Self Portraits



Even now, there is sunlight,
slanted shadows cast sidelong
glances at all the ways
the leaves may have fallen

but didn’t. Cato woke up alone
and wounded. It took an eon
to run his fingertips along
the seam on his belly.




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Ugly Feet

They wear calluses like rags,
hold half-broken nails and
avoid your eyes. The loops
and whorls have nearly worn
to smoothness on the long way
here. But they remain silent.
If they could, they would
tuck themselves under a chair,
but even so, they already know
about the amputation.


Next year, these rocks will move,
these eyes will worsen, and this
body step one year closer to
decline. But none of that is
relevant, not really, when
you will be happy, prosperous
and mercifully distant,
and life, here, can cease.


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  Unreal. I swear the land
flows like rivers only slower.

Watch the earth (oblivious,
nearly, to pernicious ticks
roaming her skin,) wake

to the sky crystalline-pure
and deeper in the center.

There is peace in loneliness too.


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The mountain was never the point,
mother said over steaming green tea,
stopped and gazed at the painting.

The epigraph asked, Do you
have time? Stay for tea.


Stepping Out
When the loaded brush
is poised above paper,
heavy with ink,

the world is a go board
free of stones.

With easy wrist strokes,
the calligrapher finds words,

moves, and grows old.


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