her condition improves

of course
she will
accept the charges
and the trouble
of who she is
why do you ask?

look at our heroine
happily burning
too close to dry brush
oblivious to the fire risk
arrow pointing somewhere
between moderate and God

her skin is fire she’ll tell you
and it’s why she can’t stop
romancing her stone
notorious for speaking
soul secrets out-of-turn
sometimes known, then not

and her pencil’s a yellow union
candle flickering in her blue closet
setting a blaze to her crappy notebook
&you can watch her wench that candle
between wrong fingers, long
–but she’ll never apologize

our lady’s chest
cavity brims with errors
a dangerous harmony,
a fierce compassion,
a divine spark

swirling, like the universe
she understands not everyone
will ask for a bedtime story
[parenthetically she scribbles
not everyone supernaturally bleeds
and doesn’t die either


for Real Toads


i know, we know

the hills & valleys
are closer to us now
that the sky is sinking
in a disastrous
operatic crescendo

of smoke,
orange and black
of helicopter wings
that chop it all back
so, — just maybe, the sky
is fighting to rise

but we know very little
about stopping a flame
once a careless
match comment starts it off

i add loose-leaf
paper to the pile:
a ball of purple wax,
(the wick buried now)
some sea shells,
and i wonder if i look back

will my chittering dirty cups
sit quiet in the sink as
sirens gallop all around?

will my straw house stand naked
& privately gape at the orange
fire of sun shrouded in gray
flannel jackets of smoke?

we know nothing of stopping
a flame, —
we just watch it burn


for Real Toads