Waiting for you to read my mind

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There is

An abacus

Counting sense and nonsense

On the high cheeks of a woman

Whose done saying what she’s told

The photographer

Catches her unease

In the shape of her mouth

It would taste of raspberry, that’s obvious

At night, the crystal of your half filled glass shines

Ice melting slow like peeling clothes

Staring at naked ghosts with their hands up

Sexing on dirty carpets with clean minds

Watching flashbacks of regrets and pleasure

Idling trucks melting snow with their hung over breath

If you were a pill I’d O.D. on your potency

Skipping heartbeat, chasing down roads, your diminishing form

You left one day intact and never returned

Sending a doppelgänger

A confidence artist, in your stead

Who told me; I like your eyes they’re untamed

With a paper tongue and windscreen brow

Wiping away the rain, that endlessly fell

We must get used to death

In each pause, in the rhythm

I touched your skin

And thought of new England apples

The first taste

Belief comes last

Use your imagination

Can you see me?

I’m standing waist deep

Waiting for you to read my mind

Like you did once with the alacrity of an gymnast

In the throes of passion

Braile

Morse code

Signs and wonders

Photos over exposed

Ringing phones in the night

Knowing the destination in your fingers and finding

Without map or lights switched on

Blacking out cries

To be found

Oh god

To be found again

By you

Reach out

the-hunger-1983-0-58-35-323If I had the courage to tell you

I’d tell you I’m foolish

as they say in Texas; this isn’t my first rodeo

I know better

here I am though, thinking of you

remembering the way you move when

you pause to sit down

sleek and translucent like silk

the fall of your chin, and rise of your clavicle

how the harpsichord of your mouth bows and sends

me crossing my legs in want

how I know you diminish yourself

cannot see, what I

quiet and observant

in my courageless pretense of being

just friends

notice in the gentle sway of you

sometimes I wish the world woke up

and girls loved girls everywhere

though it would be like chocolate

lovely at first and then too much

there is something sacred in smaller numbers

we are rare night birds who fly singing

when everyone else is asleep

sometimes we recognize each other just by

a glance

like a language only we damson girls speak

those who love others in whispers

for the most part it is a lonely walk

being the cuckoo in the nest

watching girls you thought glorious, invariably fall in love with boys

their hearts broken when you

could have given them the spin of a dream

it is not the weft of this world to permit

girls who love girls become the norm

we will always be the nightingale and the black swan

I will feel the need to apologize

if I look at you too long

for it is a respectful dance we learn

to stay our distance and not become

a pastiche or cliche; the girl who loved girls led astray

by someone incapable of returning her ardor

though if you could just break the rules

sometimes I suspect, in the way you gaze back

all redolent and tied tightly with secrets

we’d have a grand ole time

there are worlds you haven’t even imagined

places you cannot give names to

once you swim to that fair isle, few return willingly

I don’t boast but what’s wrong with admitting

love between girls has a special season

deep and sonorous, we think such things do not exist

only because our imagination is not so

vivid

if you gave me one word or even

on a certain day, when feeling bold I may

require just a particular arching smile

as you let go and said; Yes I do

I’d not hesitate to make you mine

all your closeted longing

the belief you hold, that love has a sell by date

and you are not worthy

I would remove each of those

aches like the layers of an artichoke

delving into what makes you tremble

and find there, the pain and the longing

owning no words just primal need

like a river coming to flood the delta

I’d pour myself into your loneliness

the many nights you dreamed, of being reached so deep

gave up thinking that will never be me, I could not be loved that much

in the reflection of my longing, you would see

the worth of you and how all those fears

were just surfaces as yet untouched

for we who dance

together

never

stop

and I will not let go

if you just

reach

out

The shape of us

Lift her up

there the hang and fall

bestowed in little curtsies

hemming the space we form

in exultant strong brewed motion

plump on passion your swell against think of light

can I possess, what is unbound?

or will ghosts gather your wicked savageries

plant in ground this divining rod

lightning conducts flame like cautious feline

one brush, my teeth, your skin

panther lolling in banyan tree

emerald leaves the size of clenched fists

slick fruit ripe for the picking

a slice of muscled thigh, a twitch, spice, sigh

rising and falling in cotton swell

pass through the fabric holding us back

nectarine and jasmin

pearl slope of your thin back arched against my hand

dieties take turns to spell focus

wisteria and moon glow

crush of posies, carrying arching silouette

how much I have longed for you

this exact shape and time

in emptiness we find familiar fullness

in loss there is a stranger turn a friend

to bid us back to believing ourselves unpicked

we are part of this weave

tight against fabric, space, destined

as I watch the ribbon in your hair

twisting against itself, trying to work its way loose

there is purpose in the dark damson of your eyes

taking me down from my shabby habit

glass creatures beneath sugared earth

melting against the other

a fusion

the shape of us.

(I had this beautiful idea, two people met
neither one was afterward capable
of loving anyone else with the same intensity
because they were made for each other
every part of them knew, nothing could change that
not all the different people in the world and its various temptations
not anything)

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

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

50 minute slots

prostitute

This therapy doesn’t work

I take an hour to get made up

so I do not look like the long toothed tiger

I feel inhabits my emotions and wishes

to roar and cry uncontrollably

while she sits thinking about

her recent vacation and what

she’ll have to eat for dinner

because after all this is just a job

she is just a human

who has a right to time off and a life outside

the pain she allots 50 minute slots

I am convinced

paying for therapy is a little like

paying for love

you get little of the real stuff

and a lot of compensation and emptiness

I feel alone in the room

hearing myself drone

I want to tell her everything

I want her to know how much I’m hurting

I want to express my fear and my loathing

but she is a stranger

who takes my insurance

maybe I should be thankful

but I’m bitter and repressed and tell her

what she wants to hear

after all, therapists want to believe you’re doing alright

even when you’re one step from the edge

after all, therapists need to sleep sound at night

just as I childishly wish she’d turn around and say

this isn’t a job, I care, I really care about YOU

let me in

and if she did I would, but that’s supposing

people aren’t who they are and they very much are

professional detatchment

closed-off, remote, shuffling from one hour to the next

waiting for the time they can walk out the door

not think about other people’s problems

there isn’t much empathy going around these days

we’re all so tired and I’m getting to the end

of wearing cracked masks

even when I need to break apart

which you can only do when someone

gives a shit

nobody pays for reality

and as much as it is known

‘therapy is a gift you give yourself’

and as much as it is claimed

‘if you do the work you’ll grow’

I don’t want to go through the motion

I want to be cared about

I want her to give a shit

I want things that are impossible

because she’s a job and I’m a client

but this way around it feels like

I’m the hooker and she’s the john

because I’m blowing hot air

and she’s sucking it up

The possibility & the defeat

When we were nothing more than a line on a page

the author daydreaming of what it would feel like to meet

the other part of herself

the pencil half tracing an arc and then dropping off in thought

for she did not believe it possible, for she had stayed inside her box

such a long time it had become second-nature to assume

there was nothing more, and if perchance, it was only illusion

when we hadn’t grown flesh and hands and eyes and mouths

licking and touching and fitful for all of its circumference

and mad for it, with the supple sway of lovers

bending to each other’s lightest trace

when we were two people walking in opposite

unawares of the fall of love, or how it can plunge so deeply

the violence of a hearts commitment

then, you had a cocksure approach

keeping yourself remote, never getting close

and I was like a cake without frosting

not knowing how it would be to grab and eat a mouthful

for someone to climb inside and inhabit me

I was undamaged or at least less scored

by your whetted knife of emotion and longing

and you were safe in that way all who refuse to play

remain aloof and jaded against

what they have never allowed entry

it was perhaps the greatest pain to open ourselves

to the possibility and the defeat

for in feeling everything there is sometimes only

that high rising gloat toward the eclipse

then the rest of time spent recalling

as a drug fix, the chambered splendor of fantasy

you leave me void and furied with untamed

need to bring you to my mouth, my flowering chest

I’d sooner bury this confession than discover in another’s arms

the blank expression of indifference

when we lurch on sea-sick ship, sailing apart

the cruelty of love

or something approximate

is a shrill bird call over the top of trees

warning all those who dare discover

the taste of things unrecoverable

as these marks on my skin will

stay as symbols

of what we were and

endeavoured by that stark hour

to preserve for another season

when the flowers fall from the trees

and the birds, tired of cold nights

fly south in blue lines

Safe ascent

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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

For love or the reminder of

How shall I describe her?

She is feral

one day her ego fills the room like helium

all the plates and cups and saucers wobble

for the enlargement of her radiance

and the next

you will see barely

the skeleton of her tail

slow wagging behind oven

when she goes out, she leaves behind two cut out dolls

wearing their paper clothes, she walks stiffly ahead

not looking back

where they war with each other

one is sad, one is trying to get better

at night when she cannot sleep

june bugs die against her glass

fireflies remind her magic is not

solely the terrain of the insane

when she has nothing on but the scars of her walk

and waist deep in meadow grass

she finds fragments of who she once was

perching for dew on the tip of a thought

she is like the cactus flower

blooming wide and with the accordian of a flaring skirt

only to whither and dry, come first day of summer

once, when a man stroked her fur

she thought she could purr

but his bite left a mark with a scar

that did not heal over

instead she roared

against the shells in her ears

for the salvage of the sea

and a hundred thousand waves

to bury her need

for love or the reminder of

staining like a coffee cup

will leave its inked imprint upon

our best intention