She touched their gray-haired afros tenderly:

an urban six year old with kinky hair
who pounced on dandelions (bud-vases
were full of yellow stubby). Telling me:

“This is the way that dandelions age” –

then blew upon them (instant baldness), sad
that “no one liked them but the wind and me.”
And though the asphalt caught them generally,

I promised fields of babies (lyingly)
and she indulged me, not quite giving up
although I saw she doubted. Six yrs old,
and yet she knew already that the world

was full of glowing faces nobody
not six would ever notice –


Look Again

An overcoat of melted copper dripped
on rust-green undergarments. If you’ve seen
what antique buildings look like, oxidyzed,
then you can probably imagine it:

the outer leaves like sunlit pennies mixed

with daubs of burnt sienna, on a cone
so used to drizzled shadow that the change
is wobbly and confusing.

                                        And by now

you think you’ve got it: “Autumn,”

                                                  but you don’t;

and it’s been lifetimes since you’ve scrutinized
except to plug in answers. We’re machines
who print up labels where appropriate
like “colors; leaf-fall.” Or we pick through poems
and guess at them like riddles, parlor games.

But what does burnt sienna look like? Think –


Brief Biography: I am the Editor of The Road Not Taken: A Journal of Formal Poetry.” My latest book  of poetry, Wedged Elephant, has been accepted by Kelsey Books. I also have another book of poetry, In Transit, published by David Roberts Books, and three chapbooks. My poems have been published by Measure, Pennsylvania Review, The New Formalist, Lucid Rhythms, Raintown Review, and numerous other formal journals. In my spare time I am professor at Texas A & M – C.


Featured Image: “Infinite dandelion field with wildflower, painted on back wall of jewelry store. 43 by 77 inches” by Silvere Boureau


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