to live:

I live by variation: 
         cream in coffee then 1% milk. 
         sometimes black
         sometimes vanilla syrup from a plastic canister.  
         sometimes running with a watch and counting steps 
         and other times running backwards 
and my eyes are not open 
and my heart is wide open
and I feel with light.

I live by flavor:
yogurt collects at the back of the throat
or the cheese puffs from The Levee 
after the cold IPAs from bottles.
          The weight of mountains on our shoulders
           is a heavy cream, a dark roast
           only a sip or two allows the arms 
           to allow yours —

I live by trees:
            they won’t stop staring.

I wake up on either side, it never mattered
much. There is rain this morning, a mist 
           like feathers that don’t stick to wetness.
I don’t have hands to hold an umbrella
but it was just some water, it was 
really either side of the bed.

And it started and it ended with 
the beginning and ending of rain.
           The night sky lit like lightbulbs flickering, 
           coming to terms with the end of wattage
           and wires.

I remembered we wrote poems back and forth 
on tiny screens, this music I listen to now
                          sings to the glare of phones in concert halls 
                          these words I write now 
                          of a heart broken open to light: 

There was the house and a swampy smell. 
The crickets were out in the middle of the morning
we saw drones in the sky and took golf carts to the lake.
It wrapped its wet arms around me, 
                         a vibrancy that saves.


I live by the eagle
            who watches from his nest.

I live by local trains. It just left as the express arrived
by the river which only foams if you let it.
Anchors turn to algae and a violin whips 
to train clanks of steel and concrete viaducts. 

I live by home:
           to the feeling of a moon
           and its responsibilities—
           its ashen glow.