Gargoyles

When their hearts and bodies
ached, they imagined beings
able to transcend toil
only love made tolerable;
and the hurt, embryonic wings

reluctantly unfolding
from sore shoulders like
horse chestnut leaves.
More cloister bat than angel
these mute creatures

summoned in desperation
can’t offer hope or salvation;
but they’ll sit with you all day
though you refuse their comfort –
until you’re less lonely than them.

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An earlier version first published in IS&T 2017. Also in my first collection, Wish (Maytree Press 2019).

Ashes (first pub. by Algebra Of Owls, and in my collection Wish)

The Ash is common enough –
with keys the wind misplaces
and in winter, velvet leaf buds
that recall those long

black gloves I wore,
to trace your trembling
outline – neck to hip
and down a little more.

Its fissured bark is
a history of cuts, as if
the past can be sloughed
like a worn out coat.

As green leaves fell
I glimpsed a woman
in the golden copse,
or maybe a hare.
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First published by Algebra Of Owls 2018