against the flow

the only person on the riverbank walking away from town
the only person with no dog or a rugby scarf
he holds his shopping bag tight and swinging slightly
See? I have a right to exist. I have every right to be here.

rye bread, mint tea

Come, I will offer you crumbs of sour bread.
Hold them
on your tongue;
your mouth fills.

How different the emptiness that fills your belly,
the emptiness in my heart
when you are not here.

After, we will drink mint together
or boiled water on ginger,
for heat
for spice
for the sweetest spark in your eye.

function non-function

the broken vase no longer holds flowers
the shape of its shards in the sand is pleasing

the vase was blue and held yellow spring flowers
the cat that smashed it tar black
water drains soon into dryness

I took the larger pieces
– the dust I blew into corners –
and painted bare pottery gold

laid in the garden its function has shifted
now pure adornment (if purity we know)
still its being enchants me