quiet tragedy of clean hands

the potter sat alone on his staircase
and looked at his hands
hardly recognizing them as his own

they were clean and unmarked

with no remaining clay
spun at his potter’s wheel
to remind him of the day’s labor.

no pieces in the kiln
no radiating waves of heat
no fire in the furnace.

clean and restless hands,
the worst outcome for this man
who aches to use those hands
to warm and form his clay
and create again something new.

man’s welcome redundancy

i did that thing

where i started a poem

for you

but the thing is

you know everything i would say

and often i’ve already said the things

i want to say again

and it’s always worrisome

to repeat myself because

what if you get bored or tune me out

or forget what it was like

the timbre of my voice

the very first time you heard me sing

for you

the first time, too, it turned out i knew

what i was talking about.

of course i like reassurance

and have yet to tire of

your bubbling laughter

and eyes alive their own source of light

so hurrah for restating

i love you all of the time

everywhere and yes

i think of you and you move me

as the ocean or the moon

(or both, i guess they’re partners,

those two)

i will be your ocean

and you the moon above

tell me where to go and

what to do and what

sandcastles to knock down

and once more

i love you.

a crowded cafe, somewhere

what do you think he’s waiting for

one whispered to the other

leaning in e-ver-so-slightly

over the table the two shared.

the one who had not spoken

placed his glass down and he squinted

as if reading the man’s posture

as words written on a page.

perhaps began the second man

now whis-per-ing to the first

it is not ‘what’ but ‘whom.’

author ernest in frustration

today, i started at least six poems

but i hated all of them so i

ripped them from the typewriter

balled them rather violently

and flung them into the waste bin

before downing the rest of my gin and tonic

ok, fine, so i

highlighted all of the text

and pressed delete

and took a sip of filtered water my office provides.

oh, what heartbreak!