four tens

give and take
and more give than take

whiskey regrets and bathroom falls
stabilizing (humbling) promises of love
the shooting star across the Michigan
Milky Way 

 off roading to the last campsite
 lone walks with the Red Woods
 towards the vineyards of Napa

 found nerve in the mountains of Whistler
 And jealousy turned envy
with the sound of arpeggios 
new friendship
built on the chords
of his guitar

Languages 
opa and oma
nanna and nanno
red lights 
and waterboat champagne

no feelings preceded
or warned
for the great pause
except for
maybe 
the desire 
for rest
turned to 
months of 
homemade food 
movie nights
furry companions turned family
boredom
fear.

Stillness in chaos.

Nanno gardens
at 93
the world marches 
and cries;

The world moves.

Nature roars.
I visit with 
backpacks and boots
I camp at its waters
Skinny dipping
in the great lakes
Lane Cove is where peace
dances with the dragonflies;

He holds me when I'm scared. 

Masks are worn
for more reasons than hiding, now
more parts to protect
the nation votes
one side wins
the other (why is there the other)
braces.

four tens
turn to three sevens

I'm unsure
which mask I'll bring
with me

What I will take is my 
love of what came before.

I'll take the life i've created
and the life i've been given.

I'll take the joy
and I'll (try) to give even more.

    

loves

and in the end
or the beginning

which ever end
you start to
untangle or
string together

it's in loving them

both

that will
restore

or
renew

which ever
frame you
choose
it’ll be the
same picture

It’s not one
or the other

I keep trying to
picture either
course

and they begin
with loose ends
and finish
in tight knots

I’d rather hold
both

if they let me.

doubt

I know she came before

that summer
and the beach
the balcony plants
the orange tree

I understand
you said
you’ve moved on

I’m wondering
if moving on 
for you
means holding 
her space

while I
hold out
my heart

wondering if 
you’ll take it
while giving
your own
to her.

Full

Kisses 
fall to my 
forehead 
to the
crevice of my neck.

"What are you doing?"

I ask,
laughing,
holding his face
between my hands.

"I don't want you to run out."

He kisses my forehead, again.

"Then I need 10 more."

He takes my face in his hands.

"There,"

he responds,
looking satisfied.

"I gave you 12."
I
wonder
about the people

the ones who 
slip off their coat
and place it on the seat
or above
in the train's 
compartment

I 
wonder 
about the
ones who 
keep their coats 
on

the ones who haven't 
yet settled in

the ones who are
ready to leave

I think there's a real difference
between the two.

Polarities

I often
find that with
gratitude 
I experience the
overwhelming belief 
that I am 

undeserving 

and the two 
can seem
contradictory

opposite ends  

both feel
reasonable
and 
irrational
at once

They say things change

I suppose it's true
that
connections and 
friendships 
wax and wane

that
falling in love
and career pursuits
take energy
and 
priority

Still I wonder
or maybe regret.

the
appraisal of life's
needs and 
obligations 
and my own wants 

it's the balance
I have not yet learned