January 2011

Down there it’s not winter, not ever really

Grass grows tall instead of snowbanks

and there I am walking with you

on a sidewalk made of

stones that have witnessed

decades more of heartbreak than I’ve tasted

and they still stand, polished by water and baptized

by piss but yet


There we are walking

holding hands like lovers do, and me barely

able to keep the grin tied down on my

sunwarmed face, keep my feet attached

to the ground because you

you filled me up and then let me go

a careless child watching

her balloon drifting away, she didn’t

know how to hold it

And there I am walking

alone but still knowing

the feel of these stones by heart, by sure footstep


Here I am in winter

no sunlight to warm me, nor you

Wanna float away from all this

my helium-stretched heart expanding in my ribcage

Wanna remember

but there’s too much space

between my fingertips stretched and

the top shelf I put those memories on

so they wouldn’t break

so they’d stay safe until

I needed them, took them down to touch

the rock I picked up at that beach

where we kissed


Now it’s winter and

I can’t reach the sun, won’t return my calls

but I found a broken lamp on

the sidewalk, fixed it up

found a fence to climb up and watch

the parades from

Now we are walking, she and I

holding hands like balloon strings on a windy day

in this winter city

and you’re not there, not really


dance now as the sun sets over

a shroud of fog, for

we are already dead

these bodies merely flesh memories

cloth and hide hanging on skeletons

like shadows, like the standing

sunbleached men in their

cornfields, where birds

and buffalo used to feed freely

dance with me now

in the warm ashes of a fire big enough

to consume us all

sweet-smelling of grass and rot

we are become demons

wind carries us faster than

any arrow, to the homes and camps

of our enemy, and we

cannot be caught

though the body may perish

though bullets shatter living bone

though we die like crows

broken, limbs still flapping

spirits now, we cannot be destroyed

or conquered so easily

we will dance light-footed on their

grandchildren’s graves.