quiet

I like him best 
while he
plays his strings 
kisses my neck 
existing quietly,
together 

Is that fair 
when so much 
of his energy 
is loud and bold 

sometimes I think
the quiet of the 
last two years 
changed me 
even when 

I resented it. 

enough

I am always somewhere else
not in one place
on to the next 
back there and 
even further on.

Tell me, 
when will the waxing 
crescent 
above the setting sun 
be enough 

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. 

Fireworks

I wanted to 
write
in biting
verse

Asking about
your party
and my friends
in attendance

I’d make some
metaphor about
Independence Day

I wanted to
lash out
and ask
how the space
felt as you
hosted.

I’m still angry -

I’m still grateful.

I’m not going
to maneuver my
schedule around
your’s, anymore.

And I won’t
reach for you
in drunken texts
or in venomous
poems.

In the end
all it is
is missing you
and us
and the summer
before

And if I can’t
let go
I hope you can.

I hope you find
better

I hope it’s
more than
fireworks.

Oh,
didn’t I tell you?

I repel
the explosions
and the smoke

Sometimes
I hate them.

The empty sky
and hidden stars
once the show
ends.

But you’re
not them
and you’re
no performance

You’re sun
in February
and lightning
in June.

You are joy.

“How was your party?”

I’ll ask, pointedly.

“Did you see fireworks?”

And if you ask if I
saw them, too,
I’ll nod and smile
in the same
restrained way
you smile at me, now.

“Sure, I saw them,”

knowing damn well
I didn’t even look.

Overused

It’s the pendulum,
swinging one way
and returns again

Back and forth
gravity keeps its
repeating patterns
oscillating between
doubt and knowing

Kinetic to potential
and back again
until gravity wins

I’m the one receiving
the force
I’m the one asking
for change
and staying the same

Tensions
decide how long
this period
will last.

Swing me,
I want to say.

Do what you
must and do it
until the stillness
feels so empty
I have to
do it again.

Is the metaphor
correct?

Maybe it’s me at the ends
and not in the middle

Maybe I’m both.

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.

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.