woke up this morning and forgot about the mask and the second mask the recommended mask who would wear the mask and who wouldn’t and oh yes the other mask we wear to protect our naked souls then i remembered them all and was grateful for nothing to do but stay home with you [un]mask[ed]
First published in Black Moon Magazine, Issue 3. copyright 2021. all rights reserved.
Pining for Home
Draped over water’s edge at dusk, branches needle Poquito Bayou. A lonesome stand of Florida pines faces a deciduous tree line dotted with civilization. A bridge span, cell tower, low-rise condos and homes border the scene. A sunset’s sienna reflections ripple as mellow waters fade to shadowed charcoal inshore. In loblolly shade, two legs dangle from exposed root. Feet dip into the brackish border of land and water, like bait on thick fishing line, to snag a lost memory. A splash of feet speak: we knew a time before the plunder. We never walked today’s agglomeration of boat-docked, fenced-in, hefty waterfront homes. The body remembers how we traced sandy trails to secret fishing holes and caught unearthly creatures. It remembers how we held a bat in knee-deep water, hit a tennis ball into blue and bolted like barracuda to imaginary bases. It remembers racing to the island, lazing on the dock—before Opal washed them away. The body remembers how dolphins evaded our chase with out-of-reach breaches and leaps. It remembers watching walls of wet weather wash in. It remembers the smell of summer rain. The body remembers handfuls of goopy, soft, scooped-up and tossed baby jellyfish and the fierce sting of grown ones nettled into flesh. The body remembers what left; how we moved away: people, pines, an indigenous playground. In darkness, legs lift from a root and feet shuffle in salted sand. In the lonesome, in still waters, in the dusk of life— memories reside. A soul ponders how pine roots run so deep in sand, revels in the briny weight of rain. Isn’t that the way from birth? We feel our way home.
First published in Heartwood Lit Mag copyright 2021. all rights reserved. This version edited in October 2023.
Fall is half over, but winter insisted. Yesterday was arctic. Jagged clouds threw crisp blades across a blue-grey prospect. Polar winds crushed ice on my reluctant skin. Leaves peeled from trees, exposing a season of squirrel havens. But that was yesterday. Today…. Today was a lark. Wispy white puffs spread smiles across sky-blue shadows. Friendly winds melted my cold mood with solar wit. Robins rose in sun-kissed air as if warm days were forevermore.… Tomorrow, who knows? Cold front, warm stationary—no matter. Leaves will scatter, birds will sing … and I, rising from the other side of night, will wonder how a love that warms like a sunny day can turn and blow as bitter as winter wind. Is this a passing season? Maybe Spring will say.
First published in Ink to Paper, Vol. 5. copyright 2020. all rights reserved.