It’s Time to Leave Florida

You said your lines, took a bow — 
your part, you thought, finished,
the play, you figured, done.
Such a blessing, the ramp to Freedom.
Such a blessing, California Dreamin’.

That’s when he tells you:
“Stay.  Here.  Please.”

You love him. He loves Miami.

So…you sway on Santis strings
as neighbors dance before der King;
whisper nothing, take your cake
(strudel, like the children say);
booze your man in darkened car,
hide deine fury, hide deine scar — 

while Panhandlers
ban your books
take your wage
choke your heart
burn your page —

Are you listening, Brother?

It's not metaphor.
They want you dead.
That’s the plan.
Forgotten ash in gottes cleansed sky.
It’s time to leave the SunShineStaat.
Escape.  Please.
Take your love and run now. 

It’s not going to get any better.


“If it means ‘erasing a community’ because [they] have to target children – then, damn right, we ought to do it!”

— Florida Republican Representative Randy Fine

“Our terrorist enemies hate homosexuals more than we do.”

— Florida Republican Representative Jeff Holcomb

Many people – many nations – can find themselves holding, more or less wittingly, that ‘every stranger is an enemy.’ For the most part this conviction lies deep down like some latent infection; it betrays itself only in random, disconnected acts, and does not lie at the base of a system of reason. But when this does come about, when the unspoken dogma becomes the major premise in a syllogism, then, at the end of the chain, there is the Lager. Here is the product of a conception of the world carried rigorously to its logical conclusion; so long as the conception subsists, the conclusion remains to threaten us. The story of the death camps should be understood by everyone as a sinister alarm-signal.

Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz


Word in the wind is wind in the wind
shaped not changed, noise to
crude-drum ears, then still.

Send yours again across skin 
that is kin to touch and
moves to tremble,

limbs hot under breath that holds 
earth-deep fire 
then cool to rest

as I birth grope listen hope
a man immersed then 



The way they tell it:
a spell is so much more than words
said out loud.

You need a protection circle
three pounds of salt
sage to cleanse the air;
no personal gain
no love incantations
absolutely no commerce with
evil spirits or demons or
anyone misunderstood.

“Only do what you’d will 
be done to you.”


A labyrinth of requirements while
want weaves itself into this 
scented man
that free woman
heat and smile and yes,
sweet feeling skin,
all good and bad and eager
to be taken outside the safe circle

past the strange bureaucracy
that once belonged to the church
and still stops magic in its tracks.


Every so often

To stop digging deep, to stop. 
All magic and truth napping in a corner 
while what I've done neither 
clears the way nor impedes; 
now content on ebbing thought, 
soft-stretched in a warm bed, 
morning and clean sheets 
like a park before birds, 
fog-muted city to cool
clear sunlight --

quiet, quiet loved by quiet,
mountains and memory 
books in silent rooms, all-beautiful,
pillow under my head,
rest for my back, 
soft hands,


Holy Card

Don’t put me in a coffin.
Much better to find a small box
for ancient gray ash that
could be Vesuvius or that
little dog I used to pet.
I want no more me,
no more memories
etched around empty eyes or
lonely hands that would’ve carried more,
so much more,
but were robbed by other death,
nearer loss and love that
still-chokes all earth.

No, burn me into nothing
for I endure no more.


Open House

What does freedom feel like?
An open gate on a busy walk,
house set back and door ajar, 
anyone welcome, all memories.
They come with their stories or
pass by without a word on 
journeys I know nothing about
and don’t need to sift, but will
if one or two cross that
threshold and walk the yard to
find me sitting on the stair
having a wonderful conversation with


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