*

thinking of those days behind the wheel, cat stretched across the dash, exemption stretched out along straight, gray highways

trying now not to swallow that hook, though lately it seems the city hates me, shoves me toward her swilled-to-the-gill gutters

back then, there was the bag kept in the back and it didn’t matter that I had to crawl through the driver’s side window to get back behind the wheel

what mattered was the chance to get out of here, wherever “here” happened to be at that moment, and now it feels that “here” is now once more

and I miss that cat more than ever

© Sarah Whiteley

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writing home

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the small-birds have finally
found the window feeder
and the dogs are enthralled
with their sudden proximity

we are well, though feeling
the spring in our bones –
that gentle eruption debuts
a new brand of restlessness

the boards of the porch have been
too damp for comfortable reading,
and coffee for now is confined
beneath the mossy awning

but sweet and peppery
the season’s trees tease
the beginnings of green –
one promise kept, at least,
among so many hundreds dropped

these are days of small news,
buds of flowery hearsay – not much
here to report except the hummingbirds
are damp-winged and bright
among the new leaves of the maple

© Sarah Whiteley

on a day when light is tired

on a day when light is tired,
and creeps just barely
across the floor to nudge
a perhaps foot in recognition
of shared apathy

do not mistake sadness
for a sort of ingratitude –
I am thankful for the hooks
that wrench up the grief
from beneath the calm

it is a change at least
in latitude, a revision
of a current insufferable state
and an airing out of that
which has stagnated within

let light be tired then,
and just barely there –
let us be dim together
and somnolent at least until
some fresher air may rouse us

© Sarah Whiteley

some days just

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here’s that fracture point again
when you just know you have to
change things around, create
a frisson of upheaval

some days just settle down into the low-down,
nose-to-cheek with d minor riffs
and lost grips on others’
barrelhouse hearts

and yet there are other days –
days that survive the coup to rise up,
overstep, outstrip the rabble
and the rubble

but life’s a bottleneck slide,
a continuous call and response –
and some days just slip back down again
into the brash and scree

it just isn’t the blues without truth,
but the good news is here’s another chance
at transformation, another shot
at outpacing it all anew,

here’s another day to rise, another day
to pluck those truth-taut strings,
and sing ourselves
a revolution

out of time

we were, for a time,
each other’s clocks –
the tick-ticking of
our fingers apart,
counting the breaths
before between until –
until

2 AM yearning strikes,
hungry as bells on Sunday –
and we unwind, reset,
sweep the seconds
from our faces,
cheeks to shoulders
for a minute

how I swallowed
every moment,
even the ones

empty

of

you,

and sired a void
within the void

© Sarah Whiteley