Without you

Your betrayal came before the post on Monday

If I listened it may have sounded

Like paper in air, losing gravity

The unexpected slap of shiny magazine

And echoing hinged snap of closed door flap

The postman left his shoe imprints in the snow

One way in, one way out and the bare branches of the trees

Were cold dancers cupping themselves to imaginary fernace

You had already gone before the skies admitted

Their talcum-powdered descent of white

Your letter, handwriting in your bold certain shape

The same hand that had led me up the stairs

A silver bracelet bought when we visited the seaside, on your wrist

Strong hand, reaching for me, for my rustle and my yawning silouette

We were shapes against the mirror of moonlight

Streaming our own version of whispers and little cries

You never let go of my hand even

As you turned your neck and slept, dreamlessly by my side

And I lay in partial light feeling your resonance

Play like an instrument on my damp skin

Your upright, careful letter and the last word, your name

A name I had put into the core of me and melted down

Covering any fear that you’d crack my heart

Open like a woodland walnut and expose the soft innards

No, not this woman, with her fingers reading my brail

And her tongue searching for stars in the folds of hesitate

She has breathed me in, carved her name in my wood

I cannot stir without a part of her moving alongside me

Life no longer singular I am now and always, illuminated

By her rounding glow and the peach dream of her thighs

Wrapped in mutual surround, the open window

Carrying our symphony into gloaming night wind

How then are you gone?

As rapid as my chest threatens to explode

A single firework

Removed from me and behind, spending in your wake

Emptiness

Letters furthering no explanation, blurring in porcelain horror

If I had listened

Maybe the stir of settling snow or else

Some torn part would reveal

The sense in loss

I stand by the picture window

Wearing an old shirt of yours

Yellow at the collar and faded with wash

Across the road, a neighbor walks her dogs

She glances my way and sees

Only the shadow of

A life without

You

Advertisements

Nourishment

There resides in you

A shifting filament

While you are composed of water

The filament burns sage and longing

Sometimes the current of your nature holds you back

Makes you feel tired just stepping into effort’s shoes

The filament never tires but stares

Bare eyed into the center of the humming universe

And spinning in its helium, sees what you could have been

If like others

You had caught fire instead of brine

And rising out of the ocean

Growing legs and feet to run

Naked and filled with satelite urge

Down shining shellac road

But it was not your way

You are the gentle nudge behind theatre curtain

You prefer the feel of bunched velvet and the spotlights on the other side

When young girls fought to be first

You found no competition pooling in yourself

It was as if

You had drunk your fill and

Just wanted to be free

People would say

Why doesn’t she want more?

Why doesn’t she fight for it?

They did not understand

She was made of water

There was only so long she could

Breathe air

And the heat of desired things

Steaming on the tongues of others

Before she slipped gratefully

Beneath the membrane of the world

And watched

Them clamor

And beat their chests

To get one step ahead

She was

Running out of time

For her edges evaporated

With each muse of sound

Capturing the necks of mountains

And her love knew

When she grew warm

Water could hardly contain

Her steaming rise

But against the world of noise

And clamoring souls inching for their

Fifteen minutes

She must have appeared a wilted flower

Bent at the neck

She didn’t fit with brick and mortar

Reducing days to races, tests, competitions

Her nourishment always lay in your arms

Twisting like plankton, dancing in sea spray

Balance

She put on her outside skin

and when the door closed behind her

she took it off

gratefully and with a

long sigh

it was only with you

she showed her true self

in its imperfect and

wanting state of longing

it was only you

she let turn the key

release those parts of her

she kept confined

standing as red as

a roadside poppy

her legs crumbling for want

her hands needing to reach out

she needed you to

claim that offered fruit

realizing the chance she took

how it was not

a natural or easy decision

but one that came slowly and

years in the making

for even girls with redolent hearts

can hold themselves

corseted against passion

waiting out the corruption

for that one person

capable of reaching their center

you

were given that chance

she felt the licking carpet fibers

the sweat on her lower back

how her once empty belly, was now

full

her breasts, heavy with the need

to be drunk from

until she was light again and

emptied of her desire

burning her up

as she swayed in your hesitation

for you did not know

the gift of her she gave

or why

ordinary responses were anathema

in that moment paused

between heaven and

earth

Into water

There was grief in the last time I was myself

long-faced, retroussé nose, thick hair

broad shouldered from swimming away

cutting through water, weightless

not carrying your stare, your aprobation, your disregard

if ignored, let us ignore better, make an art of failure

suck the pipe, squeeze the last drop, inject, pop

those blue pills, as blue as you made me feel

psychiatry says nobody can make you feel anything

you choose

did you choose to feel nothing and by nothing

cause my center to crush softly inward

like the river flowers we press in our books

before you were born

carried over generation from generation

I laid in the grass wondering why

no lover had sought to please me

and the boughs of the trees revealed themselves

as my hand wandered back and forth

drenched in sweat

for who can satisfy a tin box with its lid hammered shut

who can know the heart of a girl who is told before she can walk

she isn’t enough, she’ll never be near sufficient

then you walked out of the river

green and shining like forested afterbirth

you did not care about forms and structure

spelling and photographic reproduction

you had a tongue and eyes and hands

like a thought with action

you claimed me beneath alders and pine

stretching so high, embracing unseen faith

I became a woman that day

crying out beneath your stones and mud and lillies

as white as an urge

with pink in the center

craving to crest in sun

and fall wilted back into water

Safe ascent

q64w643

This unspoiled place

holds a silence and a sound both

in the careen of wild bird, dove-tailing against light

swish tailed-fox, caught in glimpsing treeline, scar of russet

your wool pulled and caught like thoughts on wire

I felt you inside, like mercury, descending to places I’d locked

tight against battering fists and claim

how did you learn the maze and possess

parts of me I had yet to give permission?

though all of us are like the wool, caught and fluttering

against a world of happen-chance and calamity

it is only perhaps, in those untethered moments

love, unexplained by all things

captures in unguarded step

drowning tightly held belief

we are our own master

and in this yield

in your arms and the void calling overhead

a vast sky holds swell of rain

just long enough

for our safe ascent

Where uncertainty cannot

Her need

To be held

Close against her wet neck

The taste of summer and leather seats

Tears and well played songs

Her perfume and the laundry smell of clothes

A bird repeats its protesting caw

Sprinklers intermittent

They lie wrapped around the other

Glistening lizards on stucco

Her thighs are muscular

Beads of persperation

And a haunted look in her eyes

Like a car crash playing on repeat

She wants to touch her deeper

Than tragedy can reach

All the way beneath her skin

Where uncertainty cannot dictate and only then

Head flung back and nimble neck stretched

She lets out a cry

Catching the top of trees

Like unexpected summer breeze

So far from fear

For a time, it is forgotten

Ode to absentia

I have written enough about you to fill a slim volume

or maybe two ships

set sail for one of the countries you visit

sending me letters in the day, with marks and fingerprints from all around the world

they would smell

like you, even as that was impossible

and I prepared, as nobody ever can

for the day I would lose you

why not, you ask, appreciate the now, when you are here on earth?

I have, though, we have never spent our lives together or even entwined

I have been saying goodbye all these years

yet it will not be sufficient, it could never be enough

you are more of me, than myself

and I feel you inside even though you are not here now, and gone in the future

loving you has felt like continual loss and little gain

yet I do, more than anything else, for you are that kite, unmoored itself and got away

the thought that comes creeping up as you laugh, as if I had a twin, and yes, she was the one who grew in courage, living full in ways I knew only from books

you have the lifeline of twenty palms and though you could not be a mother, you have always inspired me, like the character from a favorite story

reaching near and never touching, someone marvelous and unable to approach

I live sometimes with my eyes seeing through yours

the waves of your life nearing but never reaching, shore

at some point there will be a day when you are not simply absent and not around the corner

but further then, impossible to mend, hands of time, spent longing

it may be my song to want and not receive, the beauty that is you, and your life as it cleaves

further away, until from a great distance I cannot distinquish, squinting until my eyes hurt and run

I would if I could, but I never have, and I won’t

it is the theatre of our lives to play out

my role is that of thirsty

yours to make ordinary seem

extrodinary

you are the giver of dreams

I shall always wish

for one more day where I see

your figure coming closer through the dusk

perhaps to stay a while, even if we do not touch

I long, in layers, not to lose, what I have, not.