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Image by Thomas Griesbeck


I am ash, whirling down the street,
a city of starlings shifting as one

There is no distinction between
particle and wave, this absence
of mass in motion.

What moves us?
That which occupies the space
between alchemy and incantation.

I am myself and my beloved,
form made visible as flame,
sacrament revealed as shimmer.

On the Floor of the Sky

Come away from the window. That is not
you passing by. You are fastened to this
earth like kelp to a rock at the bottom
of the bay. You are not a balloon. That

is a parade fading down the street. Soon
the drums and horns, the whir of machines
will wane. You say you are invisible,
but I see you working, breaking down

this morning’s meal of milk and eggs.
You are not mere thought, not a cat in
the foliage of a tree. This is not one more
of your apparitions. This is a house

on the floor of the sky. This is where
you tether, brush teeth, wash clothes.
Last night you dreamed you climbed up
a ladder and into the sun. But the morning

dawns mild as tepid tea. Breathe.
Today you will not whistle like a bird,
will not flit away. You have your own
clear voice, a lower pitch, a deeper song.

The Clearing

You’ve been called to a clearing
in the wood where a full-moon fire outleaps
its shadow in the sheltering trees.

Haunt that circle of blackened stones,
that race of trampled earth,
those painted faces turned toward the drums.

Weave unseen among those naked,
oiled shades worshiping the center
of the night, then rise with that column

of flame toward the sparking stars
and let your fine, white ash settle
like a memory on the world.

Wayne Lee (wayneleepoet.com) lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Lee’s poems have appeared in Pontoon, Slipstream, The New Guard, The Lowestoft Chronicle and other journals and anthologies. He was awarded the 2012 Fischer Prize and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and three Best of the Net Awards. His collection The Underside of Light was a finalist for the 2014 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award. His most recent collection is Dining on Salt: Four Seasons of Septets. He is currently working on a memoir, Service Husband: A Caregiver’s Journey Through Disability, Suicide & Recovery.


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