the beetle and the bean

Fog came, higher up,
      despite midday sun,
the trees wore cloud-
cover and light rain,
      threads of sacred
ceremonies, the coffee
on the mountain ripens
as it grows, seasonless
relentless, each tree yields
for a human lifetime and
             recedes.

The island is the mountain.
Even the mossy pockets
forged from volcanic rage
      are quiet and fruitful,
      the coffee is steeped
in the seeds of meatier flora
in the pitch songs of Pele
who at the center of the island
churns a fearsome
              storm.

I come not for the mountain,
which is young
         like we are, but
the seeds and their companion
an invasive species of beetle
no larger than a grain,
             bore
with little instance of failure
into the belly if the bean
when it is young
          like we are
and together they grow
the fruit from the tree
the bug from the seed

It is a frivolous love
that eats its own bed
and sleeps in a pithy tomb
but the beetle is bound to it
as are we,
       newly wed
        freshly bathed
wandering through coffee groves
under the modesty of clouds
revealing in this yield a wet black
                   companion.

—ECW

Stations

thoughts before i start a new job

.

.

 Beasts know it true

to guard against the larger

and feast on the lesser

this is not the only rule

rather a lesson of bounty;

of knowing ones station:

what stands before us

always a conflict of weight.

And yet we are burdened

with other means. A look 

in a look in an instant. 

And what we look for 

are cues of weakness, smallness

in another. We are looking 

outward with wide thirsty eyes

when the vital notion is inward,

essential and unknown. 

–ECW

irrelevant

Blurry Long Distance Road at Night

These next few moves matter
this I know to be true
that the distance between us
grows stiff with years
and we are different now,
and we have never been this
way—far away; chasing the tail
of our twenties. I am something
in between this and then
and these next few moves speak volumes
thousands of expired encyclopedias
are shouting wait Wait WAIT!
but we are on an airplane
and the wheels are up
and our phones are off
and the last thing I said was I’m sorry
but I can’t remember what for
these next few moves matter
they are the scribble
with which we write our lives
and these are not apologies
as much as manafestos.
and these next few moves
are happening outside my body
a reflex, a habit, a whole.

—ECW

draft – wedding guests

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you asked if I would invite them
the men who came before you;
you asked like you were giving
permission the way a hand picks
a lock; cautiously with carnal
self awareness; because a locked
door is a negotiation, a compro-
mise between what is and what
might have been, a weighing of
outcomes in the palm; supple
inviting: why is it locked? what
might I never know, you asked
if I would invite them to see what
the door looked like, and if this
like so many other secrets,
was worth picking at.

–ECW

love song in E minor

contemporary-paintings1

love song in E minor

I want this quiet to kill me
I want my last image of us
in this crooked wave to be endless
I want your words to come
out of my mouth like i’ve said them
I want everything in this house
to glitter with dust because
I’m not fidgeting, I’m contented
in the mess that is our nesting place
I want every book on the shelves
to be bloated with love notes
I want to hide my intentions
in a formfitting dress and imply them
I want coffee mugs stained with tree rings
because the conversation was sweet enough
I want the candles to burn out on their own.
I want a love song in e minor playing
low low low in the background
so low we dont hear it, but we feel it
low low in our bones.

–ECW

Love Note 823 – draft

Love Note 823

The trouble with numbers is

I’ve lost count of all the

quiet hopeful gestures;

to me you are one

singular graceful open hand.

Counting all those moments

would mean assigning you

a feebly fixed decibel,

when I know you are

a swirling whirling infinity

violet in the dark

reaching always for me.

 

—ECW drafts