a poem should always

not be

like the un
or satisfied
cat grooming
before or after
her kill

both black

the lush
languid green
of ripe
August vines

like swallowed
potent wine

as lovers lithe
& flushed fine

passion ready
twined as
flamed fluid

the scene:
follows their
low audible

while the slack
cat curls

Dark Light

Whatever you might think
diamond dust is always black.

The once perfect light

crushed         before us
like some dissembled secret.

From any fixed distance

there are permanent situations
& there are consequences to everything:

even this pain between us
insists the way out.

Seasons reclaim our expectations
finally to something simple

as transparent as the moon mirrored

in your soft eyes             always.
How beautifully the light falls there

I have learned by heart already.


Blood, water & debris everywhere.
Possibly these are reminders,

arranged by God or Nature,
as with disaster or grandeur,

both equally attended signs.

Then there is the thing itself falling
resolutely to earth's pain & promise

already a truth we cannot guess
because we are here.  And time

watches, too, eager as a predator
to cast itself over the whole event

seine up the pain, even as it begins,
conferring the importance of limits.


Words for us remain, like:
bliss, kiss, missed, & I insist
you are all the snake & witch
stories I have ever heard or told.
And, yet, where I am alive with a worse
thirst than sometimes anxiety itself
is when your single meaning-me-
again-look roils out from those cauldron
dark eyes while your sweet lips
deny love with more heat than a couch
on fire with love's own passion.  And all this
exceeding hell brought on by heaven knows
where this can go from, for Christ's sake, here.
With jagged lightening blistering our sky's blue limit
under so much thunder I can even hear
your damn love thinking of me still.

another distance

only after
you slipped away entirely

without any healing words
possible between us

alone again
listening to memory

like soft rain
already halfway to spring

with crocus you planted
rising in my heart

like emerald spears
rooted backward without forgiveness

& love at fault
once more.

© Ed Higgins Bio: "My poems and short fiction have appeared in Duck & Herring Co.’s Pocket Field Guide, Monkeybicycle Pindeldyboz, and Bellowing Ark, as well as the online journals Lily, CrossConnect, Word Riot, The Centrifugal Eye, Mannequin Envy, and Blue Print Review, among others, including Eskimo Pie. I live on a small farm in Yamhill, Oregon with a menagerie of animals including an emu named To & Fro and I teach creative writing and literature at George Fox University, south of Portland, OR."