Laid in squares as grandmother's quilting pattern,
high noon's bitter sunlight paints shrubbery shadows
on the canvas of dull green tenant building
walls, block marking of dripped liquid, stomping
hiker's boots, giving way to carefully cut stone wall
windowsills bustling with empty liquor bottles and tricky
little plant places.
Finding placid peace with the placard poses you'd make,
tangled twistings brightly dressed in off-brand colours,
singing love songs to absent-minders, quickly
tapping dance chorus through the ring-road roundabout;
I wasn't one to judge or beg, nor throw upon
hearth stopping heart and sleeve coat,
unless I felt.
Drowned it out with off-license whiskey, marked
in barcode letters only, generic burning smell
amber ember filling the room with dishonest
jeerings, early mornings leaking from heavy-eyed
liberties taken with the tale of last night,
hustled and bundled close truth of how I was on
fire for you.
Sprawling close, two drawn lines on liquid paper,
skittering as skipping stones on the Great Lakes,
came close enough to glance shimmered metal,
close enough to share the briefest touch.
Nervy zig-zag, collision crash on the four
walls, patient pacing hospitalization wards,
salt in the wound words, take it off
the table, vanish as quickly.
Calm free-hand, tightly wound calligraphy,
inch approximate of ancient texts, held sharp
in poised precision, cut camera-shy,
no comparison possible.