A Bird In My Sleeve

The rain harangues
Curtails the rags of afternoon
To a kind of twilit comfort
Of these few close held rooms

You are in my sleeve
Sate as other Sunday evenings
Hesitant as a bird
Crumpled as if you were already thrown away
Like the stone the tailor threw
A knit as camouflaging
As any grass-thin shadows

Your voice, close enough
For doves to misconstrue
Still, against the staccato dark
Of shades rigged tight as seabird sails
In any failing storm
I don’t understand 
How suddenly you flew

Autumn’s Horses

I put my hand out, like a fire

yours is gentle, with that
tremulous shake

of fallen leaves
turning slowly
to the bronze of earth

beyond the dunes
of your shoulder
saw in the unevening sky

the roundness of your disapproval

afternoons as lithe as cats
I imagine    
you always have that face

a prosopon, de rigueur
downturned at a scrap of yellow

there are foals in autumn’s colours

the leavened wind
has an insistent touch
as soft and irrevocable as Midas

steam plumes their nostrils and furs their backs 
in their gait, unconstrained machineries

take sudden flight

(as you turn, come back inside)

the evening spills her horses


There in the seance 
of pewter dark
and falling afternoon
I ran from the rain child’s father 
snail shells eye empty
seismic, abrading, polished sutures grey
skulls in catacombs
tumbling, unmade 
with that peculiar, watchful nonchalance
of sacrifice gone too far into neglect
the gods respond
with neither grace nor storms 
but the dinosaur fragments
of fossil nacre, edges inviting
pressure against, the too soft mollusc
silent, salt and piercing
pedestal like a kiss
lightning fragile (immediacy erased)
in the afterimage inverse
of the slowly leeching beachcomber’s
lope long passing steps