FROM THE DECK

I had forgotten Hibiscus Close at night. And that stairs, However steep, Eventually end. The trail of a fox, Cicadas, Towering trees. We could be in Nature, Without neighbors, If it weren’t for the sky— Pale, though night, Without stars Or any other sidereal notation. A black backdrop Saturated With man’s lights. Gray, oblique, Irreversible. […]

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BRIEFLY, IN LATE AFTERNOON

The quiet rapture of things in their place: they speak so suddenly at four o’clock. They speak with the perfection of things untouched. We took this to mean that things were done, as though we were snakes eased out of our skins. In a hush—in a sudden full round hush— nothing moves nothing moves, the […]

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SALT LICK

Stop here. Brangus circle the truck In slow cow motion, A new calf following. She lifts the block Out of the back, The cattle hoping more For hay. Put it over yonder Near the stock tank— Open ground Raw from poundage Of heavy hooves Where cows got after the molasses And the two-incher That came […]

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PASTURE

  So tender the grass, She too Was fenced And cross-fenced, Once. Stock panel T-post And barb wire Protect A proud crop Of coastal. Or stop the cows from straying— A fence being something That can go either way. [from the book, Hill Country & Other Poems, recipient of WILLA Literary Award, Finalist for Poetry, […]

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FROM BEHIND A CLOUD

The roof seems closer. As the flies are swept from the floor, more come through the door.   More enter through the pegboard walls where flies are bred and born: November is warm.   New flies buzz, dying flies buzz, the dead ones are upside-down on the hard, worn floor.   She sweeps all day […]

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ALONG THE GULF

  We lay together as though it was just yesterday: balloons rose on tropical fumes. Our balcony filled with orange balloons.   We laid heavy in a sagging bed, a circular fan overhead, clicking. Sunday’s parade passed below our window.   It was a day for love. It was a day for baths.   Streetcars […]

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ROSA’S MISSING

  One of her dime-a-dozen lovers probably beat her. That’s why she split. Who knows.   Took her car, a beat-up old Chevy, and headed north pass Malibu.   Maliboo? That’s right. Somewheres up there she’s got herself a hideaway of some sort.   Used to go on and on about it— big cherimoya sun […]

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ACCUMULATING THE PRESENT

  That look ahead is winding down slowly as what I thought was faith I find is hope.    Last night I heard a lizard scream— no bigger than a minute-hand— caught in a web of dust.   Only I could have set it free. I did what I had  to do.   Today, now, […]

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SOME SUMMER

  In the year of nectar: rich neck kisses. Soothing songs we played, didn’t we? And you said it was possible to never really die.   God, but the sun was warm that year, the juice sweet, the loving fair. We didn’t need encores then, did we? And you said it was impossible  to ever […]

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