Behind Things

Train tracks.    Becoming your words.
Effort.    Mouth.      White gashes in the walls.
Baby screams as paintings.     Warm spell.

Opera of the poor.   Over and over.
Someone practices in anger an aria of poverty.
Where a window.    Should be.    A hole.

A painted hole.    A mouth on a porch.
A painted mouth on a porch.    Next.
A red geranium.     Stink of armpit.


Drive past a late summer match on a blue tennis court under shade
of a park’s greenest trees. Green shadows on a tennis court
of bluest blue, where young plays old, old plays young,
before it maybe happens, a quiet game elsewhere,
in other shadows, meshes of the afternoon, not hard fought
on either side really, since it’s nothing, nobody for keeps.

The End of the Middle

August is aptly named, I think.
It is the month when the summer
sits like an aging emperor on its ass.
It rose up atop its feeder seasons,
ambitious spring, summer flush with green accomplishments.
But that is done. There’s only ripeness now.
There’s not yet that true blush of the mortal
that September brings, when all the colors change
in that radical sense. But close. It’s felt. There is a new
darkness in the leaves. A random few parts will fall
as if in prescient mockery. Everything green is as full as it is
going to get. The husbands of August sit on the beach
with their august wives. The kids have grown,
gone their own way. It’s a quiet, late vacation.
The husband sits in a striped beach chair
and stares at the ocean. He thinks, “No worries.
Next month I will just ruin everything.” Even doom
can start to seem a likely solution. Because
the young girls and September are in his already
cracking eyes.