Gods

Are those your songs in my head?

Are they mine to keep?

Or are they just on loan?

Looking at you is like

Looking out the window at night

Looking out to where the grass

Fades from the streetlight.

That edge, that’s where you are.

That’s who you are.

That’s all you ever could be.

And I’m sitting inside, in the

Warmth and stillness.

I can see phantoms of cold

Rain and wind,

Slanting the streetlight,

Like shadows on the wall

Of my cave

Are you the things I see

out of the corner of my eye?

You make me scream sometimes.

Did you know that?

Do you mean to?

Why, when I turn my back to the window,

Do I

Feel someone watching me?

I always expect to see someone

Standing in that edge.

Am I relieved

Or disappointed

Not to?

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Figments

I lived my life in the long cool mornings of fall, and you,

You lived yours in warm and vibrant summer nights

Your air was laden with exotic spices from-

Bombay-Istanbul,

And mine with the cool fresh smell of mint.

You are a wharf rat, and I-

I am the child of farmers.

You lived from harbor to harbor- dock to dock

Working your way around the wild east

I live in the valley, the one you see

From mountains, hidden in fog

I drank the tart cider squeezed from autumn apples and the

Clear water that ran from mountain snowmelt.

You drank wine- spiced wine, warm wine-

Heady wine that coaxed the tendrils

Of your tangled mind

When I lie awake at night, I hear the contemplative call

Of owls, the wild chorus of coyotes

Or perhaps the lonesome

Cry of a fox.

And you, you hear the creak of wood, flap of canvas sail,

Lapping of water, gently hungering for you

Safe in your hammock.

I awake at cock crow, to the coo of mourning dove, and the

Genial shouts of farmhands, the cattle low for their

Breakfast and milking

And you, wherever you are, wake to the strange

Lamentations of a holy man in a tower

Singing in the morning prayer.

In a tavern attic, out of work, you don’t fall back asleep

Or begin your day, just lie-

Lie and listen-

Every sense straining,

For dawn.