While you became eighteen

While you became eighteen:

Rattle snake grass shuddered
in the ocean breeze.
Vibrant red spokes
from the coral tree
formed reckless patterns
where the street gave way
to roots.

A friendly nasturtium crept
through a country-feeling fence,
next door to the garden
with lavender and rosemary.

The lady selling flowers
wore a bright floral dress
with a gathered skirt,
as she wrapped your roses.

And somewhere poppies
bright as the sun
bloomed wild
along the roadside.



I watch you walk to the kitchen
to make coffee. Have come to
know the precise moment your
body will bend left to avoid
the corner of the table.

This awful silence I have lived
within, mastering the language
of touch because my hands
can’t lie, never betray.

A low honeysuckle creeps up
the hillside. All over town
lawn chairs are rusting.



Morning glories bloom all day,
bright bougainvillea cover the roof tops
and no one can find a place to park.

A young woman tosses back her hair,
trying to be somebody,
while she waits at the intersection
for her opening in the traffic.

Young men in black and white
Gordon and Smith tee-shirts skateboard
their way into somebody’s heart,
and women surfers go out alone.

Joggers sweat and breathe,
sweat and breathe,
sweat and breathe.

All thought begins here
where the continent runs out of time,
tourists and locals hovering together
on the edge of the earth at sunset,
hoping for a green flash.

We will have Eggs Benedict for breakfast
in a French restaurant, and he will tell me
neurotic has gone out of style and
been replaced with personality defect.


I wanted to leap
over the precipice
into mystery,
but my lover was – well,
more electrical,
his room filled with
amber lights promising
things were turned on.
He laughed when I said
I felt like an appliance,
plugged in when needed.
And slept through my grief,
where I whimpered against
the rough synthetic sheets,
left over from his last