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Happy Birthday, Laurel. Just wanted to let you know I’m thinking about you today and wishing you all good things.


The blue sky’s as clear as it ever gets and that’s good.
Who could stand it otherwise? I mean, shit, really.
Already it threatens to overwhelm the tiny mechanisms
of the heart and it isn’t even speaking to us.
Its concerns are elsewhere, that much is certain.

Ah, but we believe it’s all for us. I suppose
we should. There’s no harm in it.

Today I noticed all the sycamore leaves drifting in piles
along the road that leads to the jail. Like a hundred thousand
empty paper bags all crumpled up and shuffling slowly
against the chain link fence. Murmuring to themselves,
too shy to try to bum a ride from the passing cars.

I don’t know how the muscle in my chest keeps beating,
senselessly alive and insistent upon making its clamor felt
up in my head bones, along my muscles, in the tremors
of my wrecked hands. But I don’t have to know, do I?
It keeps it up just the same. Like that blue sky.
Like the leaves that are falling and falling again,
so many you could never count them.

A dark thread pierces my beating heart
and binds me to all I love.