One apple, core
not quite removed,
like the space left empty
for brown sugar and raisins,
if we were baking,
which we are not.
One name, murmured
just before dreaming.
Write the name
on a curl of paper.
to let your fingers shake
Place the paper
rolled over on itself
inside the apple
the way we leave space in our middles
fill the rest of the empty core
and wait for your emptiness to cure
to a perfect sweetness.
Its March and the sap started in February
so who knows when the maples will bud
in this cycle of freeze/false spring
we know so well here
but its March and we’ve all lived past
that high peak,
the one so many can’t climb every winter
and simply lie down mid ascent
but we have and soon
the peepers will shout joy
and crocuses will open their throats
to the thin sun of early April
and I will remember hope
past the crest of winter again
and still standing
to speak it
though I won’t call it dancing
This is not why we are born,
So that our deaths
and the men that make then
can become the next step
in the social medialization of outrage,
the emoji tears for a murder
scattered in bytes and not sliding across skin
Though what else can I offer
if I think
if I pray.
She said the victims, running away,
looked less real than video game characters
but there it is
The blood in the video was not splattered, graphic ink or false colors.
Stop and think for a minute
between the coffee memes and cat videos
This is not why their mothers birthed them.
Taught them to read, think, trust, love, pray,
Simply to become footnotes
to someone else’s message.
This is not why we are born.
Superman doesn’t fly anymore
since his heart stopped
and now, with Lois Lane dead
who would he rescue anyway?
Our problems are too tricky to solve
by spinning the planet backwards
We outgrew our old superheroes and made new ones
but like anything else made over
they are less shiny, more crass and dented,
Deadpool replaces Spiderman
and men of steel rust
in stale storage.
today, when the crocuses open
so yellow, so birthdayish
and so late
that I have both together this once
and in May
I will thread them with forget me nots
and smile for the sake of all
your other birthdays
because today is too beautiful
to remember only your absence
How does this poem
differ from thoughts and prayers
sent to people full of thoughts and prayers
so full when their mouths open
words pour out
floral and lacy as funeral cards
but minus the cash.
How does this poem
stop deaths, stop people too selfish
in their own pain from simply ending one life
and instead take 10,
20, and yesterday 17?
This poem stops nothing.
This poem changes nothing.
This poem does not celebrate life
or sanctify death.
This poem just shakes its head
as it walks out the door.
After the stones fall
we should have something here
bigger than the bones of a war
lost but still dug up
over and over, resurrecting dead
who simply want sleep
we should have a monument to loss
but it needs no flags.
it needs no glorification.
too many of our sons dead.
if there is a monument to this war
it should be gravestones
with the names worn off
it should weave through it the lives
of fatherless who raised families.
it should invoke women
who loved again
bittersweet with the tannins of old pain.
it should be perfume edged with smoke.
my hands are not strong enough to sculpt it.
Perhaps monuments of this magnitude
need to be shaped of air, posed over
****This is in no way done, but I needed to get this unformed idea out there.