i write little poems
a half dozen lines
unaddressed, incomplete
love letters to strangers
left on dust jackets;
inconsistent ruminations
of my eager heart.

i want to know what she smells like
whether it's soft sandalwood and sage
or crisp blue water off the coast
spilling toward the shore.
i crave the autumn in her eyes
quiet promises, peppered like kisses;
gold leaves steadily dropping
from their lugubrious trees.
she taught me that happiness
is not a destination
marked on my aged maps
it is unique, insatiable -
wet footprints on hot cement
and feeling the ground shudder
before the first roll of thunder.

it's in the moment you notice
a mockingbird's shadow
still traces the ground in flight.