Having recently
fallen apart myself,
I reeked of paper
and pencil dust
when I told him
there were days
I was still surprised
to find legs
carrying me
to the mailbox.

His doctor
told him to
seek solace,
connect with friends.
Mine said simply:

I’d been blessed
to locate a lung
without the heart
to navigate —
but it was the poetry
that pasted me
back together.

©2015, Jen Payne



how do we change?
make room?
or rooms?
is there even room?

is this space infinite
or finite?

can we build additions
into which we pour new foundations?

or rest on settlements
of stone and suffering?

beings of air and light
are never fixed, love

even the ground shifts
beneath our feet



At the intersection
of what was wrong
……I am so sorry.
and what was right
……I have no regrets.
there is the crossing
of love and loss,
of sorrow and great affection —
a stand-still moment:

the call to pause

the world moves past

the clock ticks

and in the gesture
of a wave,
we tell secrets
……touch time.

the slow migration of love


She tells me there is no escape from this. It’s in my genes.

And while she goes on about brains and chemistry and the natural proclivity of species to procreate, I wonder…

Do birds redefine the space between wings to accommodate a change in flight so late in the season?

Do bees make sacrifices in the general order of things to find the sweetness of honey even as the days shorten?

Does the Monarch wax nostalgic for past lives, when it was everything — and nothing — but this?

The Word (Woman Bird), Max Ernst