… and human.

By J. K. McDowell

May 2012


In letters, Vallejo sent me his Decembers.

No return postage, I kept his Januarys too.

Evidence for my defense?  Gravely, I say yes.


The tools, simple: a maul, spikes and rough-hewn timbers.

The hours: dawn to dusk.  The pay: very meager.

The clients: criminals – oh and that other fellow.


She knew how to pay attention.  The Unexpected

Silence of her eyes, the tedious inspection.

Please turn off the light, fingertips are better.


On the longest night, I gaze at a single

Candle flame.  Clouds hide the night sky and I am safe.

My dreams and my terrors before dawn have much to teach.


The season of named storms comes to a close.

The plywood comes down from the second floor windows.

Light fills the upstairs dark, the ghosts bask in sunlight.


Eyes colored eternity, skin cold granite smooth.

Your tears of grief roll off their feathered wings.

I can offer a warm embrace, frail and human.