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Love at First Sight

She makes her way down
the yawning stairwell of H entry
in the early morning,
her body a burden, her feet striking
the worn marble steps
like matches that won’t light.

She reaches the bottom, startles—
a slender young man her age
standing in the blue air, a stick
left there for no apparent purpose.

She hastens by but notes his eyes
glow like gold-brown lichens
discovered in the woods
by the morning sun.

At lunch in the cafeteria
that day a friend introduces them.
A year later they take a night walk
down a street in the rain,
asphalt flickering in the streetlights.

Picaroon Poetry Issue 18, September 2019

Letting Go

Outside my window
the dizzying quality
of snow falling,

past roofs and fences,
past people in brightly hued
clothing going to classes,
a soft-hushed quality
of falling,

through layers of ice and air,
muffled voices chatting
about novels and molecules,

the body’s molecules
no longer buoyant enough
to stay afloat.

Flights 2019

My Greatest Ambition

My greatest ambition this week…

I say as we walk. Dad hugs
my side.

His eyes, pools
in which we’ve been thrashing about
since I dropped out of college,
sparkle in sunlight.

Beneath the light blue surfaces,
tears flow inward.

I’m taller than he and can see
his bare scalp
with its fringe of white.

Some wear their dreams on their heads
as custom-fitted crowns—
of becoming a supreme court justice,
or at least a senator.

When the dreams expire the crown is placed
reverently
on a daughter’s head
where it doesn’t fit and weighs too much.

Her head droops.

My greatest ambition this week
is to polish my shoes,

the cordovan-colored ones with the chunky heels
that have beat with my heart,
one step, two steps, up the steep slope.

Dad’s eyes undulate
as if bubbles were rising
from the deep.

He nods and says
he might
like to polish
some of his own.

vox poetica July 18, 2019

The Old Mug

Oma, my grandmother,
drinks her tea
from an old green mug
with a crack down the side.

People give her new mugs,
mugs with happy faces, flowers,
polka dots,
bright red mugs.

She puts them on the topmost shelf
and continues to clutch her old one,
whose crack matches
the warm brown tea.

Modern Poets Magazine March 2019