I Am a Kite Soaring Above You

I am a kite soaring above you
as you play tag in your backyard.
You run from a boy
and hide behind a sycamore.
As I drop closer to earth
I crash into the tree’s branches,
my thin chest pierced,
flight forever now a memory.

As my ribboned tail flails leaves
you look upward
and shimmy up the trunk
to untangle me.
In your hands you gather me
like a collection of frail bones.

Taking me home you mend
rips and tears with swatches
of cloth used to practice stitching.
For hours you mend
like a princess locked in a tower.

When done, you carry me,
a newborn. Outside, you run,
setting me free. For a moment
I falter. Soon I rise above you,
above trees, above the earth
until I see your distant face
getting smaller and smaller.

When your smile disappears,
I dive toward the nearest tree
crashing again, in need of rescue.
I see you, your hand blocking sun,
then reaching for the string.
Broken, I wait for you.

Time Is a Girl Named Yvonne

I met her in 1967,

city pool, a red bikini,

a twelve-year-old,

so much skin;

I wanted to touch

the blue water

she swam in.

As she burned

on her towel,

I walked by,

glanced,

the oil-shine

of her body,

like staring

at the sun.

I wondered

if I sinned.

An orderly asks

if I know the year.

I do.

I keep it,

a memory

remembered,

forgotten,

remembered.

At bedtime,

her face flickers.

The Stars Are Out

of line, brooding about the night sky

like Brando on a rooftop

where he breeds a flock of pigeons.

Ancients named constellations

like newborns who outlive parents,

waiting for death like a train

whistle mourning in the distance,

how it rattles the bones

like dice tossed by a god

gambling on existence of a universe,

held together by gravity

and wire from an abandoned coop.

Don Narkevic: Buckhannon, WV. MFA National University. Recent work appears/will appear in Street Cake, Neologism Poetry Journal, and Solum Literary Press.

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