Was the wife of a theorem
traipsing down the street
where our problems occur
severally and line the alleyways
for debate. How much flesh
do I include in the year’s calculation?

Not even you can accuse me
of shaving pounds anymore
or laying a heavy finger on the scale.
Our trust issues began long
before displacement was more
than a nude Greek in a bath.
Barter me this: the pull
of five donkeys against the love
of a pet, which is more like the mind
lain fallow? We have the angles,
their sum, but lack a market,
turned away towards the road
or chasing words in the shallows.


An Evolution in the Seashells Collected

Littered on the vast expanse of white beach
A slow progress under sky and sun

Are the patterns of seashells we elect from the flotsam
More related to our age in life or a gradual erosion
Of style and temperament much the opposite of hardening
In our positions? To stand firm here is to be washed under the sand.
Yet we walk along the rush of waves with heads down, 
Seeking in the vast expanse some shape that fits
As a constellation fits some chance idea of the heavens.

Winds freshen and rivers of fine grain show their grit.

Child a-patter. A pattering on the shore weaving shapes
Each one a wonder. Fragments, shards, whole. 
Colors that fade further from the water

Later the names come: clam slipper moon whelk
Names that hold the promise and hope of perfect form?
Finding the one untouched un-eroded example
The prize to sit on a mantelpiece or in a jar
And yet all are recognizable in pieces
In the shell-bed cemetery

Eidetic hours on the shore in the shadows of long grass tips etching copies of the wind

What is left now? Other side of a rift or a slow volition
Seen in retrospect. Choice of the millennial dredging.
Wormed, warped, worn. Nearly shapeless
Age no longer advances as growth
But accumulation, fragments put together
Passed down, handed around, outworn  

On the table        shifting pieces 

Ames Hodges