Leaning into the Afternoons


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(Birmingham, 2006)

I miss the curves
Of the slender girl
Who lied to me
With boundless joy, it seemed
Who spun some future
From gossamer thread and broken glass
A fragile thing
The shape of which came naturally
(To her, I suppose)

Beneath the drifting ship of sky
With clouds for sails
And rocky shores for rope
If all else fails, we’ll keep the lie alive
Until it’s true

Words grow stale on my tongue
Robbing the past of its flavor
For what do you hunger now?
Empty calories at best
At best

From the ashes of the flame you sparked
Gather your tassels and fly
On wings laden with fear
Into a sun setting in the east
Then color me impressed
Distantly, and with shades of grey

We wore those days
Like charms around our necks,
And dragged those nights out
In a bed of starry laughter
Now your charms they drown you
While mine are washed away
Swallowed up in limestone fields
You count the tides, I court the moon

Many dishes are best served cold
I know your kind of chivalry
May it ruin you beautifully
Some glorious conflagration
And may you rise again

You’ll not know (from me)
There’s a shred of something
Left in these shallows
Something lovely that you overlooked
And failed to kill