I.
I came to the pond today
This place is a pill capsule
brimming with Platonic forms
and the sun is a grimy mirror
streaked white, an old MasterCard,
my notebook the cut-up
small section of a
bright pink bendy straw.
Some days I come here
to stay away from the allure of razors,
the perfection of their edges.
Be silent now, wrists.

II.
I want to burn myself down again
and you are going to help me do it.
Set me alight, you flint, you spark, you kindling.
Our twilight sky is a fox tail.
Come, let us depart
to the places unseen.

III.
I’m alone again
down by the pond
in observance of a farewell
to the vanishing sun
sinking
below the tree line, the shadows
behind the mossy headstones
chained in a medieval rack
giving themselves
to a torturous mechanism
stretching beyond reason
almost so one might hear
the resounding snap of brittle bones
echo through Mt. Hope.
A cicada shell in my hands
glints gold in the last light
as I turn it over
and over
and over

IV.
I lay in pools of shade
beneath the latticework
of bur oak branches. I raise my eyes
from the burrow of this notebook.
There, across the pond—
I realize I am not alone.
You are sitting by yourself
on the lonesome bench
at the edge
of the jade waters.
I will only glance at you
for a moment—
you, beautiful stranger.
Why are you weeping?
I cannot gaze upon you any longer now,
for it would be to lock you in a pillory,
my beautiful stranger.