lazy afternoon

this afternoon I sat cross-legged
on a wooden platform built
ten feet off the ground
between the slender trunks
of three avocado trees
thinking that I would
be inspired to write
a poem about nature
in the inner-city
instead I got lost
for hours
in the partial shade of a canopy
of broad almond-shaped leaves
with the western sun
warming my back
watching as a cool southwest wind
wended its way through the branches
of avocado and persimmon and peach
and chapa and preenh trees
tickling their leaves and causing them to rustle
adding to the symphony already being played
by the airplanes flying overhead and the
distantly-cawing crows and the
school buses rumbling down the street and the
birdsong of curious little birds
hopping from branch to branch around me
and these, these words
written long after the sun has set
are about as successful
at recreating the feel of the afternoon
as I was
at writing a poem at that time


learned to draw
earlier this year
read a book
did the exercises

found out it was
a lot about
quieting the chatter
in my brain

i should draw again
could do with
some silence
right about now


it was selfish of me
to show up
at your door
so late
while you were
with family

but it had been
two days since
i’d seen you
thirty-six hours since
your world upturned

i knew there were
no words
that would
provide comfort
no touches
that would
lessen the pain
that would
bring her back

but i wanted anyway
for you
to hear
and feel
that you
were loved
and my disembodied voice
cutting in and out
due to bad reception
in our inner-city neighborhood
and the few lines
of text and symbols
on a cold glass screen
would never

i just
to hug you


do not invest
this time
in regrets
the returns
are far
from satisfactory

remember instead
the shared moments
bank those memories
that they might
be drawn forth
on lonesome days ahead


“nothing” was the truth
at that moment
when you asked
what I was thinking

then the truth changed
to thoughts of you

but it was easier
to shrug my shoulders
in confirmation of my
“nothing” answer

than to attempt
to explain

how quickly
nothing turned
to everything