Cedarwood

Semi-precious stones, shattered by
cedarwood branches, soaked in
meadow-kissed rivulets awakened under the dawn horizon.

Framework of tissue, skin, and bone:
the clockwork of gaze.

And you were looking at me.

Post-Cognitive

I wish he didn’t ask.
How’s it going with you and…?
Gleaming Herakles tilts his lynx ears toward Orion.
I hope the glancing-eyed Archer is too absorbed in the sport to see.
My pallor, draining into shrugged shoulders.
Leaving a gaze cement, mechanical.

Since when is this July?–my hands are so cold.
I’ve been praying I could maybe feel that summer breeze, been praying the Earth would stop spinning so fast.

Why does she have to spin so fast?
She just keeps spinning and spinning…

And if there’s anything I’ve learned.
Forward motion doesn’t pull over to the side of the road for anything.
But, sometimes, you can lean against that gravitational pull–
Step one, walk to the kitchen after the game and make a cup of tea.

Which, I was hoping you’d be there, watching me pour the boiling water.
Watching me feel proud of how I don’t want to burn myself while I’m pouring the boiling water.
And see me use the steeping roots you gave me.
The calming Kava and bright Licorice.
Letting the steam curl to my face–

But I am alone.
Step two, walk to the amphitheater, sit down, and breathe.
Breathe in the steam, Breathe like she taught you.

Breathe In one two three four Hold one two three four Breathe Out one two three four Hold one two three four. Breathe In one two three four Hold one two three four Breathe Out one two three four Hold one two three four Breathe In one two Hold one two three Breathe Out one two Hold one two three Breathe

Herakles arrives in his Shadow way.
Not gleaming so much.
He sets the oak roots of his legs at almost right angles.
Sitting behind me like a tower.

How is it, really?
Don’t really know
All right, you don’t have to talk about it

I feel like I’m hitting my head against a wall
I’m sorry to hear that
Sip the scorching tea.
Is that supposed to help

And then I: Flash Flood, Flash Flood like I know how

The glancing eyes the careful steps the shoulders turned away the vapid smiles the waning conversations the fresh smell of Lemongrass the Earth spinning the Sun just not caring the uninterrupted nerve endings the frustrated nerve endings the trying to go hunting the promise to find the creek the tugging towards the Ocean the two years ago in my apartment the therapist’s couch the empty hands the music’s cackling decadence the tossing and turning at night

God I hate this song
He says.

It drips like the condensation on a cold glass of water.
It burns like the fire Leo stokes in the pit below.

The music, the Earth spinning–
Trigger

Herakles looks at me like a river and says,
Come on, let’s get out of here

Mercury (the Broad-Winged Hawk)

 

cury curous curious.

everything is made of wood:
benches and buildings and platforms and tables and, all the while,
hemmed in by wood

the sky, even:
blue-grained wood,
knots swirled white

he quicksilvers right through,
wings bark-brown and then ivory

–can’t seem to find any animal tracks in the dirt–

     What’s your name, again?

carved out under the tallest red trees, beam-bleached plume curls,
then eyes crisp like the tip of a feather quill

     Artemis–and yours?

his gaze holds still, fixed within fluid movement,
a reflective luster when the gold licks through the branches

cury curous curious.

     Mercury.

ensuing, his timbre hums to the tune of thinly-veiled self-amusement.

Persephone

As my branches linger in the doorway,
I feel the weight of lives getting pulled out of suitcases, deseeded,
halfheartedly sown about the room,

the nearly worn-out attempt to rearrange the contents in yet another new space.

At this age, the likelihood of Too Late to Un-See and superb marksmanship in the dulling practice of Staying Up Later Than Sanity is almost certain.

I recognize the dying violet shade brushed slight under her eyes, the soft crease between her brows.
Those limbs like oak bones coal-black against the March twilight sky.

But this is the season of sun-spilled green grass and crisp watermelon in the shade.
Time for roots to drink in the warmth of June,
the sweet incense of apricots looking for the spark-eyed soul willing to reach for the highest branches.

And, as my mother always said:
Never rule out the chance for a fresh breeze.
So I smile anyway.
And she smiles anyway, as well —

I catch the scent of sandalwood. Now I know —
not all hope is lost.

Terror lives in the local ice cream parlor

I’ll take the chocolate flavor
swirled with peanut butter —

No sir, not of heights, not one bit,
neither the Moon’s whip on the tide,
nor taking a little tumble with Gravity.
wanna see the amethyst ribbons on my knees? 

What?
Oh, yeah; uh, on a cone,
(Thanks) —

But, you know, sir,
talking to strangers might make me,
and not only are they teeming close in every seat and space;
they’re the ones who drove me here.