tintLearning To Paint by Moonbeams
the nights will become more enticing;
as you work your way into the intimacy of private lights
you'll see how shadows conspire between forms--
how on walls they are more honest,
how from the white of storms the world emerges
and seeks the warmth inside;
you'll learn that flames never just halt
perspective will be difficult
as you learn that the figure in the distance
can only go so far before e's buried in his depth,
and whatever shade of blue holds his steps,
and how only the flurry of leaves
knows the strength of wind he left in his path.
And as you measure the distance
you'll learn that lines never needed to be drawn
as the road is never afraid to lose itself
in the glare of light
even when it can no longer be seen.
Chapel WindowThe parish waits nowChapel Window by Moonbeams
the loneliness of corners
crawling outward on walls;
cobwebs align them
like the membranes of memories,
the cut of a jewel in a broken window,
gather in a mesh of strands
a new Mosaic.
There is a cemetery,
my eyes seek out the sermon,
paint no distance
between headstone and cloud;
elegies topple each other
in their climb to heaven
as rays fall from a cloud,
shear the shade,
heave a new flame to the candle box,
and measure the weight in these empty rows
as pools find where hands still clasp,
but dare not go further
like a visible hush.
PostcardThe sky is always a fixture over oceans,Postcard by Moonbeams
another cliched photo;
even this place
where the only distance is upward,
and I lose myself in the memory of shapes
as if your foam fluked tide
had stretched as far as it could
and decided to stay.
A horse's gallop
is slowed through the blue
before a piece of his snout breaks off
and drifts away.
As the sun bleeds
into the purple
cloud and cooking smoke
as if heaven opens over the clothes line,
and corrugated metal
I realize no one ever mentions clouds in a sunset;
only their absence in a clear sky,
where the light spreads thin into nothing,
and no one notices
lest it be over oceans.
Observing Silhouettes On A HillThe pair of lovers are still,Observing Silhouettes On A Hill by Moonbeams
a precursor to structures,
overexposure and time
unlike the herd
that comes together, and comes apart,
a pair of squirrels romping in the brush,
the crane's arch to the pond,
and unfolding wing,
the strand on the down of a feather
that knows how to be alone again,
the leaf, the blade of grass.
Florida WinterFlamingo weather vanesFlorida Winter by Moonbeams
are a tackiness
even the rains couldn't wash away--
as will be the remains of Christmas lights
around palm tree trunks
as the north remains
in her forests
and graffitied bridge;
the browns and golds of autumn
blowing into the folds of her scarf.
So the dawn works hard
to stitch a new pattern--
the thin reed against the milk of a cloud
as the stars continue to wink,
glance toward the west with its canyon sunsets
who know better than anyone
that when the world sheds all of her green
she is just another tentative arm
reaching out to the sky.
Over Highways In DuskThe sky holds history in its blue breastOver Highways In Dusk by Moonbeams
like a crying child;
expanding over distances.
The wind over the lake
moves like a ghost
in its first freedom,
a testament of how time
grieves the flesh,
and tired face
it was given.
There is the swell of old hearts
and new hearts
on long roads--
the loss of chivalry
crushed in the stiletto heel,
tossed in the smog of a truck long gone,
in the heavy burlap,
the murder of anything,
the drag of footsteps
left behind in leaves,
in years, in minutes,
in a new kind of armor,
a new kind of breaking.
Phosphorusnow my clothesPhosphorus by FallingAsleepTonight
and these legs
hang off the bed
my trees grip
from five stories
a girl I've known
I leave it
snowbonesholding my hands over the kettlesnowbones by wish-sticks
the skin on my fingertips peels back,
like dated wallpaper,
like flowers blooming.
they're burning from the inside out,
nails turning to varnish, turning to steam,
bones click-clacking their way out;
spreading like wildfire.
the whistling stops, and
and my fingers are just fingers,
ink stained, bitten nails.
sunlight streams across the kitchen,
my fingers warm and
slightly damp, i trace patterns on