Empty Seats

The actor paces across his stage,
finding his feet anticipating
the paces he will tread come nighttime.

The empty seats echo back his elocution —
words that murmur and rise,
fall, like birdsong.

Convincing himself to expect applause,
he reprises that first, most precious repertoire:
acting for himself.


Paper Labor


On incarnadine sheets
He paints wishes and hopes
Black-faced characters
That curl and lope
Through a vast landscape
That stretches on and on
He fastens a paper steed to ride upon
For horizons of dreams
Horizons of songs
An artisan labors
Faithful and long