Avec -

She is with us
because of nomenclature.

the odd way that we that we become
what we are called.

I had pondered “dovima”
or “paloma”
or “dove”
but none settled in her eyes,
or moved the mouth with comfort
in her steady soon to turn green

And when she pressed her forehead to my chest,
with insistence,
with hind legs stretching,
and sighed

At last”

I remembered sitting with you on the bench
waiting for the table
or waiting for a friend
and looking up at a sign.

“that would make a great name,”
I said.

And you took my hand.

And I think you agreed.

do you, timothy -

at table forty one
in delfina’s,
you can see things both ways.

into the place people were clustered,
for the permission to enter,
to sit,
to partake.

then, into the steam of creation,
where farm-raised met man-made,
and the soup that stirred us so deeply
was crushed from
spiny shells
from something sap-like,

it was the day after,
and the night before,
and we did not know the morning wait would be so long.

that the rain would come down so soft,
and the wind would be so hard,
and that we would cluster with the others,
and still smile.

that children would bring roses,
and strangers bear cake,
and one lone girl would bring dry socks
“so you don’t get cold feet”.

that the countdown to the front door
would become so epic,
that being among the three thousand
would be nothing
compared to the first time we spoke those words.

history writes itself unexpectedly into our lives.

I did not get on one knee to him.

I looked into his eyes above the sea,
the golden gate behind him,
and begged him to understand.


to love me

to find his way past the expected,
and my clumsy passion,
and the way
we would want things to be.

to stand with me for seven hours
to say those few words before a stranger.
to hold a piece of paper
that said
for the first time in a country’s history,
as he had told me so often in our history,

and the nettle soup at delfina’s
was as tender
as his answer,

as only the unplanned in life
can be.


the advent -

the small things are sent to us
through slowly opened doors,
driven in like rain on pavement.
the small things remind us
with their lives
and tilted heads
of our own exposure.

the top of her head
like a word I can no longer wrap my mouth around,
a moment I know I lived, in the sun,
a time that probably
never existed.

the way she moves from him to I
unable to touch both
like the tide reaching
for the sandcrabs and the moon.

the pattern of her breath
on my thigh
in sleep.

her nose lifted to the scent of cooking
and may
and the sound of the front door crackling open.

his eyes upon her.
then me.

the small things
are the recognition of you.  and I.


the location of the lindens -

Like the love I have been given,
the map
is veiled to all but god.

unable to forecast
yet not forbidden,
my life has wound around me like the
clattering of laughter up the stairwell,
like the launching of dust motes
through the sunlight
of that window.

the one beside our bed,
so often covered with the blinds,
flimsy bars,
unable to control the sounds of the street
or the fingers of the trees,
the ones I wish were lindens
for their magical smell.

that only comes once a year,
from the temple down the block,
holding me so tightly those two weeks
with that scent that is at once
and untraceable.

like the oriental rugs of st.simons,
or the takashimaya on your clavicle,
it is a summoning
more than a memory,
bringing back the best of us,
of me,
of us.

it is a gift.

and it runs from temple to temple,
both holy places,
both maps of something I have yet to see whole.

that when I see whole,
I will see,


the tenth poem –

of you, I spoke in rhythm,
with waves and pleasure
banging my calves as I began.

knowing not.
caring little.

opening my mouth
to the possibility of poetry
in your being.

and this led,
as all words do,
to miscomprehension and interpretative fault
and long pauses
and hesi

so i spoke more of love,
as if to capture
in the noise
some essence
of that thing
that makes me dizzy with you.

and it was infantile,
as all words will be
when we utter

so I spake of my own being
and tried to keep it short.

which is very hard to do
for one who speaks

and it was
predictably dictable,
and rife with words like rife.

so I spoke of things we shared
and then things we knew
and then things material,
then immaterial,
and the words cluttered the air
around me,
filtered through the place between us,
gnatlike possessions,
so the light became viscous and milky.

and I spoke softly to myself
to hear
my own

I spoke softly to myself
to reach you.

and then,
I stopped speaking,
and simply opened my eyes.


the disappation -


In the beginning, there was a word.

It meant to me a state of unexpected bliss,
a gift of unseen origin,
a dreamless, sun-filled sleep.

I would wrap my mouth around it in the day,
while surrounded by strangers,
while waiting for change,
of you.

duende, duende, duende”, I would say,
imagining a Castilian lisp to impart the proper
of sea salt
and lemon rind.

I grew my hair out for you,
I took you where you had not yet been,
and I stood in front of mirrors,
if what I wore
would affect the outcome.

When I tried to find the definition
the way we all do these days,
without the smell of yellowed paper
or the crisp sound of information turning under fingertip,
flip, and turn,
flip, and turn,
creases of old ink and perhaps out-dated impressions,
the search
came up

The only thing that I could find was surrounded by goblins,
and a trail to the Spanish arts.

Even the internet was confused.

My word was “hard to define”.
My word was lost,
faded through the ether.

“In fact, tener duende can only be loosely translated as having soul.”

damsel and distress -

an incantation
something like a spell,
something that requires myrrh and blood of doves,
something dark and pure to trace in the air
around them
to protect them
to guard them from the night.

close your eyes and think of the green eyed girl,
the one who always laughed first,
the one who did not watch for signs,
and barely read the tales,
for she seemed to know
that she would simply live
and others would write of her, this time.

close your eyes and think of the tall boy,
the one who leapt in the air,
the one who led the way because he did not have time to wait.
think of how he felt when he saw her,
the light in her eyes,
her shoulder bare and golden,
and think of how he leapt, then.

we were all lulled to sleep
with stories of finding and loss,
with wolves and witches and mirrors that kept secrets,
so what do you do
when the story is much simpler,
when the magic is just about

you hold your breath.
you count the seconds.
you watch as they touch
and there is nothing to compare.

like mornings over mountains.

like water over stone.

like the same smile, the one you know,
coming to you again.

this is love.

and it does not matter who rescues whom.

you can close the book, now.

there is no incantation to protect them.  to lead them.  to keep them.  to hold them. 

there is no power
that you can provide.

this is not their ever after.
this is their now.


object lesson -

in the garden there are aspens now turning yellow.
and roses, now slowing, still blooming white.
in the closets there are sweaters the colors of wet stones;
stacks of scarves so elaborate each deserves its orange box,
disregarding, perhaps,
being bound up alone.

the baccarat is ruby,
a gift given gradually,
a collection of crystal from a fragile man.
there are plates shaded like sand dunes
and flatware like seashells
and floors like a child’s blood
drawn in preschool.

there is velvet on the sofa like the sky before dusk
and leather cracked and golden like the sky after dawn.
the lamps are black lacquer
and the walls are hot chocolate
or coffee or licorice or bittersweet
to taste.

the linens on the bed will flicker like candlelight
violet and cream,
sepia and white.
the walls of the bedroom will glow in that candlelight:
strawlike and stemlike
crisp and silk striped.

and they all flicker madly
to catch your attention,
they compete and repeat their chorus to the night.

but I have your hand and your mouth and your eyesight,
and I fill your head
and I color your life.


the gray circle -

and so the colors of the night, revealed to none yet known by all,
rush heady and headlong into this room.

the candle now cliche by bed
has rimmed the wall with elephant skin and lit the edge of your
like sunrise setting on a veldt.

and your fingers seek my skin like rainfall
pattering to find their way,
my blood responds beneath the tensile, slick, productive surface skin,
though it cannot see the hand
or the force that moves it from above.

and the gray circle in my eyes that binds the color,
that binds the dark,
contracts so slightly
you can hear it rustle;
an animal in tall grass
a limb under a moon.

there are no beatings and the breath is held, suspension over the world tonight.

for when two lovers find the tinder,
fumble for flint,
for a word fit to ignite,
the gray circle
it does not tighten,
it reaches outward, afraid to bind the very thing that makes it holy,
the kiss of a lover,
the look in his eye.


the summer after, noon -

In a corner somewhere near
lies my history.

I have put it down momentarily,
not really watching the time,
in order to plant some rosebushes,
in order to bind a trellis to a fence.

I wish to watch,
for awhile.
to see the buds form burst brown fall.
to see the twine darken rust flake fall.
to feel the world stretch moan turn and rise.

I raced to get here,
I pushed hard and felt little.

which is why the story of me
will remain dormant for now.

it is time for the story of everything else,
and this time,
I only wish to hear.

the words will come again.
I have always known this about words.
they fail you when you need them.
they run over you when you are tired.

iceberg roses on a fence in a yard.
sun through the trees in the afternoon heat.
a car passing over the manhole down the block, and coming closer.

I will not take this turn.  I will pass.


the taste of love –

the place where there are no gifts,
the moment where there are no words,
the location of loss
and the parallel of joy,
here is where love at last rests.

I have watched a decade,
both empty of you and full,
skip before me like ribbon down a stairwell,
and I know that I have learned nothing
and learned it a million times.

I know that there is no way to pinpoint
and that definition is something best left for scholars
far brighter than I.
I know that I am quicksilver and that you are stone;
that you are the wind and I am stone;
that the world changes with an utterance,
and in a day is made unwhole.

how interwoven are we,
like fingers into fists?
or are we drawn along a skein more silken,
expected to form a mantilla for shelter, a coverlet for night?

I hear sentences in the air,
and I close my eyes and reach for the ground,  to find you, where you are not listening.
and I am thankful for your earth rich constancy,
for your orbital pull upon my corpse,
and your visceral pull on my soul.

I do not deserve, but I demand.  and you will provide,
unable to resist the potion or the poison,
mead of my lips and my mind,
biting and dark, saplike and viscous, tender as night,
spilled upon a page or a sheet or a parchment or sand.
it matters not which age.

you will be there.

at this point so relative, where hands are taken off
the clock,
I shake, I breathe, I release, I void,
for we are going to be here awhile.


why blue is your color –

when I first saw you, it was not as intimate as later,
when you watched my back
and forgave me.

when I first touched you, and then your skin,
it was not as powerful as when I was apart from you
and could not sleep,
could not dream,
could not settle for days with you missing.

when I knew your love, it was not through your words,
but through your eyes,
and the way they held me,
across a room,
and the woman, like Elizabeth, she droned on,
that I was

the smell of you dissipates through the day,
until only the slight touch of the
Japanese fragrance
remains on your tendons,
and then it is mine,
because only I am allowed
to be
this close.

and I am weaker than when we started, and less sure.

and you are stronger, I think.

and once,
you held my hand in public,
and told me that you loved me,
and I closed my eyes.

because I knew that I would not survive
the color of your eyes
if I did not.


fall awake-

I was rocked like a child
by your movements in sleep.

it allowed me to place you in my world,

but before I return,
let me tell you something I think I have learned,
just now.

age is settling itself upon me,
and holding my hand on Tuesdays,
when I used to bound restlessly
but now simply
ruffled by the wake of things like death
and distance,
concepts new to this life.

it is easier to let beauty pass,
not to grip it hard,
but to anticipate it's going.

I think it will return,
in hands on a bus rail,
or a hawthorne bloom;
but this is small.

I weary.
I ennervate.
I tremble at the end of phone lines.

and still,
your simple nocturnal pulse holds more for me than I could put to paper.

this is love, at this age.

beautiful, it is.


forecast uncertain -

empathy, like the rain,
cannot be foretold.

charts and graphs may hope to track
the gentle, sloping apogee of
nimbus high
snow drift.

but sympathy is not even in the realm of seers,
there are no telepaths
in daylight discussions
and horoscopes
can no longer
lead us, reliably.

lingering in late white gardens
toeing the brick bordered paths,
or crossing the street
with a mantra muttered
and the hope of pinions
could not have prepared me.

it was like rain.

you flinch,
even though you know
it will not hurt you.

you search for cover,
though faith would demand you simply

when it happened.
I saw
someone, finally,
feeling for


of ladybugs and skipping stones -

the coat was brown this time, perhaps because she knew our palette,
or was settling into some personal winter.

the one before had landed in union pier,
separating from the cluster of red siblings above the door
and stretching across my back before we made it to the beach,
before the sun set on our left, trading sky with water,
before I sat beside paul
and time skipped something into the ever graying moment,
and tim, down the way, with two dogs at his heels was caught on camera,
he was still tall
and erin still was lovely and my
voice was still speaking as I moved into a cloud.

then this one found me perhaps by hunch,
or sympathetic vibration,
and walked with great deliberation into our home and put herself
where we would see
that time
favors those who honor memory.


the durability of love -

there is a music box in another room,
a room that is not mine,
and like the lit bathroom
and the dog with it's ears taped back,
I run from it simply because I must.

there is a music box in another room,
like a fragment of a dream,
recurring the following day,
it plays for a moment,
and leaves me disconcerted,
and still alone.

there is a music box in another room,
and no matter where I travel,
or place myself intentionally,
there it remains,
faint and pressing,
insistent and deliberate.

there is a music box in another room,
sweet sweet secret of the child,
hollow eyes from lacking sleep,
trembling with morning passion and the birth of sunlight,
it reaches through the lists to find the human soul.

there is a music box in another room,
where you had placed it,
not an actual box,
with no real tune,
but important nonetheless,
because your hands touched it in the other room.

and I was not there.


The ladies of regret -

oh, these elegant women. 
walking quietly into my life,
with their gris and speckled eyes,
how they settle at my side,
how they hold my hand,

Do not cry to me companion of my youth, and tell me of the struggle
to return to whom you were.
The creature prints,
and wedding you hate,
and bells still ringing around your head.
There were choices when you sat
in the conference room,
when we walked above the river at night,
watching the city glint,
dancing with drag queens on Friday.

You were led away from your daydreams,
by steps all your own.
And you, with the well known beauty,
what drifts below your face,
currents of something even Paul will never know.
I suspect treachery at times,
delicious treacles,
interludes you savor all alone.

I guess.

And I know.

Fear motivates us,
and secures our seclusion.

But oh, the lovely.
In you I can only see pain,
ill-concealed, '
well worn
across your expanse.
The world has brought you much,

Elizabethan porcelain,
without saucer for the overflow,
you live balanced upon breakage,
wanting to be held in a curved palm.

And when drugs can't regulate the jagged,
and the men don't rescue your body,
and your itches drive you
to cut yourself and drain,
I wish I could hold you again,
my oldest friend,
my unexpected redhead,
I am

They walk into other rooms,
carrying my number,
folded where they will never find it,

soft inside.


the kiss that lasts all day -

he is my one,
though unpredicted,
this much I have come to know.

sometimes the learning is more powerful than the knowing
will be.

I have welcomed his intrusions,
and held him at bay,
and had no choice in the matter.

Eyes like those
brook no denial;
it angers me at times,
this helplessness.

Large hands on my neck,
the song of lilies,
the smell of linens and crustings;
I can taste the sleep.

Speaking to empty vessels,
brimming myself,
close to tears.

hold me hold me hold me hold me

I am just believing
because that's all you ever have.

And he keeps coming back,
through the sticky locks
on my heart,
and the barricades of the day,
and even the distances
in himself.

I need to believe.

Because dishes break and pictures fade
and stamens darken and tum,
and only the tilt of my head in the curl of his palm
and the closing eye

or ever.


lure -

I can imagine what it feels like,
your hair in my hands,
rich and chestnut around my knuckles,
deep like this.

I like your eyes and your voice,
but to bite that lower lip,
makes me salivate.

You speak and I am thrown back to lockerrooms and sweat,
with adolescent moaning.

It is southern for me,
opening like a magnolia,
just above my teenage grasp.

Those trees were always below my window,
and over my head.

An impulsive little creature,
I made the boys
with anticipation.

Touch their shoulders,
friendly, light, and of course,
This is the most obvious way
to start the chord
in them,

three notes

that will crescendo in their nights.

Impress on them how you would feel.
This kiss,
no other,
will make John move as a leaf on a branch;
has made Booker grow heavy as stone.

I am their Lot.

So let me feel your collapse,
to my gentle lapping,
for I long to feel your hair in my hands,
taste the salt of your skin
as you cry.


All things bound are not enslaved -

The gray car was the first sign.

Cresting through that evening on Belden,
shipbound by the fog,
obscured by the breath inside,
the vehicle should have told me much.

After there came flowers,
waxy leaved and spotted,
exuding things like promise
along with stifling scent,
always wrapped in paper first,
then fainting
to the floor.

And I should have watched the feedings,
the things stirred into iron pots,
archaic delicacies that spoke to my throat,
of fire,
of bindings,
of reliance.

Certain moths have wings the color of your eyes.

Weren't you warned of the coming of night,
and of mushroom rings that enslaved the dance?
Houses made of bones?

But I had never heard of men with such needs,
or of this soft,
allergic skin.

Timothy drove me in his gray car,
Michael fixed me barbeque,
Thaddeus woke me under his arm,
Francis was the first.

So name the monster after saints,
and wait till day expires,
lure him with your jealous kiss,
'til you're all that he desires.


the text message -

some dull small hope
some decision not to feel
some anticipated ending
some understanding of the real
some gram measure of resignation
some despair
some desire
some pierson on the bookshelf
some momentary lies
to myself.

some sense of the best of me
awoken after dormancy.

some reluctance to admit

some sorrow
and some thankfulness
some motion
and some acceptance
that it was not
to continue
past this
solitary point.

some feeling that it gave too much happiness
and that intensity
would burn
some of me
and all of he.

some leaden knowledge
that there would be no


the drumbeat, the bullet, the unknown -

you’re true
because you cannot see yourself
and the way you part the air,
menace my every sense with the musky
of your sex
and rambling tonic of your eyes.

the feral taste of your mouth on mine,
the pine and curl of fetlock
and haunch
are violence to my life.

your slow lope behind me
as we pass in to your bedroom
kills my voice
even as your arms surround my chest
and I dissolve
into some carnal

and for the first time I feel my pulse.
and for the first time I taste the metal.
and for the first time I am unknown.

and all this makes my hands tremble as I drive

and makes me wake,
dry throated,

and I am afraid,
not of what you have turned in me,
but of what truth
I can not name.


gravitas -

I will not ask you to explain.

when the moon tears at the seas,
calling with some force that we have tried to define
as “gravity”,
I hear instead the echo of sadness
in her light
a keening against the distance between her surface
and the reflective shimmer of the saltwater

I have seen, and never questioned,
as leaves and petals and the injured
as if summoned by the earth
to return

I have felt the sinking and the rising
in my own chest
when you enter the room.

I do not need to know of circumference or of apogee,
of lunar cycles or the time between
when we touched
and when we met
and when I knew.

every night, I close my eyes beneath the moon
that I was born beneath.

and I now know why I have been drawn to the sea
and the air
each night
in my dreams.


travelogue -

I am building a list of things.

not objects
but densities,
better described by touch
than by words.
things I would like to die

buried beneath water.

enveloped in limestone.

entombed by cloud-light.

few things in a lifespan
the presence of change.

at the palacio duhau, staring at the gardens,
I wish your voice were among the things
I list.


sordid / divine -

Walked down that alley and lost that money.

Stood naked at the window,
drunk and waiting to be seen.

Left the group to walk the city alone,
and spoke no Spanish
at all.

Drove flowers to the redhead,
who did not understand them.

Wrote stories about the blonde,
to destroy him.

Slept with the brunette to remind him,
and confuse him.

Closed the door to be alone,
even against the whine
and the stare.

Wandered those dark hallways
with the half-open doors,
the spillage of light,

Taken the drug to soften the edge,
speed up the heart rate,
end the turbulence outside,
or sleep.

Lived out the forbidden in order to see
more clearly in the shadows.
And to get over

If I had truly known

I would have
done the same.

sometime in november, 08

Before -

I wish I could capture the air for you today.

There is the sense of something impending,
and suddenly I remember the way the skies turned green
before hurricanes
in my teenage years.
This air is different,
there is not weight, there is lightness,
there is flavor,
and suddenly my eyes well up
and my stride soften.

And there are birds, birdsong,
so many birds,
but I can see no trees.

This can only mean
the coming
is momentous,
if it is stirring unseen wings.

If you were here, before I reached the corner
I would ask you.

And you, perhaps,
would take my hand,
take the corner,
and tell me
to just


hibernate -

I have taken the drugs to put myself under
but still, I am forced to watch the night sky.

It is lit from below by this city I do not
or wish to comprehend.  I think I was enamored too early
by the spring that was eternal,
by the views at every turn.

Home has always been my refuge,
and now I find that I am more fugitive
from these gray skied mornings and cloud covered nights,
yearning for the consistency of changing weather,
of seasons that lead eventually
to snow.

Because snow knows no enemies,
it bring no fear.

It covers all equally,
masks and blankets,
muffles and stills.

It is heavy solace to the long year past,
layered like forgiveness over allergen and pod,
forcing dormancy,
and what I most seek,

sometime in january, 08

A stem, a leaf, a limit -

I remember
when she sent galax leaves.

A strange thought to have on this Friday.

Leaning back, the emptiness of the afternoon
and the gray light outside,
december without spirit
december of so much /
too much.
And I am tired of this survival

And I could smell them.

The way a green is supposed to smell,
from a stream along her mountainside,
old and still
undercut with stone
undercut with whiteside.

And it soothed me.
There is no other word
for leaves in a plastic bag,
bound in cotton,
wet with forethought
from a mother stopping on her hike
to gather something up
for her child.

just a step beyond the rain –

with the birds on the wire,
waiting for the fog to part in the mission,
it began to clarify.
waiting for the rays to outline their bodies,
etch them, bleeding gray out from their charcoal feathers,
into a splintering day,
I could see.

with the dado of the Victorian,
when we returned from walking the dog,
thirty some steps from our home on the hill,
you could see.
carved in plaster:
two mountains, one tree.
and turning to see one tree, two peaks,
and the lit window, waiting,
just below.

it seems now we live where the sun begins,
where the sky stays open above us in inclemency,
where even the stars cluster to escape the rain.
the embrace of the weather is around us.
see the valley to either side fill:
here a chalice,
here a bowl.

this is mystic, set in the sky,
mounted like a diadem unreachable by quest.
the last was grounded, settled in stone,
cornered where winds met.
perhaps they conspired
to keep the world at bay.

my home is was will be with you,
belden on,
rocoe on,
aldine on,
and I need no signs to reveal.
I have known this
from the moment I heard of you,
once in a lullaby.

room 1122 –

the city of angels
the city of light
the city that never sleeps

angels, light, and insomnia meet
up in the air

I open the curtains and think of you somewhere
to my left up the coast.

I would listen for you
over the hum of the strip
but the harmony of stopping and starting
the lights both white (on the left)
and red (on the right)
all blur the frequency of cell phone
and heartbeat.

I wish for a map
as if it will solve
my fingers tracing the windowpane
up the curve of sunset (on the left)
and down fountain (on the right)
like the curve of the seine past la reine blanche
like the path from 685 east 82nd
to the park
where the sprinklers lie.

I wish for a map
to find my way back
to that place where I ran through false rain
to where we ate free and walked on cobblestone
to you.

I am facing east in the evening.

I am three cities. 

I am too far from you.

stay in Central -

When we walked the room,
a circle,
and felt the walls
in wood
we were being taught about the space we take
and the space
we take for granted.

The light in hong kong is shimmering,
through pollution and through rain,
and at night,
the neon trims your face
with expectation.

vast is an expectation,
a statement about progress
and the visual
to progress.

There is no retreat.

But we found ourselves in retreat,
reaching for surface treatments,
a shagreen banister,
a parchment bartop,
a concrete wall,
an easy grasp.

A view over to Kowloon.
A red sailed junk in the harbor.
A sightline
to each

In return
I miss the wooden walls,
the darkness
and the movement.

Somehow they combined there
without thought
or fear.

So now, we shrink.

Now, we curl around a future,
sheltering an unknown
to expand

as we step away.

The two years we lost –

This year I lost you
because you left me.

This year I lost you
because you lied and were afraid.

This year I lost you
because I was inconstant, and impermanent.

This year I lost you
because I focused on myself.

This year I lost you
because fear trumped ritual, and habit was abandoned to pressure.

This year I lost you
and therefore lost myself.

So feel me grabbing at you,
and know that I am real,
this time.

Because in my momentary exit from our life
I always felt you
where you belong.

Feel yourself found.

linger and reload –

he was
powder between my fingertips
ice finding its way out of the glass
the underpetal of the lamb’s ear,
and to know
was a slipknot
on the verge
pulling me apart.

I knew.  it was stupid.

spiderveins of tension under every moment
chattering legs
and sudden luscious gusts
of warm air on my back
tiny hairs

the whites of his earlobes under curl of

he was
low summer after light
green sky before thunderstrike

I should have stopped
at once.

but then,
he was
fresh-cut grass smell,
slick leaf,
a green paste on tongue,
a burn, and tears
in my eyes.


one for the master and one for the maid -

offerings are always monumental,
requiring sacrifice
in order to

I can see the lines around my brows
and feel the taut line of my belly
as it leads from hip to rib
I can smell my soap and scented skin
through my clothing.

I search now for what you need,
what part of me is not tiring to your eyes
and to your touch,
my only guide.

after this time,
you still feel me
as if I am new, birthed into your compass,

the taste of the familiar does not tire you.

the way I age this day
is not unlike any other. 
cells leave me, sleep eludes me.

the landscape is full
of doe-like
of unsuspecting
of ravishing.

I am in your arms.
for this blessed time
I am bloodless,
rimmed in light,
suspended from the world of man,


and I no longer wonder
what I have given up
or what I have been put upon.

the lamb is not allowed recourse.

and it is only blood and stone.
the sharp taste of the moment
and the dull slide of the past
keep us


repeat after me –

because beyond the moonlight of the moment,
there will be the unattractive angle,
the harsh overhead light,
a dark circled morning.

because there are things I cannot change
about you
though I would
if given power over genetic tic
or habit learned.

(make you watch as I watch,
laugh as I laugh,
see through my lens,
myopic. kaleidoscopic.)

because you are not as you appear
so often
to others,
graceful, kind, and wholesome.
moody and withdrawn.

a cave without an echo.

because your disregard for routine
leads to angry letters,
unpaid dues,
and blithe disregard of my rants,
a check mark washed by rain.

for every time
you do not understand
what the pull of my needs must be.

with every missed call
and unreturned missive,
that I keep count of.

in every swallowed comment in anger
that brews inside me
and froths
with right.

devoid of fault,
you would be hollow
in my eyes.

because I know just this,
choose you.


something that reaches deep inside –

it is not the green or the rhyme.
without reason, it chooses.
debate it as you will,
in the end it does not matter,
it will decide for you,
leave you,
and you will know too late to wonder.

it is mechanism in retrospect,
decision that you made that led to this place here,
snow without footprints,
dog asleep, breathing, on your numbing leg,
picture fallen from album found under blanket,
email in the inbox,
never opened.

it is chilling to the sense of freedom
we are told to cherish
when it happens,
but it happens,
and there is a sudden glimpse of the plan.

a silk and shining map
beneath us.

we should know from their return
that it is happening
(now, it is happening)
friends left unforgiven,
family presents unbought and unsent and unspoken.
love never released.

back because the twine had twisted
and the shimmer of heat from the road
was a warning
you did not see.
and so you, in the front door, as my car pulled away,
and the photograph of us in the halflight on that mountain,
and Lauren walking slowly in the wet grass, in the white dress,
and how thin the dog was after the trip,
and the letter you use as a bookmark at night,
and your mother’s voice on the answering machine tape,
and the name of the orchid,
and the story we tell of the night we met,
and lying alone on the warm stone floors,
and aspens,
and choosing a color, a diamond, a band,
and the light in the trees, the light in the trees
(you always stopped me to see that, light in the trees)

and it will only be later

that you will know if it is arbitrary

or merely

reaching deeper.


How the end must feel -

I will wear green and face the sun.

a white noise of heat and pressure, a glinting reverie, a removal.
a great gift of a simple day
a plan not made
a removal, again.

the turmoil of your language
which I am deciphering in parses
and the way in which I deserve this,
this uncertainty,
this groping,
it leaves me without the sleep I so crave,
it woke me often at first,
then less so
then more so
then more so, again.

I have loved you well and I have loved you long;
I have written so often of your eyes.

and I have left you in the place where I now find myself.

but I am not good in this universe,
I survive best in my own.

I long for this scarf,
this twist of air and cashmere,
this thing to wrap around my shoulders
my neck,
like a cry,
like a tourniquet,
like a bird held roughly in the hand,
all of these things,
sound and blood and anger,
all of these things, again.

for I survive enough, already.

limited peace is what we are allowed, then certain uncertainty.

the scarf, it is green.

it goes with my eyes.

it will keep me warm,
in the sun.


the little and the grand -

how can he hope to take measure of her heart,
with the calipers, or grams, or tongs from the wall?

she knows no measure of her own.
she is marcella in the evening,
ladling out emotion
over pots that steam and bubble,
infused with her intent.

she encircles her brown eyed companions with high pitched odes to joy,
with rollicking rolling affection,
with protection and with pride.

she watches over her charges,
guards them from themselves,
marshalling her sabrinas
and her landis
separating inner conflicts,
and feeding them
when they fade.

for him she invokes passion
and the abandon she has only known when in his arms
and in his sight,
addicted to him,
the unexpected.

and in her eyes are oceans,
and starlight behind cloud cover,
and something that runs rapid and yet never speaks its name.

so she knows no easy confine,
and there is no chart to register the way that she loves living;
there is no measure for this heart.


the invitation -

Feel this?

That's me, the bad man.
I am here in your room,
behind this chair,
pressing things upon you that you never knew,
watching you tremble
In joy.

That is my finger on your nipple,
and my thumb besides,
pulling up
like the drunken gardener,
ripe on lust
redolent with pain.

Yes, my lips.

raspy on the neck's sweet fleshy part.

open for me.

close your eyes.

You are not unconscious,
eating my stubble,
beg for more in your

Think of me in light,
the perimeter of a time when you were electric
with sensation.

Do I stake this plot as owned?

like a groggy morning.
as you kept traveling forward.

The air the only evidence
that I was even there.

I can do all this without touching one hair.

I am the one warned about.

And I will come for you.


her hold on me -

So she will sit in Central Park,
sometime in the sixties,
with legs curled as a calligraph,
and hair bound with a scarf,
and arms pressing down,
to hold the earth,

a young Grace,
with green eyes.

Or she will tum the faulted corner
with a word like phyllo or duerme,
and I will see her absorbed with Maria,
brushing her hair back
in a Puerto Rican spell.

She was not a woman who would ever dance alone.

I wondered at one point,
had someone spirited her away,
told her things
that we were never meant to hear,
so did she,
bake them into her breads,
ladle them into our bowls,
scent her golden hair with whispers.

That would explain much.

Why there was a chill when she left a room.

Quiet when she tired of things.

Safety in her arms and the sound of her Spanish,
the mother tongue I never learned.

The balance of her love was heavy on this heart,
and marks me to this day.

Children must grow,
though I never thought myself
the child.