Down from Arizona desert cold and this absence of ice and snow
three white painted terracotta pots
by the Villa apartment on the tabled walkway—
Christina’s place.

Stacked, each alternately inverted one to the next
stabilize a snowperson body. Can you picture it?

Black painted buttons all the way up?
Lips of dots, an orange twist of nose,
deep eyes void black. Burgundy scarf tied around the neck,
positioned just so, it could be fit to a Christmas Chihuahua.

By its playful form and surprising attitude, may it well succeed
at pleasing every passerby and draw on each scroogy face a smile.
It’s been doing that for me, as I park opposite each night,
my headlights there shining.

Still, I have not and shall not peak inside the alluring, open terracotta skull
since I have imagined not wishes, nor disappointment, nor elves and cookies,
but practical ash, randomly spiked with spent cigarettes.

And last night, as I walked out, with my night’s anticipations,
my grab-bag of happy tangles, Christina’s hanging silver chimes
issued their soft whispering over terracotta, and I caught
a snippet of Amazing Grace how sweet the sound.

Mojo my psychic dog turned me sharp just then,
and took me away–we two, sniffing into the starry desert.

Walls of Citadel

So what’s the running hubbub–hot-toot’s Shangri-la?
Our fear of death’s gone wacko. It’s crowding up the bar.

Let’s drink to obfuscation. Annihilation’s hip.
Roll out the tequila sunrise.
Go down with the black-sail ship.

But could it be, O, could it be
that we had just forgot,
or we’d missed that day of Bio
in high school’s tommyrot?

At work and seeming happy,
our cells in superb supply–
exist but a day, others for a week
or more, then die.

Perpetual dying and birthing
is the body’s oldest art.

And so–which you is the
You of you?

Conglomerations of cells a-croaking
in requiem symphonies of death?
Or halleluiah songs of the lively new?
Neither or both?

Then there’s considering the case of old Bob Kelly
who, in his downward slide, one brilliant morning
awoke to exclaim: I myself can never die!
I just change and I fly!

So when we’re saddled up with terrors,
believing love is far behind, or the Blues
is all we’re singing, and our watches
won’t tell time–we might recall
that magical Kelly, busting the walls
of citadel. And we could believe it true.

Is fear of death and dying
the most complete of any hell
we can make?

Now, enough with these concerns!
Shall we take the drink?