“Wish We Were Here”

It’s as if
we’re standing
side by side
in a postcard
of the beach
at sunset
you’re wearing 
a lemon sundress
bare feet ginger hair
sailing in the breeze
and I’m facing you
reaching over
to pull you in
and kiss you
and you’re not 

real

I’m not real
the sun sinking
under the sea 
isn’t real and it's 
better this way
to imagine we're only 
two-dimensional 

figures 

photographed
for a postcard 
for sale
at any truck stop
in the middle
of the desert
for a dollar and 
change.
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This Life As We Have Lived It

The lake was closed for the winter, 
the first snow was closing in fast,
and the Noble Pine that stood tallest 
near the water slides at the man-made beach 
had already been slung with Christmas lights. 

The three-mile footpath that circled the shore 
was covered with fallen maple leaves; 

the trees themselves were stripped bare.
I followed the slow circumference of the path
and counted the offerings left by the tourists—
empty cans, fast food wrappers, and other 
tithes to the religion of progress—

then I remembered that the lake wasn’t a river;
it couldn’t flow southward to cleanse itself.
Crestline, California, November 2006