THE RUNNER

“A man too gentle gets left behind.”
Nancy Schoenberger

The roads go on, ending only 
in reduced images.
                                          Running 
is my way of returning 
to a place,
                      to this room infused 
with foliage, the street lights 
merged in a single lamp. 
                                                      Already 
you are awake. I lean to kiss 
your waist, the muscles 
like spreading water, 
                                               but skin
is anonymous. I am spared 
my face. Only later 
will we need words
                                           the spaces 
between them, a distance 
we must try to cover.
 
DUMB SUPPER
Again, I ask for you. The table
is set. Your plate waits
for its portion of face. I wait
for the silence to be broken
like bread, for the proof
of your fingers upon spoons.
I light a match and lamps
hurl their nets across the room, 
walls become lace, veils
filtering the focused silence
of a swarm. Love is the smoked 
hive, the honey. I remember
your arms, the strained veins
of petals, the balanced bloom
of your body I pressed my mouth to, 
your face flushed with stings. 
Tonight my hands smell of flowers 
crushed upon cloth, the shirts 
stiff with knowledge of your body. 
In the short-circuited sign
of my window, each star is a letter 
not lit long enough to form words. 
 
FROM THE DARK
Waves recede and rise. I watch
a surfboard on its quick descent, 
children tumbling from the slick
grey stairs. All our climbing
comes to this: The pine tree
sways, its tiered green reaching 
nothing, and the stump, like a cone 
thrown in a pool, the spread of its rings 
blending into earth. Still, it will last
the whole night, dry enough for burning. 
We break it beneath our boots
like a new trail, stack it into piles, 
markers that will lead us from the dark.