28

White
is absence,
the absence of pigment
of fertility
of time

White
is hard,
the hardness of tooth
of bone
of stone

It is not vulnerable
like green
alive and pulsing

It is not fluid
like blue
brimming and rippling

White is brittle, bleached
leached
a bleak remnant

White is what is left
when life is gone
and even decay is done

26

I sit with the moon
when everyone else
is tucked away, dreaming
I recite the stars
like a litany
rolling them
around my mouth
touching each tooth
one by one until I have
emptied the sky

18

These are times of unmaking
systems fall into disrepair
entropy has her way

birds fall from the skies
buds freeze, curled tight
their potential never sprung

socks and gloves
fall out with their mates
leave without saying goodbye

things fall apart
clocks stop
dishes break

the mirror shows
only empty spaces
and faces without hope

 

These 55 words are for Joy at Verse Escape, where she carries on the grand tradition of the G-man.

9

I
I’m the eighth and newest member
of the Yarborough bridge club
Learning to play is slow going
we only meet once a month
Ann keeps talking about
her trips and her kids and her grandkids
while I try to remember
if the queen played yet
and if I’m on the board or in my hand

II
There is this lame saying
bridge and sex are alike because
if you don’t have a good partner
you’d better have a good hand
I see eight hands
with swollen, knobby knuckles and liver spots
Two of them are mine
and I lose count and I wonder
how I ever became so very middle-aged

III
Last night Ann forgot what time we were meeting
when we got there
she was still making dessert
(because you always serve a dessert when you host bridge)
she was flustered
and sent Cindy to the grocery
to buy nuts and candies for the tables
When I was dummy I set the bowls out
because she forgot
Sometimes we worry about Ann
but she’s still a better bridge player than I am