farmers market in early-mid-september in bucolic college town along the shores of a lake and the sun is on fire but no does not burn

we grow our children
like we grow our lawns;
useless but pretty, always
in need of a cut.
i speak to a woman,
banded and bright
in hammered bronze,
i tell her,
“but i don’t really wear
earrings anymore”,
and today, today
while walking past
an outdoor market,
i ask, “are these discs
made from clay? painted,
will the paint run
in the rain?”.
as if i fear being fled.
as though it is wise
to try to dry
in a flood.

there are many ways to make
a community. this side of town
is all white, its lawns,
all green, in front of
every house,
“black lives matter”.
we do our best.
we try to support.
there are many ways to find
a community. a graying old
friend in an oil black car,
beautiful, both
he and the car.
“it isn’t me,
it’s all of them”,
he says, with a laugh
and a squint.

yes, there are many
others out there.
and yes, many
seem to need a
cutting; impedances
to our green verdant desires.
there are many ways to belong to
a community. black pants,
black pants on women,
long. and shorts,
short shorts on men.
the styles change
but the body still does
what a body does;
lengthening and then
shortening. accepting,
but never really.
not fully.

even those of us who
addict ourselves
to our social nature,
even we fantasize about
the glory and terror of
solitude. the community
of our servants. the grace
of our lengthening legs;
exposed or protected.
feminine and hairy
or muscled manly
and shorn short.

there are many ways to make
a community. now, my ears
burn. it takes a
mildly surprising
paucity of power,
to break a new layer
of skin. to gently ease
through. to find,
to make, to
belong, to tire,
and wander off
somewhere alone.

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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