By Richard Dinges, Jr.


When young, I viewed
the outside world
in a black and white
box, veiled by a thin\
dusting of snow, voices
a static blend spoken
in simple sentences,
that winded out
when I slept, my
thoughts and memories
echoed by ghosts
that haunted scenes,
then vanished,
my only clue
that something more
paralleled this world
in two dimensions.


Each spoken word
vibrates life, expresses
breath, ends in wind,
a mild breeze.
I watched my mother’s
lips move, tremble
on form, attempt
to connect something
that lost itself
in the brief space
between us, empty
air.  I nodded,
responded, smiled,
and she smiled too,
a nuance we forgot,
lost and found again,
a punctuation mark
at the end.


Yet to be born,
rapt in this clammy
hot stink, we hurl
through July from
one cold dark door
to another.  Only
hope considers
it unlocked,
sun and open air
no place to pause.
Earth bakes a pair
of thighs that cling.
Unable to breathe,
we wade through

summer’s thick ooze.


Far too quiet,
we hover between
what passes for day
in this part of the world.
A brilliance blinds
between horizons.
Just before darkness
descends, we remember
how many stars
this broader understanding
contains.  A fiery
expanse we cannot
grasp, we look up,

gaze in childlike wonder.


Nothing fuller than wind’s
moment passes through
trees.  Leaves whispers,
dry rasps against guttered
swoons.  Birds awaken
from fitful sleep on one
leg, wings tucked around
frail bones light enough
to lift far above
my pale aspirations.
Breath steady, monotonous,
forgotten yet ever there,
I pause to listen
to my own hopeful gasp.

About the Author:

Richard Dinges has an MA in literary studies from University of Iowa, and he manages information security risk at an insurance company.  Willow Review, Slant, Miller’s Pond, Chantarelle’s Notebook, and California Quarterly most recently accepted his poems for their publications.