the clock in the cottage
holds irregular time

it is cold at night
and stifling midday

i hang my shirts to dry
on hooks from the ceiling

i’ve sat here for some time
with a clock that lies

thinking to myself
“my god, this is so very perfect”

I gave my friend’s son
a book.
he’s just a young boy.
it was a gift.
it made us both happy.
he is six years old.
it is a children’s book
about the coast of Maine.
a book about my home state.
he wanted me to read it,
he wouldn’t let his dad.
“no,” he said,
“I want Jeremiah to!”
I wanted to share that
experience with him.
but my mind runs
too fast;
the words become a mess.
my mind moves
too quickly,
and they are not
the words on the pages.
this is my mind.
my words are here
and then they are
many miles
from my thoughts.
and my thoughts run,
and they are
in another world before
i find them.
it is this boy,
and his father,
and his mother
who will love me
and the words that
are not with the thoughts,
and the thoughts
that are not
with the words.
they will see me.
“I am very tired,”
I said.
“I don’t have my glasses,”
I said.
trying to excuse myself.
“The illustrations are
so beautiful.
let’s write our own stories,”
I said,
“let’s invent our
very own words.”
and he said it was “Ok,”
he said, “Ok, Jeremiah.”
that simple “Ok” held everything
i have lost with others.
it contained all
the forgiveness of my running mind,
and all the
forgiveness for my words
that didn’t follow the requests.
with him,
his father,
his mother,
i felt safe,
i felt home.

away / time does not hold / held
this / you’ve seen / time
held / here as lovers do / seen
you / in dreams within / away
time / you’ve away been / here
lovers / held in time / dreams
dreams / time does hold / held
lovers / held in time / you

this is time;
cedar shingles that
tell of seasons,
weather-worn and gray.

a question unasked.
a touch of passion
left hanging.
time is healing
in scattered pieces;
small fractions
of a face
once kissed &
now forgotten.
time is a name,
one called out
in a dream
& unanswered in
this is time;
a boy of innocence
becoming a man
far too soon,
holding steady,
holding shelter,
holding words.
time hasn’t moved,
just the distance
from my fingertips
to yours,
from my mouth
to your body.
this is time;
a face
aged by life,
wrinkled and worn,
with eyes
that burn with such
fearsome intensity.
a gift given by time,
only by time.

a tree is patient;
with gnarls about its
trunk, like old fingers.
it is sun-beached and
long since passed.
the days and nights
move around it.
we witness the blue sky,
so rich and clear,
and mistake our needs.
we forget tolerance
and say,

get out of the way
you old tree!
i want to see the blue sky

but the tree is patient.
by day
it marks the earth
with the movement
of the sun
across the sky,
not rushing it,
letting it be,
moment by moment.
at night it stands
almost sentry-like,
keeping watch,
it never says,

you are gray today,
bring back
your blue sky

if it is unable
to mark the earth
as a sundial would,
it just waits,
gnarled and old,
like it was yesterday
as it will be tomorrow.

i speak a foreign language.

a million syllables and a thousand vowels,
and i speak it alone.

all i want is the pleasures of body and the connection of soul,
but i am tangled
in this language only i speak.

when spoken it holds a weight i don’t understand,
and intentions not desired.

i withheld my longing for the pleasures of body and the connection of soul,
frightened by the weight
of my words.

then gentle fingers fell upon lips and took the sounds.

a mouth came to my mouth and took words.

every syllable and vowel was swallowed whole.

as every syllable and vowel was held,
a voice in my language said,

i hear you.
i know your intentions.
I understand.
speak without fear.
speak honestly and
open fully.
rest here naked in the flesh
free of concerns.

my longing for the pleasures of body
and the connection of soul returned to me.

with the language we speak,
the language we share,
we will reveal ourselves.

we will draw letters with our tongues
and with soft breath upon our necks we will write stories.

it’s midday.
i empty the coffee grinds
from the press.
it’s too late now for
another cup.
i bring the
grinds to the compost;
walking through the grass
it is so humid
the lawn
feels damp underfoot.
i pause and look up,
shielding my eyes
from the sun.
one thin wisp
of cloud.
it looks out of place.
can you see this?
wherever you are,
can you see this?
the curvature of the cloud
is so feminine
in shape;
voluptuous and round,
gesturing in both a crude
and shy way.
can you see this?
i am out of place;
here in the yard,
on the humidity soaked grass.
can you see me?
wherever you are,
can you see me?
i stand until
the cloud
melts away into blue,
a rich blue,
a humid blue.
wherever you are,
can you see me?