Audience

Today in my exercise class
In the twelve-cornered studio
In the woods
The iris were watching

They craned their necks
Through the window
Observing my every move
(Didn’t anyone teach them
Not to stare?)

I swear at times they
Mocked my movements and
Pointed at me
(Didn’t anyone teach them
Not to point?)

I swear at times they
Shook their purple heads
And looked at each other knowingly

I swear at times I
Heard them snigger
Whispering
Who does she think she is?

So how is it that
When the class ended
I could swear they were
Clinking their champagne glasses
To toast to me?

Iris

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Sometimes the rain

Sometimes the rain clings
To the earth and
Caresses it with
Its rivulets

Tonight’s wasn’t like that
The torrents collapsed with
Such violence that
The droplets bounced off
The pavement and
Scattered like
Lighting bugs
In my headlights

Enlightenment in a can

You squeeze yourself into
A sardine can,
Warm, dark, oily, with a
Strong sense of fish.

Quiet, they said.
Silence, they said.
If they hear you,
If they see you,
If they as much as smell you,
Then who knows what.

And so,
Living in a sardine can
You’ve avoided the distant cell
In favor of your hyperlocal gulag,
Every once-in-a-while
Cracking the lid to
Relieve the stench and to
Steal a breath
Even at the risk of
Getting your head bitten off.

Now, a sardine, despite being a vertebrate,
Is not particularly sophisticated,
Primitive even in comparison to a skunk.
Which begs the question:
Does a sardine deserve enlightenment?
And if it does,
Does it stay a sardine?
In other words,
What sound does enlightenment make
In a can of fish?

Memory

The
Candle
Caresses
My
Eyelids
As the drum beats out my every
Inhalation (one-and-two-and) and
Exhalation (one-and-two-and-one-and)

You stand at the opposite end of the synapse,
The longest distance between us.
Is it possible that we are still holding hands
On the bus in some universe that is
Otherwise just like ours?