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Jul 2016 · 423
Vagrant
Brandon Hall Jul 2016
Does the kept dog howl at the moon,
or does the stray?
I am astray from you,
and my moon is bluegreen and shines like forgiveness when you smile.
The vagrant hound remembers when he was a wolf;
I remember when I wasn’t.
Like him, I eat and sleep and ****
beneath even my own notice. Like him,
I remember every night of comfort and
every kick, and am confused when I find both in the same doorway.
I wasn’t a cur until you called me one – does that count?
When the rains come, I think of your
soft golden warmth, these mongrel legs start to pull me back – don’t
let me in unless you mean to keep me – and my howl is
sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry and I
don’t know which of us I hate.
Dec 2015 · 2.1k
Heron and I
Brandon Hall Dec 2015
Just beneath the road insensate,
in the little creek that crawls through town,
the rains brought him.
Iron-blue, patient, slender, high sits his head –
a lance, now raised – now half-tilt as he sights his prey – raised again
as a drifting leaf disrupts his aim.
Upstream he prowls, that his prey sees
him not.
He stalks with long, slow strides, his legs thin and
graceful not to disturb the quiet current of the water and
give himself away to senseless quarry. Few call him spindly,
I imagine. Not I.
By the shore, fish-bones, whole
but for the flesh,
sink into the mud.
A thoughtless dart, a flash, a writhing
beast falls still on his speartip.
What am I, then, that
he flies when I draw close?
Nov 2015 · 323
Away
Brandon Hall Nov 2015
“We should run away to Spain,”
you said,
“the food’s cheap
and I love the culture.”

So those pink lips of yours led me
by the inside of my wrist
over
seas.

Lesser in our crimes than Bonnie and Clyde,
we robbed the world only
of ourselves.
At first.

That summer, we were bandits –
stealing moments, hearts,
that bikini,
ciel-green like the water and your eyes.

The sun and wind,
and your oiled hands,
lacquered us the color of stranger sands
than I had seen before I knew you.

We should have left that necklace,
pale gold like the one ringlet of your hair
that falls across your face,
the stone as black as her eyes were.

Every outlaw who falls, falls to pride

I did, you must believe me, love you
my
darling.
Whatever you ran with me –
I wonder why it was me
– from, you escaped
and I loved you for that, as
I was never free.
When you brushed that golden lock
aside, you felt it,
though it had lurked in the quiet moments
all along, that I fled the inescapable –
that in all the sun and wide plains and our little shack and the sway of your **** I saw only
her.
Brandon Hall Nov 2015
Petrichor
from the Greek words for stone and the blood of the gods
the fresh earthy smell of rain on dry soil
During an arid spell
some plants release oils into the earth
Rain droplets aerosolize these oils into particles
which are swept up in the currents of the air and brought to us

In a quiet little nook just out of the rain
you know the one
a warm zephyr dances on the air between our lips
I breathe it in and kiss you

Ozone
from the old Greek
the pretty words all are
meaning ‘to smell’
an alternate form of oxygen that has three atoms instead of two
Lightning splits O2 and N2 in the air
which recombine into nitric acid
a loose-bonded molecule that oxidizes and forms
among other things
the spark-sharp scent of ozone

My skin tingles
when it’s not touching yours
Your fingertips are thunderbolts
fulminations on a
breathless
body

They say smell is the closest sense to memory
Both are processed by the brain’s limbic system
as is emotion

Outside
the air crackles
the rain falls
Inside
the heat of us
flaring scratches on your alabastrine skin
the smell of your hair and the soil and the lightning
is its own storm

People wonder why every cloudburst makes me smile
Nov 2015 · 708
love-bitten road map
Brandon Hall Nov 2015
I think your legs
are the hundred miles I’d walk
alone
to a cold bed in a little hostel just outside of Denver

Your skin
is the cream-white silk
we’d pretend the sheets were made of until the too-soon
light of dawn ran us out of town like outlaws

Your hips
are the gentle rolling walk though which
glances and red lips and half-smiles
I’d want you

Your *******
are lying on a Pennsylvania hilltop
whispers sinking into downy grass
at sunset

The smell of you
is a tangle of thorn-bushes a single
split raspberry leaking fragrance
that tickles at the scratches on my skin

Your hair
is night in San Antonio
shimmering in a faint breeze off the river
my body thrums for me to dive

Your lips
are coming home

— The End —