smothered

Up until that point
I had seen no 
clearer skies 
or stars as abundant 

I remember you
in images of 
the fire on the shore 
sounds of the dark waves,
the blanket on the sand-

I read my book instead 
of looking at you
under those stars.

And tonight 
across the 
blackest of clouds
a lighting storm
a cascade of 
lines and energy 
of matter and change 

You were both there
and not there 

Just the same as
under the Milky Way
at the shores of 
the Great Lakes

on the edge of the fire 
that we smothered with 
sand and water.


Hands

I left you in July,
started again in August. 
I’ll spend September 
wondering how
you are. 

You sat there
holding my hands,

“I don’t want to 
let you go,”

You implored,
as if you could not see
that I no longer knew 
the hands in my own. 

I knew you no more
or no less
than I had
the July before
or the one before that. 

“I miss that special bond,”

He said to me, a week after. 

What bond 
is silent,
I wanted to ask. 

What bond 
exists only 
in two laptop screens
and a tv monitor 
a late night cuddle,
a quick- paced walk. 

Perhaps you did know me
more than I knew you. 

Maybe I let you know me. 

The me that left 
and rose from your
bedroom floor
knows not 
of how or why 
two years from the day 
I asked for promises 
changed everything 
I thought I wanted. 

Split

“Stay present,” 

He advises.

Lovingly;
Selflessly

“I don’t want
you split between
two places.”

I want to laugh

You see,
you’ve been with
me, in the
mountains of
West Virginia.

Along the shores
of the
Great Lakes.

I saw you in
the mouth of
Mammoth Cave.

When the fireworks
reflected in
the D.C. waters.

I haven’t left
your hometown
in weeks.

“I’ll do my best,”

I assure him.

I’ve been trying
to untangle my
feet
wrestle them into
one place

For over a year.

spotlight

the scene was 
static

and as you approached
the only light left
was (on) you

“You’re the dancer,”

he introduced, smiling.

“Yes,”

I managed.

I look back
at that moment, frozen.
It melts as
the light transforms 
into a spotlight 

Make music,
I want to say to you.

watch me dance
for you.

D minor

There are only so many 
chords and notes

I haven’t learned them
all and I’m not sure if -

Are these enough?

I know rhythms that
we've created
in innocent
moments

then there are the ones
he, of course,
added to
and spontaneously -

it's fluid and changing
and the lyrics do not
fit or seem to end -

Falter.
I’m no braver today
than yesterday.

I want to add to it
but what I have in front
of me can only take me
so far.

You see,
I wrote you a song.

I play it,
wondering
the ways you would
respond

Would you make it your own?

Would you want it to change?

The song starts in minor
the sound of its harmony
fades
into uncertainty.

What would you say
if I asked you to
finish it,
together?

I know the answer.

That’s not even the
right question.

I’m really asking -

Do you hear it in the
same ways
I do?

So far from the keys,
I don’t have the
ability
to write its end.

It’s there, though,
in chords and
notes that only
you know.

it flows, you see,
for you, alone.








Choice

Does it always 
come to this?

fire and ice

Blue springs or
Rainy canals

the dancing flames
blue reflections
they revel in
their changing
views

Let the answer exist
in the ampersand.

Until then
I’ll find my
joy
in long walks
coffee after dinner

I’ll pick
mulberries
and
listen to his
singing

I’ll run, steady
until the answer
reveals itself.

You see -

Both
forces
have the capacity

to burn.

problems

have i told you
the realization
i've come to
as the fireworks 
blazed
and time told us
to start again

i've determined
that most (all) 
of the problems i encounter
are of my own 
making

they belong to me
and in this conclusion

behind the regret and
the defensiveness 

lives the answer
that all along
i've had the power
and potential
to heal.

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.
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.

Seashell

There is
something
to the idea 
of riding the wind 
instead of stubbornly 
trying to change its direction.

I walk to the ocean's edge 
find a seashell in the sand 
I toss it back to the water. 
It doesn’t belong to me anyway.