Not friends. Not really.
Acquaintances with a common purpose.
Friendly enough but only to a point.
Don’t get too close.
That’s where the little black gadgets come in.
Unflattering devices, however useful they may be.
However fun.

We no longer talk to one another.
We turn to our toys instead.
The divide deepens.

We’re losing ourselves, allowing it to happen.
The emperor has no clothes
yet we’re glued to five inch plates of aluminosilicate glass,
focused on nothing, really.

We’re trading our humanity
for screen time,
marching ourselves toward human obsolescence.

Here — take our souls too while you’re at it.

private places reside in the heart
— and in the soul

aren’t those the same thing
— she asked

hearts can be broken
— he told her

the soul lives on forever
— in the hearts of all that we cherish

Coco dreams of a mommy
with indestructible arms.
Legs immune to canine incisors,
hands slathered in creamy Jif,
her eyes blind to his sniffs and squats.

A mouth that never says NO.

But Coco needs love too.
Mommy’s gentle arms to hold him,
coaxing little puppy dreams:
Wild romps through fresh cut grass.
Good Boys! at every street crossing.
Her eyes wide open to his endearing ways.

Her heart forever taken,
their bond never to be broken.

I want.

What’s that I crave?
What will content me?

The sun shines.
Pieces fall into place.

The world – my world – runs in an orderly fashion.
And I’m good.

It doesn’t
and I’m not.

Oh, little puppy.
Your boundless energy, those headlong rushes into joyous oblivion
both sustain and deplete me.
Every little thing is a wonder.
Every little thing a challenge, a toy,
a mystery.

You remind me how to live.

There’s me, playing Mike Mulligan
with ribbons of melted cheddar cheese
and crushed wheat crackers in a bowl of lukewarm chili,
excavating browned ground beef,
kidney beans swimming in cumin-tainted tomato sauce,
filling the waning gaps
of a once slender and youthful receptacle.
Then, Rocky Road for dessert. I deserve it.

Tomorrow, I’ll start eating better.

the whir and whine
of blackberry clouds
voices going around
cliffs be damned
and then coming around
mother heeding her daughters’ cries
at long last
licking her wounds –
sure –
but also, finally, theirs as well.

Days long gone
carefree and electric
parallel lines, swim lanes
deep blue
shimmery diamonds
glinting in the sun
three dog night
blasting through the summer heat
wings too: band on the run
diving and thriving
across and back
in a single breath.
Our own water world
adolescent explorations
body images exposed
and shapened,
social intercourse
hits and misses
for six young girls isolated
from small town city life
laughable, now
our burg’s population: 3000
hardly a metropolis.
Municipal swimming pool
our Shangri-La, our Shambala
our Midwest Martha’s Vineyard.