Just Now

Just Now

I’m wanting
for birds and their hollowness
they say all matter’s holographic
because interior particles hide like coquettes
or maybe more like skittish cats
still this just makes me think of God
the inside of the orange we’ll never peel:
its sweetness
not unwelcome.




Caitlin doesn't know what
she wants. She has
long hair and a deep sense
of vague injustice, a love
for coffee and quiet songs. 
I love her, but we don't say
love much in case it gets cheap. 

Caitlin rides trains and sits in cafes
she walks on deep, wide paths in the hushed woods
by her house, listening to quiet songs. 
She wakes up early and takes ballet in the city,
a class that's so good, you forget to notice
the room has no windows. 

We have walked on chilly mornings along the sand
Her father has shoveled my car out of the snow. 
We have caught salt in our boots, and hated tourists. 
We have all these things


7:01 and
rain falls in sheets on the windows not yet dusk
the doors are locked the coffee urns empty in their pots
I sit alone with tired feet
and it is here in an empty coffee shop in the middle of Ohio
here I listen to God
and this isn’t about nostalgia
this is about tired feet and pine trees
the silence that descends like fog
a girl sitting alone in a stiff-backed booth
listening to the rain in the gathering dusk as the sky turns to grey.

My college has been part of an ongoing project based on “places you feel close to God.” I’ve thought a lot about it recently. After locking up my coffee shop a couple of weeks ago, I stayed inside and prayed. It was the first silence I experienced in a long time, but there was still that sense of His presence underneath the silence. Are there particular spaces that make you feel close to God? 

a flower grows

a flower grows
(Rock Island State Park)

in the middle of Tennessee,
there is a chasm
a dam people made once in the rock
they did not know how much water it would hold

in the middle of this chasm,
there is an island
it is there that we hiked, the other day
the island, in the chasm, by the waterfalls
it is made of different-shaped stones, some slick
the water hits our faces
the leaves brush our legs
the currents reach our ears

& underneath the rocks,
a flower grows

we brought him here
our friend who planned to move away
he saw the water first
I wanted the land to prove itself to him,
like it did to me.

I don’t know if it worked.
I do know this:

the three of us, on those rocks,
we were alive and lost in loveliness
and underneath the stones
flowers grew

there is no trick to loving or hating the earth
this I have learned from both pavement & butterflies
I cannot show you the flowers under the rocks
I can only tell you, look
there are things that I have found before
and I have followed their long thread
to the end.

& underneath the rocks,
a flower grows.

Ormond Beach, Florida

Ormond Beach, Florida

it goes like this:
the water at night and the spanish moss
the red shelled sand and sandpipers
all things have their complement
all things must pass

on the beach, I find an oyster.
in its shell, a dead fish
the fish’s tiny body is stuffed with sand
its mouth is open

God has created both:
the ocean, and the dead fish
the fish, and its throat stuffed with sand
the world suffers under this impossibility
but it is true.