J. Alexander Kinnear: Two Poems


California Hour

Chickenhawk circles, far removed from the drift

of the Sacramento River, low enough to watch

us. We heave heavy stones into the river to hear


the clap and burp and to touch the cold splash

on our thirsty skin. Another swig from a stolen

Wild Turkey bottle and I’m brave enough to kiss


her, or maybe not. Lonely rope swing tempts flailing

arms and legs. Water waist-high. Barefoot in muck

as the current reaps this California hour.





The gold curtains hang

plainly in the dark and keep

out the winter moonlight crowding

the empty small hour streets. Water

glass waits bedside—half-full. Leaving

another ring on the nightstand

next to an open book, cover

up. Anabel sleeps. Her right

hand rests on my rising, diving

chest. Her hair smells of lavender

and honeysuckle. Her breath in sync

with faint ticks of a wall clock, before

a distant whistle of a ghost train

reminds me to wake up

in three hours to have hot

coffee with the morning chill

and the orange dawn.

J. Alexander Kinnear


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