Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Little Davy

Little Davy was the kid from around the block
The First Street gang always kept around for laughs
He was always coming up with hair-brained schemes
He thought would impress the bigger boys
Like putting pennies in parking meters
So we could collect the quarters that fell out,
A panting little puppy that bobbed up and down
The street as the big boys strutted
Trying to get the boys to pay attention to him,
Big Bill loved Davy best and his crack pot ideas
And kept him around – just for kicks, 
and sometimes, the quarters, too.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013



He fakes everything. He prides himself in pulling the wool over people’s eyes, and in fact, could fool a sheep, if he had a mind, too.
Growing up with him in school, he once faked his own death to prove that he was as good as Christ and could rise again on the third day. While we all used the dying of our grandmothers as to why we couldn’t do homework, he gave a while litany of disaster, the full throes of agony, heart attack one time, cancer another, sometimes killing her off outright in the end, other times managing some miracle cure he concocted himself, delivering it all with scratchy black and white pictures he said showed the dead body before prayers or some drug he claimed to have invented brought her back.
He never killed her off the same way twice, and never more than once a year so that he had to invent a whole new story for a whole new teacher – part of the challenge, he told me once when I asked how another grandmother had died when I knew for a fact that all the ones he was entitled had perished to plaque or some other disease from the Congo in the first few years after Kindergarten.

The devil, he said, was in the details. The more information he produced, the more evidence he could show, the less teachers questioned its authenticity. By 8th grade, he was so good at the routine, he had his grandmother abducted by space aliens, and Sister Concepta, who we knew didn’t believe in space aliens, believed in his, telling him as she gave him a sympathetic pat on the shoulder, “You must have mistaken them for angels.”

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Waiting through the dark

What else is there to do but wait?
When the sun goes out,
It is not sunny skies that sustain us,
But the memory of light,
Even in the darkest of night
Even when we fool ourselves
Into thinking the darkness will end
We wait, trusting that something
Great will come of all this.
Sometimes, we learn what light is
By living in its absence
A blind man’s fingers learning
More about beauty
That his deluded eyes ever could
Sometimes sunrise never comes
And yet, we wait,
Trusting our fingers and our toes
To teach us whatever it is
We need to know to get us through
This never ending darkness
Trusting that if it is to remain so
And light never does come
Something even better than light
Will come to illuminate us.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The long row to shore

I row to shore
My oars making
My palms sore
Beaten up
By the waves’ ruckus
The boat defies me
While inside
I’m chained
To the bench
I’m sitting on,
So I must row
Or rote
A dark dot
On a blue
Blazing water top
Under a red
Blazing sun
I can’t even
Run my blistered fingers
To wipe the sweat
Off my blistered brow,
Chains yanking down
My hands each time
I try
I can barely lick the lip
When the drip sticks
And I wonder
In this sunny blindness
If it is really sweat
I taste
Or blood
And if in the scheme
Of things
Is there

A difference?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Missing the circus

Why does there have to be something else,
Other than this?
The hoopla of the circus I missed
And why should I grow sad at the confetti
I find amid the limps of elephant dew
Proof that the circus ever was
Even if I didn’t see it.

Why do I need to see the man or woman
Making love to death on the highway
Defying it as if this is some fear
We don’t all struggle with
All of our lives?

Maybe it’s the freak show I need
Or the mirror I know is distorted
So that I can imagine that
The distorted reflection I see
Isn’t really me,
And I’m not the same freak
As the freaks I see?

I do miss the clowns
Even if their act is
Full of vicious pranks
I can laugh at freely
And not feel guilt

Maybe I simply envy those
Who got to see all I missed
Or am I the lucky one
Who remains uncrushed
By the elephants whose
Droppings I sniff
As my fingers sift through
The confetti
All this telling me life
Is always an illusion
Even for those who
Are lucky enough
To catch up with it.

Camp Hope

They collected
Poor kids
From Paterson
In big yellow buses
In front
Of the big
White county building
Near the rail yards
I walked daily
When I felt alone,
Counselors cackling
Like frustrated hens
At the sons and daughters
Of families too socially
Unacceptable to
Attend real camps,
This ride to West Milford
Our version of a freedom ride,
Fleeing the shootings
On the streets rather
Than heading into them,
We ghetto kids
Getting our taste of country
None of us believed
Was real,
Stranger than Disneyland,
Something out
Of the serial westerns
We caught on TV
Each early Saturday morning,
We mistook for Science Fiction
Another planet
Full of poison ivy
And mosquitoes
And other blood sucking bugs
We had no names for,
With two weeks worth
Of planned events
Songs around the camp fire,
Metal dishes filled
With alien grub,
And long nights of total dark
Filled not with gun shots
Our parents called back fires
Of cars,
But the buzz of something
Even stranger,
Something these people
Called natural,
From which it took
A whole year
Back in the hood for us
To recover from.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

New Years

I am father time;
But what are you?
We dress for this day
As if for Halloween
Sheets dripping off
Our shoulders
Like ghosts
Xmas a whole week past
And I missed it
And decide
You are the still-wrapped
Present waiting
For me to untie
Mouth first,
That utterly Ulitarian orifice
I so much adore
The lips of which
Bewitch me
Long before a kiss
Sharp-edged and ruthless
Into which I plunge
My whole self,
Risking life
With each lick
Any knick of which
Would spilt me in two,
I unwrap you
One inch at a time
A mountain climber
Reaching rigid peaks
With outstretched hands
A deep sea diver
Seeking moist deeps below
The whole earth
Groaning at the effort
That might take a life time
Not one mere night,
Me father time with
Too little time

Begging for more

Wednesday, July 17, 2013



You touch the lip
Of  the glass
With the tip
Of your tongue
And I squeal
Not the glass
The vibration
Shaking every
part of me
Until I ache
My gaze locked
Into your gaze,
You gaze laughing
Each blink
A new sliver through me
I want to drink you up
Sucking all of you
Down deep into me
Filling all those
Gaps I feel
When you’re not there
Flooding myself with you
Until I am unable
To breathe,
Or think
Or be


Once I was satisfied
Being n one
A statue in a window
Hands poise,
Doing what ever
Someone told me
To do,
My mouth slightly
Opened but always
Empty of words,
Crying without sound
For someone like
You to move me


Life ties my hands
Behind my back,
Telling me to behave,
Then sticks a rag
In my mouth
To keep me quiet
Then proceeds to do
What ever it wants,
Whipping up
Every imaginable
Torture inside and out,
I can even cry for mercy,
Sometimes, you just
Have to go with it,
Having faith
That in the end
No permanent damage
Is done, except
To my ego


I like being absurd
The lone rock
Twisted into the brain
Until the nerve end tingle
Hot coals burning
Until it produces love,
And like a lobster
I don’t know what
Is too hot
Until it’s too hot
Slipping into that
One slow degree
After the next


I sip tea and taste you
In the cup so deep
My tongue aches
To reach the bottle,
A cup full of tea leaves
I can only read
By running the tip
Of my tongue over
Each rough ridge,
And still you remain
A mystery that defeats
All of me,
Except my senses,
The warmth of each sip
Rushing through me
Stirring me up
As if I become the cup
That holds you,
I sip you and
Over flow with you,
Gushing from every pore
A lust for living
I can never control
And often
Don’t want to.


You say your hands are tied
So you can’t help me
Yet if I found them bound
I could help myself,
Sweet sucking from the
Marrow of life,
Probing deep with lips parted
Or hungry fingers,
Going deep into places
My gaze could not,
To lick the lip
Where the nectar drips,
Or trip the tip
Where I ach to lick,
The pointed peaks
Not purple but pink,
Hard bits that poke up
And challenge me
To mount them,
Raising me up
Only to cast me down
Bound and unbound,
Exposed and laid waste,
You unable to help me
Because you say
Your hands are tied.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sharp edges and flickering flames

I don’t envy this short life
The sharp knife
The drip of red
That comes from
The open wound
When I slip and snip
the tip of finger
Nothing lasts
But the past, today always
The flickering flame
The burning pain,
Tomorrow remembers
I always cut myself
But the burning
Is always deliberate
The child drawn
To a dangerous flame
He can never resist,
confused as to whom
To blame
Himself for the radiance
With the sole
Relief that
It doesn’t last
That nothing last
Not even after long enough
The memory of pain,

Flame, or bleeding.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I don’t need to

I don’t need to ease in
Only to know I can
My mind shaping
The shape of where
My fingers cannot go
My mouth aching
For the taste of you
The flavors of
Lips on lips
Curling around you
To take in the tip
That taste
Never a waste.

I don’t need to breathe
You in when I
Already do,
Taking in each
Strand of you
So that it sticks
To my tongue
In my lugs,
On my lips,
I swear you
Over me like
An ointment,
So that I feel you
Over each inch
of skin,
A searing
That seeps down
Into the marrow
And never
Comes up.

I don’t need
To dream you
I know you exist
A twist in a dreamscape
A strolled down
A garden path
In which you
Are every flower
I look at
And smell

Just as sweet.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Love is not a rose
It is a thistle
With no place
Safe to touch,
Without being
Rising stiff
In the sun
With a blood flush
To its head
Vibrant, shaken
In the brisk wind
Until it drips with dew
The ache shaped
With each shake
And I shake, too,
Aching to make
You take it all
Inside of you,
Each prick
Leaving bits
Of blood on your lips
For you to lick
And my lips on your lips
So I lick each drip, too,
No rose tasting nearly
As sweet


I dare not blink
Or miss it,
A flash of eye lash
A blur in a room
Where you sit,
And I barely breathe,
No moment so haunting
As this one is,
But which of us
Is the ghost,
The echoed laugh
In the rafters,
The rattle of chains
The moan and groan
The deep sighs
I dare not blink
Or lose it
In the mists,
Some tales of Poe
Or woe or madness
Mingled with the lust
And dust and fuss of love
Heat mounting outside
Inside, all around,
Until I don’t have
Anywhere to turn,
Or a reason to,
Time going crazy
In my head,
With me
Ticking like a time bomb\
Waiting for the relief
Of when finally,
I explode.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Hudson River stones (with video)

I find no path
Among these river stones
So I make my own,
Turning this way
Then that,
Side steps that lead
Me nowhere,
Then back,
My life made up
Clumps like these,
Small eddies
Filled with seaweed
And people I need
But never see again
When I move on,
Each step through
This unpredictable maze
Bringing me closer
To some destination
I cannot see
Yet through all
These amazing twists
And turns
The one true thing
Always the same
Is me

Friday, July 5, 2013



The morning clicks on
Like a light bulb
As I open my eyes
No subtle shades
Of fading gray
Just angry white,
And when
My eyes cease tearing
Angry blue

I am a spear to cast
Into the sunrise
Shaken in rage
I have no right to feel

I drum my fingers
On the table top
Like a judge does
His gavel
But not wrong

Waking up
And living life
At the extremes
With no subtle gray
Just the flick
Of a switch
to say
what is right
and what
is clearly
and most assuredly


Ghetto rain

(some of these were inspired from the same journal entries as the previous collection)


Rain brings truce to summer warfare here.
Silencing the boom-box shoulder-born cannons,
Needy ghetto boys cars to the corner
To advertise their whereabouts to God knows who.
They cling behind the steamed picture windows
Of neighborhood grocery stores, praying for the rain to stop
Or hover in the windows of their family homes like prisoners.

I watch the grayness of the day
And the ripple of rain assaulting each puddle,
Me, half expecting new life to evolve out of the mud.

Not all is still, of course, since the streets
Still squeals with panicking brakes
And the thump of delivery trucks over the humps
Of grave-like utility digs public service can’t quite fill,
Drivers cursing each other and the city for ruined shocks

Self-proclaimed auto mechanics rattle their ratchets
In the mud-streaked car port behind my house,
Rolling out their half-fixed classic cars
From the line of rented garages with leaky roofs
When rain permits,

Slick ghetto kids ease into the mouth of the driveway
With new machines, paid for by easy credit
Or drug sales on Third Street
Too dressed up, hair-greased too perfect, to risk the rain,
Leaning on their horns instead
To hurried the harried resident they’ve come to take
Car windows sealed tight against the wet
Yet vibrating with the heavy back beat of hip hop
Loud enough to raise even me from the death of sleep,
Vibrations so intense they spread through the court yard
Like a earthquake or a tooth ache,
Leaving me numb when they finally leave.

In between, I heard the rattle of the rain against the glass
And the impatient thumb of dribbled basketballs
In the sheltered alley where kids wait for the drops to stop
So they can hop over to the school yard courts,
The thump, thump, thump my heart soon imitates,
And I fear will stop, me, sealed up inside the coffin
Of my ghetto apartment, cut off from the world by
The constant dripping, no scent of sweet supper
Drifting in at me from the neighbor’s kitchen
No sound of the Latino gossip which always
Gives it spice,
Just me, myself and I, listening for something
I never quite hear, but ache for,
As if my life depended upon it.


Cobwebs round out the corners of the room,
Anchored in the cracks of pealing paint.
I wonder why I am here
My face reflected on the inside of dusty glass
My fingers gripping the splintered arms
Of a cracked wooden chair.

I keep thinking something must be wrong with me
For sitting here like this,
Yet I make no move to leave
I think the room is lonely instead of me.
I imagine the window shades and closet doors, mocking me.
Even the chair groans as I shift my weight,
And I think it is me.
I’m barely 27 and preparing myself for death
Needing to die for lack
Of anything better to do with my life
Yet I keep looking at my face reflected in the dusty glass
Trying to figure out,
Just exactly who it is I’m looking at.


They tell me not to worry
That I don’t have office spaces
Filled with love
No coaches for secretaries
After hours
In fact no office
Except for a phone booth
In Grand Central Station
Where I remain at almost any hour
Night or day.

My life is a party line
With two slick chicks
Pulling tricks,
Collecting nickels and times
For me as charity.

Ugly as they are,
They sometimes get lucky,
Scoring five dollars
For a trip to the toilet,
Ten if the john wants more
Than a warm mouth
Each man dressed in business suit
Carrying a brief case
And a wallet full of wives and kids

Some call for reservations
Then flock in
Their pockets stocked
With ripe bananas
Each voice still whispering
As if still on the phone
Their palms full of sweat
And their eyes full of acid

Some men want men
To accommodate them
Which doesn’t pay as much
As my girls do,
Or as much as my shinning shoes
Used to, though I still get down
On my knees.

I hate my face being inches
From the edge of a greasy toilet
And look for lingering lice
While the man above me moans,
I always ache from something better
Something more than the grunting impact
Of man inside man,
Wondering why my turn never comes.


The change comes in little ways
A name or in tainted snow
She stands so small
Baby riding her hip as if a saddle,
She looking staggered, stomped or stone.
I ask if she is in pain
Does she feel the miles
She’s been dragged along
At the end of her rope,
Her dreams banging asphalt
And dusty roads,
Old cowboy movies
Paint the scene just right,
Maybe even Greek myths,
She is Hector, not Helen,
Dying ignobly,
Harassed by life
Even after the fact.


The forest is new
Only the trees are old,
Roots transplanted
From a more innocent age,
Lined up against
The barroom wall
Like ten pins

Sweet young women
Swaying in the breeze
Of cool rock
And hot cocaine

Stone axes blazing
Through them from the stage
Search them like cops
From limb to limb,
Stealing their virginity
With a stare and
Seductive wind of sound

Bay Bunyan types
In t-shirts and jeans
Kicking the heals of Reebok sneakers
On the chair rain,
Waiting for their chance
To climb on for the ride,
Each endangered tree
Drawn to the heat
Of this budding
Forest fire


You walk by night
Strolling streets of broken beer bottles
And littered with the carcasses of shattered men,
Star light illuminating their faces
Their eyes glittering with dripping tears
Of self pity.

It is never easy living in a concrete jungle
Beating back weeds of desire with will
Rather than machete
Brushing off Roman hands
Without Rosary beads

But you love the scene
A silky lady with loose hair
Whispering around your face,
Your fingers flirting with each strand.

You know you don’t need them
And they know it, too,
Though they never stop pelting you
With tired lies, offers of drink
And, of course, more.

You like the danger, too,
The precarious fly strolling
Over the outer edges of a spider’s web
Taunting the dark bulk
With your delicate vibrations

They think you are inviting them
When you’ve come merely to mock,
They think you are happy to see them
When you want only drink of cocaine
They think they have a chance with you
When all you ever really want
Is to walk lightly in the dark


“It’s a lazy way to spend the day,”
she says leaning back against
the splintered porch rail,

Two flights up and dreaming
Of that paneled apartment
We saw above the head shop
She says she will miss this view.

She says the new place is upscale
A better place to bring a baby
Though her heart always gets restless
This time of year,
Stirred up by the rustle of
September leaves.

She says she’ll mist the view
That narrow space between the trees
Where a silver sliver of the river runs
Cutting through out lives
Like a scalpel.

It is a slice so small we might not
Recognize the river at all
If the old landlord never pointed it out,
One of the attractions he gave us
When suckering us into moving in,
Giving us green trees and fresh waters
The way white men gave blankets
To Native American Indians.

“It’s a lazy way to spend the day,”
she says, coughing back unwanted tears
as she hurries off to finish packing
for our two block trip to new digs
and rooms without a view


They locked him away
Like a rare stamp
Postage due,
Brain expansion
Pressing against his already
Weary skull
The stroke a legal notice
For eviction,
Testimony on
How he has lived his life,
Bad diet,,
Too much booze,
And a tendency towards perversion,
Me, standing at his door
My hat in hand,
Waiting for the nurses to decide
If a nephew was
A close enough relative to let in,
Fascists in white
Prophesying the next generation,
More death merchants
Than the street pushers,
Who sell hope on the street,
Waiting for the moment
When they can declare him dead
And can stamp him with
The cancellation notice,
One less soul left to circulate
Among the living


They teach you first to be tough
To get your shit together, man,
Or get the hell out,
The congestion of school desks,
The sock top switch blades
The fights in the street
The real report cards,
Jungle halls strew with potential victims,
The frightened weak ones
Bending over backwards or forwards
To keep from getting beat up,
By meaty boys of any color
Who used any kind of excuse
To get the girls to giggle
Being too smart,
Wearing glasses to thick or not hip
Being too straight
Or honest,
Or talking to the cops
Who are as bad as thugs,
Talking to teachers too frightened
To do anything,
Except to survive,
Thinking “better you than me,”
Turning deaf, dumb and blind
As you get raped or drugged,
Never seeing your bruised face
When you come into class,
Never hearing the beasts outside
Until you come in with a gun
And start shooting,
At which point
Everybody asks:
What’s wrong with you?


They gave the storm a name
And now it pursues us,
Beating a path up from the south,
They say, to soon knock on our doors.

This is no bluff like the puff pieces
Of past storms,
But one thick with bent trees
And ruined lives,
TV images showing South Carolina’s
Blurred faces and strewn lawns,
Trash and leaves whirling by the camera
Along with reports of death.

I sit in my Passaic apartment
Casting a glance at my world,
Walls heavy with books which I envision
Cast down and over-turned,
The scent of spilled cologne rising
From not yet shattered bottles.

In my mind, I ride highways before the storm
Seeing its wrath in my rear view mirror,
Hearing its roar in the back of my head,
Yet for some reason, unable to stay ahead of it,
Losing ground inch by inch,
I feel its storm clouds creeping over me,
I feel the cold chill of its painful touch
I scene myself being sucked up into it,
And know I will never escape it,
Even as my cat purrs and rubs against my leg,
I reach down, fingers feeling fur,
In a desperate effort to touch
Something real.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Down pour


Global warming blurs my vision
As I drive home from work,
Streets flooded so that tires swish
And with both hands tight
On the steering wheel
I make my way through the gray
Like a sailor seeking port,
Storms of life swaying me
This way and that,
And only my internal compass
To bring me to that place
Where I intended to go


They say the seasons
Have not changed
Rain, rain, then warm again,
The heart of the great cold north
Gone to trickles
Of what it once was,
Blizzards of four feet
When  I was a kid
Shrinking to four inches
People bitch about
Until a real blizzard
Comes and they are
Frozen into doing nothing.
Temperatures plummeting
Into the deep freeze
Of 40 degrees
As if the broken back
Of the sunshine state
Has crawled north,
leaving bits and pieces
And only memories
Of our grandfathers’ time
When a season
Was still a season,
And life predictable
As extinct
As the dinosaurs


Old ruins
Stacked against
The riverside fence
The vast vestige
Of an inglorious
Industrialized past
Three fires later
And immigrants
Have no place to go,
Block after block
Of level ground
On Sunday
They drive through
For the memories,
Old days
When a good job
Could still be
Found here,
The first illegal
Step into
The new world
Flowing away
With the long cold
Ashes each time
It rains


He told us
He feared she had
Poisoned his life
With words
And now,
No matter,
How he searched
The dictionary,
He could find
No antidote.
He said
She took his hand
On night
Pressing into his flesh
The vowels
Of his name
There for a world
To see and he
Unable to rub
Off the secrets
Revealed there,
Knowing that
Every rat and rodent
Knew all he felt
And only then
Did she float
Away like a leaf
Upon the river
He looks out over
Each day
From the bridge,
Rain or shine


A dry cold wind
Blows up the leaves,
Leaves long dead
And brown, full of
Haunted rustlings
And remembered days,
Old faces pressed
Against the grown
When the rains do come
Released only to freeze again
In some new sleep,
Shrouded over with
Each coming of snow,
The merciless city
Casting shadows over them
On every side.


First cold day of the year
Shivering leaves
Washing along the ground
With the wind
River water slapping
The side of the dock
And the bridge,
Last laugh before
Turning to ice,
Old men shuffling
Over the bridge
From the Clifton side
For their dose of coffee
And gossip
No more spring time
Only the furious voice
Whistling at the radiators
At home and
Thicker covers
On their beds
To keep out
The chill


The silence comes
On rainy days
When radios blare
Inside cars
With closed windows,
And Latin children’s
Faces stare out
Apartment windows
As if deprived
The swish of tires
Kicking up water
From the street,
While a few honk
Horns to push
The slow pokes
Out of the way,
Fast food clerks,
Bank clerks,
Insurance clerks,
Clerks, clerks
And more clerks
Made late by the late
Rain and the back up
On this bridge.


Yes or nod
The cold wind
Blows with December rain
It should be snow
The bridge crossed
Hour ago
Should have been
Covered with ice,
And George Washington
Spouting a beard
Where he supposedly
Crossed up stream,
The team of traffic rising
Up above the cables
And lights
Beyond him,
The deep black Hudson
With its twinkling gaze
But no slow,
Just traffic jams
On both sides
And rain
And squeal of tires
As I sit here,
Staring back
In the rear view mirror
Making my own retreat.


Rain splattered driveway
Draws mud like blood
The old separation
Still evident
A line where
The asphalt stops
Old owner, Stella,
With never enough
Spare cash to finish it
End to end,
Patching the patch
With squares of concrete
She and Chet
(now dead all these long years)
Leaving only this quilt
Of stone and mud
And incomplete puzzle
Which I still struggle
To make sense of

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Falling from grace (with video)

I hid from Alice along the window sill
Squeezing between the refrigerator and the screen
As she washed dishes and started out the dirty glass above the sink
Seeing none of the neighbor’s house so much as
Daydreaming about dates, boys and marriage
All that horse and carriage crap
People believe in back then,
She calling my name when she “woke up.”
Panicked about losing track of me
After she’d promised her mad sister, my mother,
She would watch over me while mother was gone,
Me, giggling about my cleverness
As the screen’s rusted hooks broke loose
Sending my seven year old body plunging
Out into empty air the back porch neglected to fill
Falling down through the slanted cellar door
And into the teeth of the cellar’s stone stairs
I felt no pain until I saw the blood
Fingers touching the remote spot on the back of my head,
My aunt’s screaming leading to ambulance sirens
And the grim-faced men in white who sewed me
The way mother used to sew fabric,
My wails at each painless stitch filling the whole hospital
Grieving my aunt all the more when I called for mother
Instead of her.

Killing time

Ever since I was a kid
I’ve been killing time
Waiting and watching
As ticks go by on the clock face
Like some sneaky enemy
Creeping up on me
With both blades unsheathed
Always moving around
In its endless circle
But in deadly frozen motion,
With me, a bored child
Waiting for something to happen
Or someone to break
This shell of ice
To make the tick
finally break its eternal tock
that moment that goes
on and on
but almost never comes to pass
and when it does
I do not believe it
Waiting for that last tick
To finally click
Knowing deep in my heart
Time is never equal
And as hard to kill
As melting ice
It might well melt eventually
But always in its own

Sweet time.

Monday, July 1, 2013

In anticipation of rain

The tree leaves roll over
And wait for the rain
Exposing their pale underbellies
As a sign of surrender,
Moisture rich in the air
With every blush of wind
But not yet wet enough
To leave its impression,
Just a tender kiss
On these upturned lips,
Not yet a plunge of hips
And the see-saw conflict
that comes with heat flashes
and the rumble and grumble
and screams of changing air
darkness painting over the day
with teasing promises of relief
we breathe and wait
then breathe deep again
anticipating when
the heat will ease
and we will purge ourselves
in a sudden release
dripping from the tips
of each leaf,
our mouths opened wide

to take it all in.