Too Close to Give Away

I left the aluminum ladder out
next to a few clay pots
and awoke at 3 in the morning
to move them into the shed
you would not let me sleep otherwise
is that how love extends itself
after what everyone calls passing
the way you passed me on trails
wearing one of your many sun hats
I have to keep the one with the white
flap hanging from the back
I followed you on so many walks
that white flap bouncing up and down
is too close to give away
although I don’t care about pens
and pencils but letter openers
possess a strange attraction
the back yard’s proud barrel cactus
just produced a bright yellow bloom
that caught my eye as I was shuffling
around the yard and made me stand
taller and move faster the way you
always did at yellow lights
someone’s coming tomorrow for shoes

Burgess Needle’s poetry has appeared in Blackbox Manifold (UK), Concho River Review, Decanto (UK), The Centrifugal Eye, Clockwise Cat, ken*again, Under the Radar (UK), Kritya (India), Iodine Poetry Journal, Prick of the Spindle, Flutter, Origami Condom and Red Fez. Diminuendo Press published his first poetry collection: Every Crow in the Blue Sky. Big Table Publishing published his second collection: Thai Comic Books.

Needle taught English in a small Thai village for the Peace Corps, has been a co-director of the Southern Arizona Writing Project, co-published and edited Prickly Pear/Tucson (a poetry quarterly) for five years and was a school librarian for thirty years. He lives in Tucson.

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