1. The King of Wishful Thinking
is thinking a lot about patterns
and gluing together his busted crown.
Yes, the word open is scratched over his heart.
Yesterday he smoked a cigarette for the first time in twelve years.
He is chips of shale today.
Auditioning for the Pagliacci Parade.
Don’t judge him.
He’s gonna go down swinging, this kid.
He’s checking the weather report and it looks like
the cold ain’t gonna snap much longer.
Still, he is debating growing a beard.
He wants to be a mountain man for awhile.
Or maybe he just wants to be a mountain.
He is afraid of becoming an avalanche.
2. The Lady of the Lighthouse always knows
which window to put the candle in.
She is never a wall.
She went to door school
and teaches people how to open.
She’s lived on the same shoreline
but never in the same lighthouse for long.
Her dictionary tongue never learned the word
She is vagabond kerchief lovely and she is
the romance of car keys and suitcases.
Now here’s where the story swerves for a few blinks.
3. Where the mountains ease into the sea,
that’s where these two meet. This stumbling
pile of plaid and this flutter of feathers and circles.
They are orbiting each other, studying
each others’ flight patterns.
So maybe they stumbled into each other’s mouths
a little too soon. It could be blamed on
the airport bottles filled with courage and release.
It was probably the way they negotiated escape
in the postcards that they loved each other through.
Maybe, someone posits, they are both each other’s doors,
both with open etched all over their frames.
4. It is difficult for him when they part.
The newspapers are always thick with her life.
The sidewalks whisper, “This is where
she skipped once”. The walls sigh and say,
“Yes, a boy more sinew than synapse
kissed her here,”
and the floorboards creak trying to mimic
her blooming laughter.
He has started going to Spirits Anonymous to kick
his haunting habit. She leaves empty boxes
at his doorstep, full of the space that he needs.
It is an awkward waltz at first, as they are prone
to swept-out rugs and intermittent paralysis.
To negotiate this, the King and the Lady
think a lot about patterns.
Small circles, he thinks, watching his feet.
Sets of threes, she thinks, trying to look