load of

i respect you like i respect
a gun on the table
even if i can see its magazine
i know the harm that can come
from one small
fall. i approach you with the caution
of toes beyond the yellow subway line
or an arch of concrete blocks strung overhead. extra pipes
on the flatbead truck on the highway. loose tarp flapping
over 2x4s. you are the bullyfriend. (a clumsy grenade)
i hesitate to turn my back on you, the one who might
put their hands on my head when i am trying to come up for air.
call it a joke. call it fake. think not your name lest you appear
thumbing my thoughts for deeper fears.
you are the power of that gun, loaded or not
a reminder of the danger, all bomb & all threat

you, one in the office, you, one in the chamber

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pearl of the river

in my palm
the riverstone tells me:
"i have been worn down
from the heart of a mountain,
slept long and cold during the ice ages
held my breath under millenium oceans
and out from the heart of mother earth
i was born
now i lay here in the pristine creek
washing over with water so clear
you could see me during the day --
at night,
confuse me for the moon's reflection.
and now,
as you hold me to your chest,
you cannot wear me down
i was made for you.

left to sit,
i cool to refresh you as i press against your skin
and in passing,
you lay me down
and i am warm with your heart.