Summer poems
The jolly men hold their bellies
and rock and rock, as they laugh

at the women holding their skirts
above saggy knees and elephant ankles.

How they laugh at the idea of tanning
such baggy, blobby legs.

Who’d ever want to look at them?
The women stir, fan hot red faces,

and talk a mirage of romance beneath boardwalks,
sunbrown muscles luring eyes and hands

to places parents forbade. Their talk weaves them
into the silky girls they once were, weaves them

into tapestries of memory.
The jolly men lapse to stillness

as they feel again the drift of sand
shuffled down between the planks
across bare backs.

The glass gate

When the sky is yellow
children chatter on the front step.

Speech, scented with the fragrance
of rainbow beetles trapped in a jar,
slips around glass like insect legs.

The young embrace each other’s disbelief
with acceptance. Amazement
has more possibilities than truth.

A child is a gateway, as is a story.
They are the open collar of a jar —
freedom, if we had wings to lift us out.

Stories are irresistible,
open arms like rosy children,
ask to be picked up and held —

They carry us to grassy fields,
through long corridors
stretching back inside ourselves,
the beginning of a journey home.

Tomorrow’s child

Dance in the pleasure of your skin —
palest camellia flesh.
A spring garden glistened
with rainbulbs and cobweb skeletons
against wet black boughs.

Feel your body bloom in expansion,
ticklish fish slip between cells.
You are the powder of stars,
in the course of your dream
Tuatara and deer spring from your feet
swallows and marigolds from your fingers.

You are the child beyond
the seventh scroll
bitter belly soothed and sanguine,
the trumpets of angels silenced
in your hair,
your song a circle of memory.

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