Fugitive

Don’t take the corduroy, minstrel,
it will jostle your feathers
There are marsh places
which will hide flying thoughts
keep them still

unless you mean to avoid the intrigue of mud-cling…
the skunk cabbage
…rotten in Denmark
duck potato
…stolen by the beaver
vegetable pitchers
…slaughterhouses
milfoil combs
…spiraling in their vanity
mosses and morels
…sponges at the bar

Go where the others hide—
to the cities of interesting
found within upturned trees

-A.J.M.

“Sun Bonnet Sue’s Antiques”

Old things are wrapped within this moth-eaten quilt
of numbered road-stitches: this barn at mile 29

Signage suggests what glories can be found
behind square doors patched and painted
the same color
many different shades
like the greyscale calico
cement running beside it

How can a blanket excite me so?
Its twin, printed on Kodak
belongs
in grandma’s living room curio

Sun spoke of her
they grew up a county over but I had forgotten

-A.J.M.

Gopher’s door-knocker

Ran without streetlights and fell in the hole
address:
Where Shoulder Blades Touch the Ground, Under the Spruce Bough

Tried to find the tree silhouette somewhere past the pink nosy mountain
disoriented:
sequined black sky-mask sewn shut by pine needle and pitch

Gave thanks for porchlights and celestial neighbors’
hospitality:
because in full moons guests don’t drop as unexpectedly

-A.J.M.

Mitten layers

April snow
May bring flowers
wait and see
Will the mud melt more—or less—today?

Sometimes thermometers lie
Certainly, from April to March
when Earth has the fever
so her blood chills and sweats
maple syrup, strawberry
juice and ants

Without the heat, the sap won’t flow
Without the cold, we might never know

Don’t you think crocuses are most beautiful
on a crystal floor and the rising white wall?
Don’t step on it
its more fleeting than you.

She doesn’t intend the drifting
to be so contrary
Simply remember yesterday
to wear the sweater or not

-A.J.M.

Crickets

An exhale

sigh

can be a silent shout.
It won’t travel very far.

Maybe just
enough
to know me better.

The earth turns me towards the night
knowing long enough have I been awake.
The residue of sun shines on moon’s face.

I do have something to say,

maybe just the fog
from my breath
amidst the symphony of summer
and a shared moment of belief

The belief
or maybe the night is what
I want to tell you about.

-A.J.M.

Is this an agate?

In my closet are bits of strangeness tied up in a plastic bag
stolen goods brought here
when hurried home.

They won’t ever be lost again, but once
taken, will never be found
like they were once.

Each, like pieces-of-eight,
treasured in water and chest
within the second of resurrection
and the third, or fourth like it.

Each stone in the bag
tumbled marbles
for a sling of thought,

rounded like shot, or skipped at the sun
seated on the wave-dais, or nearly
too small for fingers and eyes.

I found them and saved them from forgetfulness,
no two similar, but on the third
tossed back to splash
in the mirror and fall on the glass
underwater.

So, thrown at myself every so often
make me remember
to reach down,
grab another.

-A.J.M