i have never seen snow

fall like this

it hangs in the air

suspended

i wonder if it is enjoying

the gentle descent

downward

the earth says

wait
i am not yet ready for you

the snow continues

and says

i am not here
for you

a crow calls out in the early morning
i rise and let the cat inside
the air is frigid
he enters and tells me everything
pacing about
gently bumping his head
against my leg
i boil water
and prepare my tea
then sit on the couch
cradling the hot mug in my hands
the cat rests against me
purrs softly
then louder as he warms
i leave the lights off
it is midmorning
yet no sun reaches beyond the clouds
leaving the room dim
with soft outlines of everything
i feel a tingling of uncertainty
so many questions rise to the surface
of my mind
i close my eyes
and return to august
remembering the humidity
that hung heavy and finally broke
when a rainstorm passed
we sat in it
letting the rain cool us
we were looking at one another
still unsure
still timid
our minds running wild
craving everything
everything
that time passed too quickly
like the humidity that broke
when the rainstorm
rolled in without warning
now the air is frigid
the light dim
with soft shadows everywhere
and i am here
cradling a cup of now tepid tea
and an image of us in the rain
wanting desperately to act
on every desire

day hadn’t yet arrived.
the stars, still brilliant, 
shine in full force,
burn as if lost in the night,
ever convinced by eternity. 
and what is it, “eternity”?
are we all lost in it, in forever?
had i been told it was night i might have been fooled.
had i not known,
not understood as i assume i understand. 
what is day?
what is arriving?
in the early dawn dreams pull,
they tug,
inviting me back.
i feel so small.
in pre-dawn light a cloud form emerges.
seamless.
i watch to understand the notion of fleeting,
the notion of ephemerality. 
what is eternity?
watching reflections,
watching beings,
mostly silhouettes, 
watching for hints of life,
of desire once removed.
waiting for consciousness –
to consume intention –
to devour “i will”
i will 
as in i will not—
i will not disappear into reflections less real than the reflected. 
early sun bathes all in gold;
the shadows that entice in darkness
vanish when touched by sun.
what is forever?
a span of measured time;
measuring the shift from hunger to fullness –
fullness to hunger to fullness. 
nights of satiated lust;
mornings eyes red from battling sleep.
pushing needs aside to feed the other spit and body.
measured time from erection,
endlessly possible,
to none —
to impossible none. 
i am convinced by eternity. 
the clouds are now clouds,
shapes are revealed.
i can see what is holding life.
holding. 
life.
the sky a blue i swear i’ve not known. 
i say aloud; “i have not understood this.”
clouds just breaths of pink;
strips of flesh
suspended and disappearing. 
i yell into the morning; “i have misunderstood eternity!”
and this is forever. 

you peel away
the layers of an onion
the dried skin
flaking to
the ground
separating the folds
down to the off-white flesh
to the heart of it
watching you in exploration
as you uncover
each brittle layer
to watch you open
to watch you reveal

the reflection of the sky
in a pool on a barren
field.
is it possible to hold both?
the sun sets in one
and seems to rise
in the other.
this is perspective;
choosing to
turn murky water
into a looking glass,
a portal.

last night i dreamt about V_____.
what does that mean,
to dream
about an ex? I awoke
wondering where she
is, how she is doing.
the dream was weird,
in it we just drank
tea. the last time we met,
before our lives
drifted apart,
she drank black coffee
and i drank tea.
the coffee was so strong that,
with every sip she made a sort 
face, a wrinkling of her nose,
a look of repulsion.
but it was too late,
she wouldn’t add milk or cream
or sugar. she hated showing
weakness of any kind.
that’s all i ever wanted to show,
i wanted to expose
all that was within me,
to lay it out
on the table, raw.
that was so long ago. 
now i drink my coffee black 
and as strong as possible.
i drink it for hours until i’m almost 
sick.
i don’t even think of adding
milk, or cream, or sugar anymore. 

to see that from
within;
to give craving
title and place. 
lines upon flesh
drawn in earth
cyclical markings.
rich, carbon
rubbings
blurring borders
with past
and present.
marks indicating space
and time,
linear and non,
tell of longing.
repetitive
and endless
like breath
connected,
like breath redirecting
awareness to the moment.
the gesture of holding
addiction close,
of cradling the self unforgiven, 
to re-examine frailty,
to reconsider weakness. 
repetition 
gives form to longing, 
it reveals craving.
presence,
an embodied body,
lines mimicking breath. 
carbons presence,
its lack of presence;
the extension of my being,
from innermost
to finger tips.
onto linen,
to surface external,
to give form
to the unformed,
a portrait of the unsaid.
farther, still,
longing to dust;
to residue,
momentary existence,
held
and held again.
and held again.  

brother can you
hear me

we used to
toil in the fields

side by side
soil under nails

brother can you
hear me

how much
have we aged

perhaps it has
been a million years

brother they
cut me

labor gave me
broken hands

have you seen
my spirit

the seasons changed
the sun shifted

mother is wet
rains beat her raw

brother now what
of love and loss

rich soil deep
within calloused hands

brother where is
the full sun

how do we
return from this

how do we hold
both of these worlds

brother i was not well
this is strange

i want the earth
tangled within me

to strip bare
and return to it