With a Cup of Tea

I watch leaves swim beyond
my window
morosely toward the green sea,
boiling white where the edges
reach longingly toward
clouds, relatives left behind,
and warm.

I watch the leaves like I see you
standing next to me, your
eyes and lips content,
not wanting.


Collection. Eviction.

In the morning grey, lamp-posts
draped in recent rain, I saw
him, his head like late wheat
as he drifted on the breeze toward
me.  I let the wind wrap her
arms around me, gently
like the time I fell from the crib
and mother touched my cheeks
with the sky and a thousand

fluttering butterflies, sweetpea
blooming as her fingers recreated
the sun, moon and stars for me.
His hand rose slowly, burning
flameless against my winter skin
and he stood by my side
and stared, eyes like empty
rooms, toward the midnight
sky, yellow with august thunder

storms.  Between us
another, a stranger, lemon and
grains of white dissolving
against my tongue.  He sees my eyes
filled with stacks of papers
regarding my father's passing:
dates attached to names of people,
who used to visit our home,
that room above the grocer's.  These

are the moments I remember, these
collection and eviction notices.  He,
my father, scribbled on the backs
of envelopes, scratched elegies
of a man alone, numbers
and numbers.  There were always
numbers written in the way
his hand lectured my cheeks and back,
ink-scratched like the envelopes.

I wondered then, as I wonder now, if
the stranger standing between us,
this snow forming grey on the road,
smiled inside when he saw me
kneeling sidelong on the kitchen floor,
my skirt blooming over my knees, my eyes
clouds of early spring rain.  I wonder
as, between my teeth, he melts
into my throat, lingering and sour.


Across the Grass

Without compulsion, my finger rises
to my lips, and I pause my wandering.  He stands
across the grass, mindful and watching, listening
with ears like vacuums, pulling in sound
from the far reaches of the universe.  His fur,
unkempt, rustles in the wind, his suit-vest catching
the dizzying leaves like a sunset.  He, like
many others, is late, he mentions without moving.

His ears drop back, inquiringly yet cautious
as if it is I who instills fear.  As if I will move threatening
toward him; or perhaps away from him,
like so many others.  Perhaps that is why he, brown
like the orangeing sky, stands, forelegs
at his sides, eyes black with sorrow.  He's late,
he seems to say again, though no words breach
the windblown silence between us.  I know,
I reply, and I'm sorry.

Blades of grass press against my dark legs
as the wind lifts my skirt like the grass, my legs,
toward him without volition.  Still he stands.
Always still as if his wife and children are already packing
clothes and small belongings into bags
and walking out the green door, which complements
the brownstone so well (his wife would always say),
like his pants and tie complement his fur.  Perhaps
they are already gone as he stands there, across from me.

In the sky beside us, the sun walks its long journey
home, returning to wife and child, and I ask where
are you going.  I left a week
to roam, walking through the grass, the autumn
filling me.  I left to roam.  I, the other one.
Without moving I've reached him, my skin resting
on his foreleg, warm and enveloping, his fur
swallowing my coffeed hand.  I left to roam,
he says again without saying.  I know, my arms
whisper as my head gently rests
against his blushing shirt, pink in the autumn night.