My Jobs Now

VW New Beetle headlight

 

Power hum of bees far overhead

Traffic jammin’ in the Elder flowers.

Even the shade is hot

I try to keep my sweat out of the chemicals

I’m rubbing into the plastic over the headlights.

 

Years past this would have been your job

To go along with putting out the trash cans

Making sure the tires are inflated properly

Paying the taxes and mowing the lawn.

 

All my jobs now.

 

You were the one who wanted

To live in the country.

I the one surprised to find I loved it more

Than you did.

 

Learning to polish the grime off the headlights

Sharpen the knives

Check the fusebox

Fix the plumbing

 

I can’t remember your voice

But I can hear you saying

To clean the tools

Put them where they belong.

 

The headlights are clear, look new

I clean the tools

I put them away

And wonder where I belong now.

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Tasting

 

Sometimes I can almost taste a different life

Where foods that never touched

my tongue

are familiar

Where smells I can’t

remember are

nevertheless

remembered.

I can taste the still, busy air

layered with lives

soaked with labor’s sweat

washed with cheap soap

floating down hallways in

crowded buildings

Fatigue and love and someone else’s

hate are buried

in the old wood of the door frames above

the flaked thin carpet

where I never walked

 

Conversation in F Sharp

F Sharp Major

She queried him silently

Hoping he would have her answers

As he seemed to hold all of the questions;

That she would find them all composed

In black and white

Sharp

F Sharp

They would be black notes across the manuscript of her.

 

They would point the direction

Whatever it was

Forward

Backward

Upside down

They would lead inexorably

By mathematical degrees

To the coda, bypassing

The colon crouched before the bar, always to

Repeat

Repeat

 

She queried him silently

Hoping that tattoo of her fingers

On the tablecloth would cue him

To give her the answers – pianissimo

Even as he sang his questions FORTE

 

Duet for two solos.

Wondering

 

horseonmoon

 

The horse is surprised to see you

here on the moon.

His lip is curled.

His eye rolls at you

and away.

You

have discovered his Secret.

 

If you promise not to tell, perhaps

he will not chase you and bite

your moon suit

and make you breathe space.

You can go home again and

walk in the air.

 

Walk past the fields and stroll

past the barns.

You will see the horses

and wonder

Have any of these been to the moon?

 

Have any of these been to the moon?

 

And then you might begin to look

at the cows

and the sheep and

all the rest.

 

It’s good to wonder, isn’t it?

Isn’t it?