two poems

hit and run

in the morning you leave me messages like tiny bombs
love on the tongue
love and love you say
you throw these at me and you are gone
your hit and run love

leave me a message I am not here
I’ll call you back
if I come back

in the distance, the fires burn
the woodsorrel and the juniper

in the distance, the children hold hands
and sing the echo song

in the morning before the light
cricket song
cars rushing past on the highway

leave a message for me in the morning
your words on my pillow
your voice on the empty line
and you are gone

Song for mother & daughter

You dream a dream of juniper trees. You dream of children’s hands. Tiny stars where the knuckles will be later, much later.

In your dreams, the children dance. You take tiny hands in your hands.

You dream the courtyard, the dry earth beneath bare feet. You feed the wild turkeys that strut and preen along the farthest fence. You feed them persimmon skins, sticky and wet.

All around you, the city is brown and desolate. Men crouch in gutters to urinate then turn to cook their food over portable grills. They grin at you as you pass, offer you bits of meat from filthy fingers.

I will carry you on my back. I will hold you in my arms. I will wrap you in blankets that smell like peaches, like milk, like wildflowers.

You dream a dream of children. Their tiny hands. Their pink mouths. Choose one, but not the other. Take one, but not another.

All around you, the city moans and hums. Desolate city. City of dust.

In your dreams, the children come close. You choose one. But not the other.

I will lay my hands on your head and you will have no pain at all – not even the memory of pain will linger.

You dream a dream of juniper trees. Of children’s hands in your own.

Are you sleeping, are you dreaming?