across the lake

the clouds break beautifully this morning,
separating themselves into dactyls of pastel
fingers stretching from behind gold hills
freckled with olive live oaks.

across the lake,
vineyards encircle the hills
like a necklace.

only the fishermen are out.
i can hear the clouds
and the fish jumping on the water.


i find you

i find you in odd places:
in citrus notes in Salvadorian coffee,
in Scandinavian blues and pale grey,
in the extra pens i keep in my purse,
in pictures of cabins surrounded by snow.

i find you
in my smile, changed by the depth of your love
in my words, more gentle since our first meeting
in my memories, in which i cannot remember
what i did without you

nor wish to think of a time
when i could not find you.

past tense

we sit in the afternoon sun
on mosiac tiles made by my godmother
i lean back against the wooden door,
the sun bright in my face,
and listen to your voice in the light.

we talk about the hardships of our year
give gratitude for how we are speaking
in the past tense —
for all the things we have said “no” to,
for all the hurts that pleaded to stay in the present,
yet we refused.

i know little of syntax and grammar
but i am grateful for the way
bruising turns to bruised
crying to cried
and that man to gone.

grateful for the way
sorrow turns to compassion
and compassion to forgiveness
and forgiveness to the bright room
of acceptance.

silver birch

the silver birch are your favorite
dancing like they do in the breeze.
the sound of their caressing
lifts your head
from the path before you.

you love them
for their peeling bark,
that sliver of ignition
as you start a fire
to cook for us out here
among them.

you love their coverings
still on the live stem,
and we watch the pages of earth
turning back
sunning themselves
bleaching freckles from their skin.

“me too” you say
and turn your face to the sky.

five things

                                          for Neruda
“i only want five things
five chosen roots”

one is the color blue —
the ocean if i can have it
but a crayon, or a shy peek of sky will do.
two is conversation —
to love in intelligence,
forgetting what grape is in my wine
but not the rush of your voice.
three is the opening of a flower —
on the table, made of bedsheets,
or a hand reaching for mine.
fourth is the stillness of morning —
for its secrets and hushed hues
it’s quiet breaking.
and fifthly, your eyes —
that hold in those two blooming irises
all of the above.


I will spend my whole life
exploring the great sky
of your love:
its constellations, its galaxies
of delight, its rising and setting,
its streams of spirals and secrets.
For this gentle time, i am the most blessed
creature — in adoration
of that tapestry of stars.

there are those you love, and those you have yet to love.