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Category: My poems

POEM: handstands

handstands

you both spend so much time upside-down
doesn’t the blood rush to your heads?
do you think of gravity as a force pulling
            upwards?
every therapist talks about balance
if I could get my body to float above my wrists
I feel like I’d be most of the way there

/ / /

4 April 2021
Auburn, Alabama
for Melinda and Andrew

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POEM: While I was doing the dishes

While I was doing the dishes

you leaned down to kiss the top of my head
it used to be the other way around
but the tables have turned
I won’t say “you’ll always be my little boy”
because that can be a weapon
I’m not who I was and you won’t be either
so instead I’ll say “I’ll always be your dad”
that can mean whatever you need it to
& whenever you need me I’ll be there

/ / /

3 April 2021
Jonesville NC
for Bernie Crane

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POEM: stitch me an egg

stitch me an egg

stitch me an egg
stitch me a shroom
stitch me a venus fly trap

you’re in your domino-colored van
with the same name as a superman villain
but much nicer, of course

how is it you’ve arrived (two decades in)
at realizations that have taken me twice as long
extra smarts, I guess

& bravery
& fake mustaches
& cacti

it’s funny how paths cross
or don’t
out in the big wide world

/ / /

2 April 2021
State College, PA
for Jen Zetina

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POEM: Hitchhiking To Avalon

Hitchhiking To Avalon

(Beside the road waiting for a ride.)
Do you think tomorrow will come? she asks.
He’s flummoxed:
I’m not sure how I’ll feel if it does.
(Fading light, gas station sign against the
            twilight.)
How far is it to Avalon? he asks.
She’s uncertain:
I don’t think it’s that long a trip.
If we get a ride.
(Electric sunrise over the hill.)
Are those headlights? she asks.
He’s hopeful:
Yeah looks like it.
(An old Ford pickup slows to a stop.)
Avalon? he asks the driver,
who motions them into the truck bed.
The tires kick up dust.
They’re gone.

///

1 April 2021
State College PA
For Irene and Andrea

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POEM: beside the road, a sign:

beside the road, a sign:

WRONG DIRECTION?
GOD ALLOWS U-TURNS
suddenly I have tears in my eyes

if only I knew where I was headed
a few miles later the desert opens
pours away like an ocean over the horizon

don’t give your energy to fear, she says
as I have tears in my eyes again
but who will love me, I ask her

there are more things to love than just people
she tells me from a few feet away
(there’s a woodpecker in the trees)

later, driving away, I see it
a flash of white wings as it dips in front of me
I’m headed to a camping spot, alone

later still I build a fire
the rain comes shortly after
my eyes burn from the smoke

///

25 March 2021
Rothrock State Forest

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POEM: rom-coms

rom-coms

I guess I thought we’d find our way back to one another
we’d hear Nick Drake in the distance & realize it was meant to be
I guess I imagined when it happened the second time that fate was on our side
that the universe had spoken & blessed our unspoken union
I guess I hoped I’d find you when I drove the city streets
an address that might be yours scribbled on a notebook beside me
I guess I’ve seen too many movies where it all works out in the end
where the stars align & our freckles match & Nick Drake never stops playing

/ / /

14 March 2021
Farmington, NY

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