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.

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.’

three poems written on a sunday

‘surely, someone was president, right?’

the year was 1904

and i don’t have a damn clue

what happened or why it did.

* * *

geometry of sorts

if i draw a straight line

one, i’d need a ruler or

straight edge, because

my artistic talent is rather lacking

from me to you

two, i’d need you to remain

rather still which i don’t see happening

as you move and shake like the wind

will you still be there

when my straight line

i guess it would be a segment

as a line from me to you

would not be infinite

though i hope to spend

forever with you

well, of course

that’s also a metaphor

‘cause i’m already 33

so let’s forgive technicalities

becomes the point

that was point a to b

and is now the point

and very close space shared

by you and me?

* * *

claw marks on drywall

i’m worried there might be wolves in the house

i’ve noticed clusters of padded prints in the kitchen

and claw marks on the drywall in the pantry

just above the cereal i eat for morning breakfast.