Good ten minutes to four
I reached the temple door.

Take your offer for the God
the flower seller was eager
no haste, he smiled
his time for a rest
will soon be over.

I wondered
why I'm never contented
with what God has to offer
and as a rule
my bag of grievances is ever full.

In the faint light
I held his idol in my sight
listening in the quietude
to the temple pigeons.

With great peace
I bought two lotus at fifteen rupees
from the flower seller
dividing our happiness
into an equal share.

we will always
have billings, montana
along the summer green lawn
of the park, the tiny creek with the tiny
bridge we stood on
and kissed, thinking this
was the best there could be
in life, the band playing knock-off
nirvana. it was too soon. kurt had only
just died. our eyes
were alight with the sunshine
from the big sky
i thought we were invincible
without even thinking at all ..
your strong body, tall, smiling, your lips
all over mine, in the trees and
in the sun
you've been gone two years
and you and i, always so sensible,
pragmatic, saving up for flights
would take months, we'd be apart
all the long nights
on the phone, hearing you breathe.
in the park that day together, surreal
and forever
it will be
that way, locked into a memory
painful and sweet. we will always have
billings, montana.
sleep, my love, sleep.

for jason
and for julia, our daughter

When at the peak voltage
streetlights kill the stars
and behind closed doors
rumbling slumbers
down the cries of the nocturne
awakes a world of opened windows.


Home from the last show
eyes colored with screen idols
shadows huddling over supper
talk of the length and worth
the plot intrigues and intricacies
the creator's whims and fantasies
while unbeknownst the night lengthens
tiring the shadows
that excavate the trash bin's bottom
for living through the morrow.

The filaments feel lonelier
as those last windows shut down
starlight wasted
on an enveloped town.

From a time long long ago

I buy her cheap
can't buy expensive.

It's a gift she says
to give my spirit a lift
you buy low
it gets high on my love

don't ever think
price has a place in happiness
.

She wears the imitation
and the mirror explodes
into thousand stars
with the gift of joy
now not only hers
but inexplicably
spread all over me.

As the day is bled into the river
I watch the coming and going.

Place me in them
each one has a name like me
a home and a family
where their mind work laden
would have a heart to anchor
children to love and care for
a night to stir the fire
to burn all the bitterness
and be reborn the next morn
to shuttle one bank to the other
of the wide river.

I marvel at the chance
of meeting them once
suffering the absurd pain
of never crossing their path again.

By the river, July 9, 6pm

i have my own weird story about Princess Diana. when she passed in August twenty years ago, i was living in western Nebraska. i loved my little job with a little family-owned motel near the base of the Scottsbluff National Monument. i remember thinking the day she died,
i've got to remember this. for whatever reason, i gazed at the heavens during a break in a little nook Clyde and Mary made for smokers. the sky
was baby blue, the clouds were clustered puffs of white, the sun was high noon, as perfect golden as any child could draw in primary colors all. i thought of Princess Di
dead. it truly was sad, how she went, the circumstantial evidence of a royalty marred by passive-aggressiveness by her in-laws. so many people die every day. some are famous, most are not.
Why
her death affected me i just figured it was mostly because she was female, like me, and because she was such a shining light,
a true beauty in presentation of how great human beings can be when we follow our hearts, even if we are mocked or disparaged. she was an example, maybe, of someone who did rise
above it all. i took those moments that day to think about her briefly and then went back to work. then at night,
the dreams began coming about a month after she died in France. in one of them, she and i
talked at length in a treehouse together, with a flashlight between us, fireflies and stars our partners, truly a storybook kind of scene and in another, she was bloody, quiet
and i was the one mostly talking, telling her things would be all right as i tried to wipe the scarlet from her face. in still another dream, she was acting as though she was a lifelong friend and not a princess at all.
it was a mash of dreams from the heart of a woman only 31 years old, me, and she was running around in my psyche. i remember telling a few people about my dreams of Princess Diana.  
well later, in October,
i found out i was pregnant and the date of conception mirrored the day she died, right around that time, within one week, no more. the baby daddy found it wild. we both recalled late August well, for our own life events and for the funeral of a princess in England, the motherland of so many. at odd moments over the years, i
have recalled the closeness of her untimely death and then the heavensent and sweet birth of my little blond girl, the latter a long time dream come true.
i'm not suggesting anything mystical. it's one of those weird things in life that has discernible thought-worthy components. my daughter, like Diana, is beautiful.

Julia, one of many, many babies conceived in late August, 1997.

Sixteen's glow
now the river's flow
I love to swim

tepid and soft
she holds me aloft
I float on moonbeam.

Love to hold close
snuggle my nose
between her breasts

they aren't as high
but I mustn't lie
found no better rests.

No way I would hide
if not by my side
life feels a dull stuff

the unwritten rule
is she makes me full
so I'm never half.

By a simple glance
in a million one chance
we happened to meet

love I wouldn't call
not to make small
this undying habit.

Next page