POEM: Synesthesia

cool patterns radiate off the back wall
sunshine screams through the transom

i cringe at the taste of red #4,
but don’t know whether it’s red’s stench
or the bitterness of the number four

across Asia, “4” is an unlucky number —
the number of death —
but for some it tastes like citrus peel

POEM: Funeral Suit

Worn one more time than the number of funerals you attend,
that black suit hangs forgotten — yet dreaded.

It hangs dusty in a closet,
or musty in a bag;
and you’re most listless when it has
a crisp dry cleaning tag.

In good years, it never crosses your path — or your mind.
In bad years, it’s needed repeatedly.

There will be a year in which someone will pull it out for you —
carefully smoothing its lapels —
the year you move beyond bad years.

POEM: Cloud Color

The sunset glowed orange in a wrap of clouds,
looking like the interior of a hollowed tree trunk —
fallen, split open, and with fire burning inside.

The vibrant colors fire my child’s mind —

colors as unsubtle in hue
as the clumsy building blocks were in shape
that I played with as a boy.

POEM: Like a Hawk

I watch the hawks —
watching me watching them —
and wonder how many of them I don’t see.

They’re better watchers:
-more patient
-less swayed by boredom.

They stand, cloaked, as if in judgement —
Chief Justice of this street,
roving eyes in search of
one false move.

They are literal swoopers.
I’ve been accused of “swooping in,”
but I’m — at best — a figurative swooper.

Watch, swoop, catch, repeat…