A surfeit of nectarines

I have clean earth in my hands

You shake, a sea of trees

Humpty-dumpty falling

I am drunk on nectarines

Face half bellyache green

The obverse

The deep maroon

Of summer’s lost eclipse

Clouds thin as desperation

Where we once bent like ships

Buoyant but

Never quite losing

A carefully layered union 

There is almost nothing

Left up here but sky

And your warm-honeyed faced


Jack-knife crooked

Strung on the limb

Turn aside

Far away

Water breaks, rejoins

Curves like swans, dissolving

The heat is a churl 

The unctuousness

Of sickly pine

Arm in arm we go inside


On the ricochet linoleum 

Amanuensis in declining summer

We slow, walking into water
Lapping salt, uncertain how to speak
Arched words, in the face
Of an amniotic resistance 
To advancing life

Remember how the Madonna grieved
When her child rose again
Counting days like seagulls
Above a garbage shore
On your holiday towel the stains
Of eggs and leavened bread

Sister what’s-your-name
Can you spare a coin for love?
You have a gravid face
Breaking open sunshine

Just a quiet deception
Something fragrant in your mouth
Crushed sweet seeds, a flower
An azure sea, a breeze below
The moon when summer
Turns, more or less, as the hand
Before your smile
Bent as it repudiates

God does not write home
With platitudes and dreads
Homilies about these dismal
Seaside coloured days
Sandwiches quite stale
How the scavengers are blessed
When they steal and beg
Other frail beatitudes from your disregard 
The deck chairs bellows semaphores 
In candy-coloured cyphers
A breath as light as new-made saints
On convalescent afternoons