awaiting the amateur voice

where could this piece

(broken in haste)      fit within

the grid that beautifies a night?

leaving you more unashamed,

even a little proud          of emerged reds

that will never ever qualify                                      as rubies.

we did not cut our feet on               bickering’s edge

but the surface of your big toe swells like a captivated ear

enjoying         modest breeze                                                           and public song

making the most out of

the rebellious                        propaganda in

your English teacher’s rock garden, standing       and waiting

for       your sheepish stumble

and some budding timbre that assures him enough

that the Last Word was never so ultimate.

Simply Unimpressed

he crossed a boundary, sturdy chest pressed
by a thin pale finger, slightly bent.

plastic ring, the sparkling pink
invites a smirk to dance—
trivial moments upset this dry face.

composing some song, uneven tempo
awkwardly mocking mixed signals perceived.

she lost her page, calendar torn
and no one provides the correct date—
three weeks late, stalled at another bus stop.

deadline on a yellow slip, facetious detention
with which he threatens between brittle walls.

years of honest warnings, clipped and tucked
into striped inner pockets of her favorite purse—
color at its fullest, emptiness unchanged.

nothing left to do, shaking her head
as he grabs a busted pen, numbers discounted.

needed silence

you say hello, the desire for
constructive conversation
melted halfway, ice cubes
thrown into a waxing cup
where coffee rests level
to small, sleepy secrets
that tease our clear beads
spinning on dry ground.

Cats No. 85 and 86 of the 500 Cats Project

after you begin

pushing through
the rusted abrasion
that, for a little while,
left you thinking twice
about floor plans started.

whether they’d pay for themselves
within the almost rude visibility
of uneven paint, scratches on walls
reminding you of detached voicemails
so flat, and barely a fine example,
of how one relays quaint rejection.

spend some time
by dimming stoplights
meeker than all your points
made with mechanical pencils
broken thanks to their stubborn will.

Cat No. 84 of the 500 Cats Project