smoke curls through the window

this is the circle
this is the going-around
old leaves and green wood
on a cold spring night

this is how I hear you
breathing
a stolen cigarette
the silence of lifetimes

I can smell the smoke

this is the circle
this is the going-around
the part I keep holds me down

the world fits between my
fingertips smooth and open
this is how I see you
this is the circle

leaving is always
black and white

 

 

 

fruit

Watermelons
 
Green Buddhas
On the fruit stand.
We eat the smile
And spit out the teeth.
 
      –Charles Simic

 

 

somewhere all is green
and we laugh like baby buddhas
we pin flowers on
our sleeves we wait for the
blossoms to bear fruit
 
we don’t sit we stand
 
everywhere the sunshine goes we
follow we forget to eat
a river calls us to the
edge the water like a smile
rocks like invitation and
 
the river gods spit
 
us out
our flesh bursting like ripe peaches see the
dragon’s teeth

 

 

 

napo2014

 

 

pieces

 

 

 

he walks up pointing his cane at our flowers. I know your people, he says. they’re good people. we’re all good people around here. we were good kids back then. I remember. we didn’t do nothing real bad, stole us some watermelons. we had some fistfights, yeah. but, oh — those boys could play ball. your granddaddy was a pitcher. he had an arm, boy. we were just kids, he says, just kids. he wipes his face, puts the rag back in his pocket. well, he says, I buried my son today. it don’t seem right but you know, these things happen. they happen. nothing you can do. he sighs. well, tell your daddy I knew his daddy. I always remember good people.

 

it’s still cold –
I hope no one notices
the turkey vultures

 

 

 

napo2014

quickly's

rising

 

 

 

my arms bend at awkward
angles as I leave this smoldering
fire my skin carries splinters of
wood like wet grass
 

I’ve been quiet for one hundred years
 

I brush soot from my hair phantoms
erased with a blink of an eye
moving into the air sometimes
these ashes rise
 

men have forgotten the smell of smoke

 

 

 

napo2014

quickly's