I.   I S   F A R   /   I S   B L U E R

            Now alone, I've lost access to that “redemptive” escape,
            The open and the concealed have swapped spirits,
            And by law you are on a high shelf of transition,
            Looking down on the upcast eyes of the city
            Milked over with the glaucous stuff of in-between grounds.
            And by law this can't be sadness, but
            That something out at the point where adjectives fail.
            I don't know what to call it: unwilling?
            My attentions drift to spaces that feel
            At first esthetically conservative,
            Though you have given me
            This extension of your person,
            And within it I recognize
            Beneath the novelty
            The shapes I first learned to inhabit:
            Lines straight or arcing,
            Simple forms, like triangles, quadrilaterals, hexagons, etc.
            And inside, perspective too still follows its old patterns
            (What is far is bluer)
            Which is to say that space is the same as ever,
            And this time it's not a matter of sight, but touch.
            But remember. You are only here as a process,
            As a space a material forced out of its native structures
            Can return to
            When the stakes get raised
            Even one notch too high.
II.   I N C L U S I V I T Y   B L U E P R I N T
            The point is to lock your jaw, glass, and screen
                        To make them less like a window, portals less confessional
            To slant their roofs and ceilings, be they sinking or rising,
                        Through canals of futurity with loss as peripheral banks
            Farewell & goodbye, between these words a choice
                        Quantities of desire, reputations, whether to rear up
            Image or flesh, or if you don't believe my mistrust
                        Watch the Imitation Spring crying snow on the shoots
            And my choice to view hindsight as pedagogical
                        Has locked me out of your inclusivity blueprint
            But into our already-superabundant hoarding chamber
                        Where joy becomes indistinct and more meaningful,
            A vague ease in roundabout yet concrete forms—
                        So I grow this warm counterpart to time's accordion
            By turns inert and volatile, you turn away
                        When you smile, it's infectious, that modesty in light
            But happiness too can be difficult to trust outdoors
            Time and again without a roof it floats away
III.   T H E   C I T Y   T H E Y   G A V E   Y O U
            On another earth, the parents who love you are walls. Beyond them
you can see the city—the city they gave you.
            At my edges you are lonely. Let me blur them:
            They gave you no city. Let me blur them:
            They gave you no city.  Let me blur them:
            Let me blur them because, good as they've been to you, they gave
you no city:
pure joy—light because
            You knew that's how it would end,
            But I didn't mean to write that there.
            It was you who meant me to.
IV.   D U R E R   T U E
            The smell of mint, smoke, and smothered candles stolen from a
highway memorial,
            And slow-burning red lights, rotating in the golden throng of
elsewhere's crickets,
            Approach like a strange animal in the dark brush.
            Rustling bodies, supine beneath a triangle of stars, previse arrivals,
            The approach of one segment's ending and another's beginning.
            They seek the waning Pleiades, which no longer illuminate the
coupled nights
            Constellated throughout the vegetable garden.
            As if spitting our images onto film, they synchronize their
            With the conductor's wand of these first breaths of autumn
            To find the narratives concealed by the overflow.
            But you mustn't say never, mustn't say a thing,
            Lest you spoil the dream of becoming a bird,
            And having access to these secret plains of basilica.
            And once the traces of significant events appear to have been swept
            Where your vision and its blankness wait around the corner
            In the shadow of the rain that widens more gradually
            Than the smoke of images here left unchosen
            For the vagueness of their Fibonaccian expansion,
            Where I learn a lesson,
            Where I undergo changes imperceptible until I return to the foraged
            Where I find myself begging you to return to the habits by which
you were once identifiable,
            Where I lurch apprehensively toward our friends,
            Whom I mistrust for their capacity to steal you, whom I love
by keeping still . . .
            I know. I hope to change and not waver
            Beneath the impossibility of remaining tangible.
            If only the heart, as a fruit, were yours to consume.
Image: SALi Designs