Footsteps at Dawn
There is a furnace fog to these mornings
before digital readouts strike backwards
in redoubling of effort, the skipping smoke
rings as childhood pebbles on Superior's
tracing etched water face in looms of
fractured factory whistles rising by
the Essar plant.
There is a reminder in the slow-fading tenderness
of house lights and car engine sputters;
some echo's distance measured in one-way streets
and bilingual road signs, the worn-rubber
creak of dress shoe soles some semblance
of the ruffling starch-collar manner meeting beneath
the Houses of Parliament.
There is a sounding symphony of hymnal in
stained glass, triumphal illusions wine-cider
shades from the naming of apostles in tongues
those fighting figures of fancy we draw tightly
together for cloaks of royal violet, warmed
with memory's bookcase battered, dusty with
the saloon sentiment.
It's Never Like That
In the shaggy span of adolescence
you'd have been altogether otherworldly,
jetting with curly androgyny from
the sidewinding clip of typing message
reflector ribbons in the sensible loose
glass grinding of your spectacle frames;
indeed, I'd have been lost
with how to term these 12-hour naps
and over-breathing fits you spin
as outback dust storms in the
rigid farmhouse corners I leave
unswept for fear.
Any undertaking you could imagine,
the white tusk a glimmer
of ruining rail and patched-engine
passenger buses in the middle places
of this land, in the countrysides
of foreign ones, and I knew I
didn't want to be some lover's dalliance,
some holiday weekend's great distraction,
some postcard placeholder in the
chandelier swinging section.
No, as I reflected
on how these bridal sheets bleach at
but barest blush of strong
moonlight stain, how prom queen
crows chip away in lead paint liberty.
No, as it was breaking at the seams.
No, as you looked up from your sandwich plate.
No, as I studied the lines in wood bench
backing and the steady fizz of Italian
blood orange soft drink.
No, as I reached back to lessons learned
about eyeglasses, androgyny, breath and blinking.
No, as I trammeled words about something
like a love.