Poems of Life and Death – 38

Bonfire

The last day of the year you would dare call summer. Eyes addicted to flames in a metal basin, a cardboard burn for warmth against the coming winter. Moths of ash flickering up to the canopy of goldening birch. A new friend’s front yard: collapsible lawn furniture, a rainbow hammock, a perimeter of cherry trees. Grass a little wet. Three large, lovely dogs begging for pizza slices and games of fetch, eyes that can only see good in yours. Sky the remnant of sunset gathered from the fast drive across town. The day’s hours forgotten in the evening’s peace, voices to prove our orbit around the fire.

Poems of Life and Death – 37

Detail

At rest before the glacier’s pour
And dwarfed by breadth of Admiralty
On Summer’s edge of evening light
He slits a pack of bait,
Stuffs the rectangular prism
Inside the cylindrical cage:
A crab pot to sink in the orange boat’s wake,
This island on the placid sea.
The ferries are running, he tells me and points—
I smile and agree,
Fearing the edge of the map and the knife,
The cut of horizons I’d never see without him:
A current of birds drifting on water,
Low clouds protecting a mountain,
A captain commanding me in Carhartts.
I pretend I’d drown before I’d fight,
Laugh underwater, mistake my phone for a life.
But later, driving back from the dock,
I think of the crab, the bait, the cage—
And wish for a boat to sail through night.