Archive by Author | Emily


We try to make space
for breathing.
And there is
this cold compassion
that seeks the point of tension,
thin cells on a slide
beneath a lens,
light shining through
this transparency
we never see.

We try to make shapes
of ourselves
and wonder
what words we are spelling.
if it is still possible –
acquiring a new language.

We look for stillness,
and stand outside the glass,
attempting to acknowledge
a need for this detachment.
Count each day,
and at some point realize,
we still feel the moon
coming in behind the clouds.

And no matter how far
outward or inward
we step into the temple –
upon each emergence,
our eyes fall
like blue wings
upon this point,
upon this horizon,
and we know
what waits,
what lives there.


I thought the possible,
but know never now.
And here.
We cultivate disheveled flesh,
drop the not needed.
I never did know
what we wanted –
only that I
would never have it.
And here.
Winter’s cruel kisses
changed us
beyond recognition.
But I am outside of it.
And here.
Begin the slow work
of acceptance.

If nothing

With all the weight
of nothing in my hand,
I let it fly
off on the wind.
Smelling wet cold new,
under the dull,
there’s a hidden green.
A walk into the mud –
who is there
to pull back
last year’s growth?
We imagine
we can see into it.
And I’m not saying
I have to put it down.
But my own
heavy heart –
the gray hiding green
with bleak yellow bursts
of aconite
on melting snow –
is already enough,
if nothing,
to carry.


To wake is to struggle –
the dream,



Boots in mud.

And you never could learn to let go.

Could you give me a hand up?

Not to pretend
that anything comes of it
outside of what was meant.

There was the wanting,
one way,
but then the wanting changed.

And he said it, first:
I wanted to be your friend.

But there was the how.

You could not find it.
I could not find it.
And so easy to let be.

So here is the myth,
the well,
the anchor –

to soothe,
to quench
or to keep.

And my hands grow tired of holding.

Maybe that is all
she ever meant.

Gray Dream

I never was there –
you minutely
construct the clockworks,
set to rounding.

You dream me reckless –
backed to a corner,
one hand raised,
what for.

Such a long sleep –
why do you
wait so?

Together is alone –
no one else
can know,
what’s real?


Was the good dark soil.
Was turned
and ready to be shaped –
and long loved
the shapes
you saw in it.

But lost
in the lovely
the hands –
grown solid,
with their leafing veins,

and skin
like paper
waiting for pen –
found the melody,
felt this –
their own quickening.

So swallow up
the stones
from my throat.
Open the gate,
and let your hands
fly like birds.

Turn to it.
Winter has not done
with us yet.
But the light changes,
and it is mine
to tend this garden now.

For a Spell

At last.

The beautiful retreat.

We left them standing at first frost,
but the little ones have grown
hungry for home.

we must contrive to carry them over.

Let the others search for treasure –
the endless alone,
my endless pleasure –

and always to be within –
bounded by wood,
by word and wall,
by waxing sun –
it’s there you’ll find
the truest friend.

She Takes Us

No good comes of it,
and ensorcelled,
our mouths grow full.

Color went
with the sun,
and we grow

dry and brittle
as weeds,
shaken, drifting wind.

A slow progress
of ice
takes us unawares.

Sky speaks snow
we beat back
from the door,

but grow yet colder
in the blood
where you run.

And we let her
take us –
fiery faces that recede

into the crackling
of boots on snow.
Each of us an arrow,

poorly aimed.
I would submit

and suffer
your friendship,
if you could bear up

under the weight –
this mean secret
of my emptiness –


astride the icy hill.
Take it all
in every taken time.

Kick the compass
down the day
to dreaming

then map
the road back
toward home.


From here
a kiss
on curve of ear
with looking –
but not
always the lift
of your chin
when music
as if observing
garden snow-cover,
lying in wait
for some second spring.

A sore temptation –
to say close
what I say far
and hidden hurt
how did you get here?

What distant train foretold?

What splinter of light
cut in
at your arriving?

And the struggle
not to use
that way –
you no jar
to preserve
a harvest of misdeeds.


We secrets kept close,
wounds best tended


Too fond of hidden
to be ever present,
still –
we will swear
not to cease,
no matter the revelation.

We are full
of doors and keys.
And we are not angels.
Even so,
we are perfectly formed –
a sun,
a moon,
a horizon
shaped for the assimilation
of shadow
into whispering dark.
So we are told.

And so we are told,
we have the strength
to bear this
and more.
But stay.
I would yet worship
those flaws yet to fall.
And we can wait
until night
has finished its gathering.


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