buried gentian, all
I do not love
you or anyone—
content the moment
ONE NIGHT WHEN YOU WERE NEAR
The breath through white pines outside this window
soothes by mimicking rain sound.
Ticks master deception—their movements
disguised as evaporation or
tickling breezes or the slight sense of another
as they slide up a leg or the inside of jeans
until they latch on and dig their mouths into skin
a news story here about murder,
a news story there about rape—
discouraging and fearing us at once,
as they drain our blood,
infect us with lyme disease, indifference,
isolation. Tired, our joints aching,
we don’t know what to do.
Then a lightning bug flashes
in the dark summer night.
one cup of consider a moment the voice of reason spewing sprockets sprayed story edits the road mud half-cup of experience a narrative constructed piece by piece from gravel and dirt and blood and tears reduce hours on the stove boiled to nothing but imagined flavor intense in commerce mix with green salad dollars’ empty calories a tablespoon of worn skirt-like seven veils stripping off dollar after dollar mix in two naked breasts one belly one patch of hair through which peak the full lips that do not speak in this room broom closet add my mouth lingering to lick those lips and taste that truth a flavor better than all of the gravelly reductions road bed place on your bed soft and downy and wide white clouds so I fall into the heat of your skin erasing any reason not to experience the moment consider no narrative but dancing entwined naked bodies reduce us to this moment of release pent up and drawn out and everything we ever wanted to be tasted deeply over time nine courses per meal
A GATHERING OF STONES
I gather stones from ocean, sea, lake, river, stream, and the dry desert wadi; to protect my straw life from the storm winds of time they line the walls, shelves, walks, and a small corner rock garden. Snow buries them in winter, the outer ones, and the inner turn invisible beneath plaster and book dust as these stories and poems renovate the narrative, revise my living space into something that might hold up to erasures of climate, and my life into—something. Long after my DNA strands become a statistical probability chancing in some descendants’ groins; long after the house falls to dust, the garden to weeds, the shores of the oceans and seas recede, advance, the lakes come and go, the rivers dry and flood, the wadi erodes to flatlands; long after all of this; a few stones out of place here in a row, there in a pile, might attract some little notice, a bit of curiosity. This flint tool from Baak’a in Jerusalem. This agate from Lake Superior. Amethyst from Ontario. Lava from Hawaii. Mica from Pennsylvania. Polished smooth granite. In some way, someone may ask. Where did such stones come from? When? How did they end up here? Why? What story do they tell? Who gathered them in? I will only pretend to know the answers.
Michael Dickel’s prize-winning poetry, stories, & photographs have appeared in journals, books, & online—including: Sketchbook, Zeek, Poetry Midwest, Neon Beam, why vandalism?, & Poetica Magazine. He lives and works in Jerusalem at the moment. His latest book of poems is Midwest / Mid-East: March 2012 Poetry Tour ( http://www.amazon.com/Midwest-Mid-East-March-2012-Poetry/dp/1105569136).