snow silences

in the night . winter moon in montana .
the sound is coated . in silhouettes and white .
street lights echo . the hush of falling snow .
it falls again . over + over . white blanketed blue .
the kind that erases humanity as
inches form by the minute around my boots .
snow that swallows—
devours driving cars—pedestrians—even laughter
the immensity—accumulation—stillness .
I stare with simplistic wonder . up at the
single street light . pure like a halo .
illuminating each flake


standing still / snow silences

written winter 2012

barren wasteland

sticky tree sap
the twig twitches
burnt,
it seeps into pores
reaching naked + charred
black limbs
brittle–snap!
yesterday’s fire
–a mirage
long since tasting its fill,
of charcoal delight.

the young doe delicately lifts a hoof,
leaving behind a print in gray ashes
as the white dawn chill
fills the empty waking sky,
the forest waits for
renewal.

written 10.19.15 for Carlene

finding…

inside distance is a light

dim + non-threatening
it beckons seldom
non-intrusive
poking-probing-prodding
illusive to meaning
cups and saucers
without liquid
pretending to exist
in empty fingers
prepared to lift
this thirsty light
searching for an oasis
as relentless time
churns milk into butter
seeking purpose in
a conference room without
table or chairs
gazing through a hollow lens
a glimpse through darkened corridors
sunlight retracts
dry erase markers with no pigment
I become depth-less
wrote on 9.24.13

I’m unfinished

I’m unfinished  [click to see the original format]

I become
I taste
touching
whisper
tiptoe in
let’s pretend
into
falling
failing
presence
the cursor blip

echoes failure to proceed
momentarily categorized
by score after test score–
can you define identity
personality
worth
by mechanized calibrations
numerical awareness of
our barcode ID–

written 9.24.13

Frequently Asked Questions: #9 Camille T. Dungy, 1972

Frequently Asked Questions: #9

Don’t you think you should have another child?

This girl I have is hardtack and dried lime
and reminds me, every groggy morning,
what a miracle it must have been
when outfitters learned to stock ship holds
with that one long lasting fruit. How the sailors’ tongues,
landing on its bitter brilliance, must have cursed
the curse of joy, as I did that morning the burst
of water brought my sweet girl into our lives.

But, already, she hates me sometimes.
Like I have sometimes hated my mother and she
must have sometimes hated her own.

After weeks at sea, the limes would desiccate and the meal
fill with worms. They would have eaten
anyway, the sailors, but taken no pleasure from anything.
Or taken no pleasure from anything but
the fact of their sustained lives. Which is to say it is all
I can do, most days, not to swallow
her up and curse her maker, I swear. Like I have not
sworn since the morning she was born.