December 2020

Twilight

there in the last glimmer

I see a girl run barefoot across the field

I see an old woman, hunched and bent, look up

and briefly, as the smile crosses her face

resemble that girl again

I see the cruelty of passing cars who

do not slow to permit the old woman crossing

their fierce lipped drivers dripping with venom

at the vulnerability of the ancient

I see the disinterest of those behind closed doors

watching their Twitter feeds like stock markets

of gossip and futility, forgetful of

the song bird who used to sing outside

and now does not

the sky has broken open like an orange feast

light pours out into darkness and indigo colored

clouds hasten to rush against the backdrop like

tired dancers exiting stage right

far away a man chops wood for his first fire of the season

a woman might be giving birth in a nearby hospital

couples squabble and make up, over dinner

the TV is muted, the street is awash with festive tinsel

and the occasional inflatable polar bear

one day we will be that girl rushing to gather her urge

against tall grass

we will also be that old woman, returning home

to an empty house with tall staircase

when they pass, we keep them alive through our memories

the old and the new

shining like new stars in a Winters sky

I see my grandmother’s there now

I remember their voices, mindfully reminding me

be kind

be kind

be kind

Don’t go home tonight

Don’t go home tonight

don’t leave this warm circle we built with our skin and bones

I killed an ant earlier and I felt badly

as I had watched it climb up a book and grab on to a little morsel

it has always made me feel remorseful for killing even the smallest creature

I don’t eat flesh for that reason

aside, you, I eat you, feast upon, alive and laughing your deep throated mirth

it never occurred to me one day I would have in my arms

the vibrating surround of a whole woman

the majesty of her glory, how she shifts like light

from somber to ejubilent in the fracture of a moment

women are not easy creatures, to tame a little, or keep satisfied

their minds, their bodies, are compartments of mystery

open the same drawer twice, out comes a different response

I will never understand or fathom, your maze of contradictions

that may be half the pleasure, for we who are simple clay

love the complexity and madness that is your fire

your dimpled skin and reddened throat leaning backward to my entreaty

the sounds you make, when I bring you close

a high keening like joy is just out of focus, a mayfly touching surface

I hold those memories inside me like water

crossing the empty desert of a day without you

night comes and goes as fast as pleasure

resisting my petition to remain static and eternal

if it would just slow and stay, I’d render you speechless in slow movement

the stirring of cream into coffee, languorous and ancient in ritual

until you flung yourself back into enervated ocean

where together we met beneath water and the whole world

was lit from beneath us

my love, asseyez-vous à côté de moi. faire battre mon cœur

stay

stay with me tonight

let us both be lulled into believing

morning does not need to dawn

Recommendations for healing from a distance

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I told a compassionate jurist once, the recipe for understanding the anxious at heart:

the most disturbing clamor, is that of positivities drum

it beats loudly outside their chamber

be grateful for life it proclaims

illuminating sub-text running a ticker tape parade

if you are not grateful you are a bad person

 

for we know, the anxious will always examine

the inverse and underside

as they themselves are examined and categorized

if you say well at least be glad you are not dead

they will consider all those who seek life

so desperately and why they

who remain unsure at water’s edge

do not perish instead

(take my place! take my place!) (what crimes exist within our fates!)

if you say well, it could be much worse

they will consider all the terrible things that can occur

and condemn themselves for any pain

 

it is the nature of the anxious mind to examine

things in detail

so when they’re told to be happy

go to the gym every day and wash your hair

eat right, socialize even when you feel quiet

through positive action you can get a handle on what ails you

the inverse message reads

and if you still feel sad or anxious afterward you are to blame

it is that sub-text that haunts the most

cure is the curse is the cure is the curse

maybe if it were not seen as elective

subj-text: I choose to feel this way

torn into pieces flayed by wolves

a part of me wants to live like this

how absurd

would we say that of someone with cancer?

you know you want this disease! You brought it on yourself!

 

ironically depressed and anxious souls make

good bed fellows

when they say misery loves company it is a judgement

wedged between passive and aggressive

you choose to intensify your downfall is the implication

but in truth

those who will reach for you in the darkness and say

come take my hand I will walk with you and light the way

are many times those least equipped to do it

often it will not be those who think themselves compassionate

they will stand on the fringe and shout

recommendations for healing from a distance

as if the leper who cannot be touched

must stand apart and die in a new brand of isolation

 

the divisions of the haves and have-nots

contributions to misery

like tossing a penny in a well and making a wish

is not as good as causing that wish to come true

by actions

not scolds

not rebukes

Choice

thlkkOne night quenched of light

as we lay unraveled in fold of sheets

like unwilling fish for morning fry

she turned to me and asked

what made you choose me?

I wanted to say

even if you were not here

and by moon I could not make out

the clemency of your shoulders

narrow and bony without their wings

even if in the darkness your scent did not

open a box of flowers crusted with honey

longing I cannot describe but with touch

sighting the marzipan of your curves

I would have wanted

the girl whose legs reminded me of a childs

in their awkward gait as foals will stand unsure

elongated against distance

their large eyes blinking

unknowing of what they need more

the urgency of galloping

or to seek warmth among others

you were a kite

striking branches twisting free

you were a rapture

exploding under water in silver shoal

you were a song

broken against coming darkness

bidding dreams welcome

you were a cacti

weathering assault, growing deeper with

each rush of red sand

covering over potential like a hidden lake

shall glimmer unseen

until revealed she takes her

place marking the world

in gentle caress and with one

stride opens even the most

reluctant to her behest

I didn’t choose you

you chose me like spring

conducts the sleeping to unveil

bidden, make your climb

toward her galvanizing urge

Outline

vvvvvYours is the shape of things to come you said

I will over time grow more in tune with your outline

and like hands shadowed against flame

we will rise and consume

in equal pour

as the wine staining your lips

makes you thirst for contrast

so our limbs struck out of sheets

could be the legs of girls sleeping in first sun

careless of the world yet

a sway about their joins

as if dance inhabits those yet accustomed

to brittleness

we are softened by unison

first emotions spilt longer to absorb in substance

earning capture, all time will retain the way

you curl me around your curve

a language bespoke in whisper

like limber wood smoothed for bow

crossing oceans in green willows

your resistance emptying as

hands that have not known holding

shall capture each other in briny shell

diving beneath one another as swimmers

seeking pearls

your obsidian hair like a fan on white sand

directing day forward like sundial

as you seek my reserves with the

lingering strength of a swimmer

slender outlines shaded against light

spilling on fermented floor

such small places to draw wonder from

unfurled from discovered maze

the color of love rinsing through your eyes

like doves filling skies in confetti

momentarily forgetful we are mortal

a divinity of capture

glimpsing heaven through

half-open eyes