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remnants of autumn
prepare to be swept away --
godspeed little ones
haiku leaves autumn swept godspeed
Your sweet magnolia scent
mingles with the heat of my skin,
crushed petals clinging to wet hands.

“Let go. Let go,” I repeat,
a single iris flooded with tears,
memories trapped between pursed lips.

Stretched out on Georgia sands
where clay meets saltwater,
I finally whisper your name.
savannah georgia sand clay saltwater whisper magnolia skin memories
Ivy
Ivy appears without warning,
carried by unsuspecting wings,
silently stealing nutrients, choking out air,
thriving in stagnation, sheltering vermin;

life strangling life.

Science has labeled her an invasive species,
emerald-flecked majesty gone wrong,
destroying all who dare stand in her path.
She reminds me of my mother.

I think she is beautiful.
“thus, art is subjective, as human beings
are not inherently objective creatures…”

the instructor says, and I nod,
drawing a caricature of her
in my notebook alongside
scribbles about the Willow Tea Room
and twentieth century Scottish architecture.

I pull the eraser out
of my mechanical pencil,
roll it between my fingertips,
feel the rubber heat up.
It is active, warm, useful—
everything that I am currently not.
I want to rub it on my skin,
obliterate myself from the day.

Instead, I erase the crude drawing,
replace it with notes on Neuschwanstein castle
and daydream of throwing myself from a turret.
art architecture drawing castle
Curling tendrils of tobacco haze
engulf the tiny space, hang like
ringlets over shots of whiskey
and mugs of warm beer. A solitary
dancer moves, bracelets janglin’
and eyes heavy with kohl, captures
old men in mid drink as her hips
sway to Nina Simone. Her bronze skin
glistens with the hot stares of the
audience; she soaks it in, twirls on
bare feet in perfect time as the
high priestess of soul bewitches
us with heavy grooves. I close
my eyes, tap fingers against glass,
whisper Nina’s words into the smoke
and breathe them back in again.
This is jazz, I think out loud,
this is pure unadulterated heat.
in dream-like states where
thoughts emerge from unconscious
whim, we carve stone sculptures
on opposite garden ends –

mine is a goat with webbed feet,
Carl’s is a duck with horns;
this is a meaningful coincidence

later, we play in the sand
with our wise inner figures;
he dances while I draw hearts
It used to be there, that magical place
where you and I sat and dangled poles into
frigid waters below; dreams of trout the
size of our heads perched precariously
in the form of worms on hooks. We laughed
and sang stupid songs while drinking soda
pop stolen from the five-and-dime. Life was
good when we looked down on the river
from that rickety old bridge. But we burned
that cliché down years ago, and now I fish alone.
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