twilight reading

the sun has set
and i could steal
a few more precious
minutes of light
by facing away
from the western sky
but sometimes
there is more wealth
in the turning of clouds
than of pages

like water

she comes with soft fingers
tracing a broken outline

flowing around obstacles
carving into the breaks

reconnecting the fragments
into something wholly changed

oh, right

told him that i had
about four weeks
of vacation saved

so he asked
where do you want to go?

told him the where
didn’t really matter
so much as the who
i’d be going with

so he asked again
where do you want to go?


my boys keep changing with the seasons
one has a new voice, barely a month old
that rumbles like slow rolling thunder
and still takes us all by surprise
and his brother has wispy whiskers
sprouting proudly upon his chin
like weeds after scattered showers

no work

don’t thank me
loving your children
is as easy as standing
off to the side of a room
and letting my arms
reach out to rest
upon their slender shoulders
each time they silently
sidle up and lean in
for the span of three
of their hummingbird

maybe not

i fell in love two days ago
twenty times in the span
of three and a half hours
each time while bent at the
knees, staring into wide eyes
and open face still softened
by childhood’s tender touch

maybe it’s too soon to say love?
after all, i hardly know them
but i know that i want to
see them again and maybe
assist them as they write
their stories out, the ones
that are still rough first drafts
on their way to becoming
fine tales of bravery and heroism
and kindness, so much kindness


i don’t blame her
for being wary

thirty little ones
under my care
and i’d have
some questions too

she’s not looking for
a flashy magician with
no understanding
of commitment

children that age
need simple stability
in the classroom
not a disappearing act

i don’t have any tricks
except maybe with a pen
some lined paper
a few small words

and an uncanny knack
for being on time


i looked for you in toul sleng
the first time i went back “home”

of course you weren’t there
amongst the photos in glass
on boards and along the wall

there was no reason to expect
that you would be, except for
the lack of witnesses at the end

i thought i would find my father’s
familial eyes staring from a face
i’d never seen, but would know

but gave up only a few boards in
when it felt like every face held
some slightly familiar feature

i walked up one aisle and down
the next in heartbreak and anger
and longing and gratitude and guilt

three weeks of travel and i’d seen
how kroursah gathered together
so many, alike and unlike

even though i could not find you
i found you just the same