The Open Door, A Top the Hill

I used to  think keys were simple things

just  broken brass bits we’ve decided should be useful.

I got one earlier today. it looks like a smile

whose teeth look like they’ve been eaten away by years of methamphetamine indulgence.


but no

somehow this new companion to my key-chain

this addition to my family of flashlights and figurines

is as complex as the lock he opens.


I received my gilded key

one fine spring’s day, as posies pushed their way up through the dirt to bloom

a gift from my love, a symbol of trust

something I’d earned without even realizing


of course, I was overjoyed, ecstatic.

a child given free reign in a candy shop

I tumbled down stairs, running headlong into doors

like a bird into glass


I ran to tell you

I thought you’d be so happy

That’d you look at my progress, see me finally atop the hill

And cheer


But this was not so

I dangled the key in front of you, a bright lure to a voracious fish.

And suddenly, you aged in front of me

Your smile a wizened rose, bowed silhouette.


you walked away from me then,

hearts darkened like nights with no stars.

I retreated upstairs then, that constellation of private rooms.

Was it a floor, or a solar system that separated us?


I expected you to come find me, too.

I used my newest trophy to my heart’s delight

and there in that sacred place, I left that door

open, up atop the hill, for us to enjoy together.


But you never came.

My sole solace was the steady hum of the incubator.

my only companions were the glass flasks at my hands

the only voice echoing in this open space was my own.


it hurts to know

that this simple key, this innocuous gift from an absent mind

Could part us so.


When will you return to me, precious one?

When will that evanescent scent of rice-paper envelope me again?

will those hazel upturned eyes ever look at me again?

Does this toothy key really signify so much?


some nights I wake up,

my mind a sea, and I’m the boat lost in the waves.

this constant battle between you both

cleaves me in two, leaves me staggering like bovine just stabbed for slaughter.


It’s been days.

Nature here has pulled her old treachery

The posies are buried in snow.

and here I sit still, atop the hill.


I used to think keys were simple things,

small silver slivers that we’d decided should be useful

I’ve realized: keys lock away, hide, protect,

all the sentiments that the sun was never meant to cast his judgmental glare upon.




Native Tongues

we talk in hushed voices

scurrying across campus

hurried mice hiding from cats

crumbs still coating our whiskers.


kisses shared in the night

full dark, no stars, full quiet, no riots

the only souls awake are us 


your hands are glimmers across my body

our limbs intertwine, hair everywhere

Your shoulder is in my mouth

we feast,  a pair of cannibal animals.


your eyes are ice, electric with passion.

Brown flecks splattered across the irises, stars in the sky

tonight our love tastes of the cosmos


I whisper to you,  magical tongues from days past

words that are at once familiar and foreign

we collapse, two puddles beneath the sheets.

you caress my face with the delicate hands of a gardener.


our pillow talk is quiet

still spoken in my slithered tongue

we sleep, dormant flowers under a dark sky.


We talk in loud voices

Walking patiently across campus.

You’re with your wife, and I am in hand with my partner

We are chameleons in this tropical forest.


(At night the pantomime begins again

we scurry, speaking in our native tongues

our love exploring places the eye does not see)







Cotton (From down the Hill)

“Come pick cotton husks

the misses’ refuses to

Please help us

We don’t know what to do.”


I walk down, obligingly sweet.

Singing along to the cardinal’s tweet.

Bopping my feet to an imagined beat

Not knowing it was you I had to meet.


I arrive, peel apart the cotton husks.

Dust caking my fingers, thorns pricking my hands

I work patiently, lungs soon filled with saccharine musk

Suddenly, you burst in, a Conquistador in a new land.


You greet me, and I reciprocate.

You smile, but I vacillate.

I, nervous, contemplate.

What to say to avoid your hate


We continue working, trapped in the same tiny office

You, tapping away on keys 

Me, sorting plants, cotton threads filling the orifices

inside my nose and lungs as i split seeds.


We make small talk

even go so far as going for a little walk.

You scream  when we see a snake, though I don’t mock.

You glare when I demurely ask about the doc.


We’ve realized, we speak the same, soft babied voices

We both bite our lips when we contemplate hard choices.

Melanations cover our oval faces

And everyone says we are made of the same gentle graces.


Say hi to him for me, I say, close to tears

“I will”, you say, eyeing the huge pile of cotton, amazed.

My heart races, my mind overwhelmed by fears.

You go home to him, worried, stymied, dazed.


I’m done picking cotton, ma’am

The Missus is completely surprised

On the tabletop lies a pile larger than a lamb

I leave the office, soul vaporized


I walk up, back home.

My mind has gone to roam

Thoughts as fertile as freshly tilled loam

Dark thoughts, my soul has lost its centered zone.


Do you fear my sensuality, or just me?

We aren’t that similar, are we?

Do I fear you, or what you can do?

What can I really do to you?



Empire of Salt

dear one, 

you’ve taken the pipette from me again.

This is the first time. I understand,

You see me tremble, you don’t want others to see my fears. 

Science is frightful, and you’ve already seen my tears.

I thank you


dear one, 

you’ve taken the pipette from me again

This is the second time. I understand,

I’ve just told you I’ve had no sleep all night

Too worried about perfecting my latest conservation bytes.

I forgive you.


dear one, 

you’ve taken the pipette from me again.

This is the third time, I understand.

I promised I would come to see you, to speak of times of old.

Instead I went upstairs to speak with him still blessed with joints of gold.

I misled you.


dear one, 

I’ve taken the pipette from you again.

This is the my time, please understand.

I know that you love me, and I love you too

I could never survive without our parties of two.


I think of you all day, your presence a sharp salt at the tip of my tongue.

Glimmers of you jump in my heart like silver-fin fish  leaping through the saltwater bund.

Fear not, dearest heart of ricepaper and salt

gritty personality, like so many shards of glass

I’ve not left you, I have just strayed.

I have gone to sing songs of you, in praise.  



Symphony on the Mount

In pit-pattered steps I walked along

down the the mini-street where you really live

Not really expecting to find you

(not after the exodus that spring so raucously engenders)

but still my pulse quickened on arriving to your door,

 blood pounding in ears like a fierce stampede of quadrupeds.

As I hid quietly among the comics that so dearly cling to the walls outside your office 

(tiny trilobites languishing on the sides of an algaed aquarium)

I realized with a wave of trepidation

(splattered notes on a rusted trombone)

That you really were home: your computers buzzing out steady hums of computations.

You were not there, you were somewhere singing hymns of speciation diversification

(a lonely sermon on this forgotten mount)

A tremor filled me, as always when I see your sun-spangled room. 

I crouch near the wall and peep inside, catching an echo of your voice

I debate in syncopated splashes if I should wait for you, 

but amidst the cacophony of my fears

(imagined doubts emitted from a leery subconscious)

drive me down the staircase. 



In pit-pattered steps I walked along.

Away from the street where you really live

wondering why I feel this endless trepidation

these vivid imaginations of alternate realities where your vacillation

between hating me and loving me is actual quotation 

And not just pretensed thoughts from a mind ravaged by cultural starvation.

Why do I fear you, when your voice

rich  golden notes that not even honey could match

Has said to me things sweeter than the amorous confessions of any lover?

Why do I still fear you, dear, 

when every-time I peep around the corner

(on the mini-street where you really live)

you glance up at me

(eyes roaring searchlights in the taupe tan of your skin)

and simply, softly, smile?



its good for you, they say


Try wearing one all day


Let false positivity  

Color your  connectivity


All day, everyday


Show people that you’re happy

Even when you’re full of fear



As rain-forests are slaughtered 

And animals martyred


Wear that lipstick made from a beetle’s dying breath


Tout that handbag made of hatchlings stolen straight from nests.


There’s no more forest to play in


No more sunny days for rain to ruin




So that no one gets distracted


So no phrase has to be redacted


So no one ever stops their thoughts


So that the consumerism never stops



Remember , always SMILE!


Cookies are simple things

just flour, sugar, eggs

slammed into ovens piping hot

just to scald your mouth

It takes all of fifteen minutes, like fame.


more often

flour thrown at faces

ingredients eaten in pecked chunks

batter sipped in dripping spoonfuls

that eat up time like drunks drink wine

And its in that time

that hour, maybe two

Where you promised to just make cookies

yet instead, made friends

that you realize

Friendship is simple thing

just bodies,faces,hands

slammed in hearts baking hot

just to scald your mind