Cold Air Companion

The cold air is his companion now
Brightly–colored leaves kiss his neck
The sharp scent of dying matter
Hugs him close at night
And he sighs in its embrace.

I ricochet down sunny sidewalks.

Mothers and children and mothers and children
Off to run errands or clean the house
Smiles that shatter my calm
With rebellious joy.

He closes his eyes and soaks in the warmth.

I do the same
Imagining him here as I cross the street.

Missing is the wrong word, we struggle to define this
This ache, this happy, throbbing wound
This hope
Without which
We would dry up and float away.

33

Relearning Thought/Being

I asked you how to live
w/ the shadow of death
cast over a heart
massive as a mountain
morning on the fairy tale
west coast
but you’ve never been there,
or even dreamed of it.

Do you swallow death like a pill each morning with breakfast?

Does it sit next to you on the train and nod off, bumping your shoulder with its head, reminding you it’s still by your side, even here?

Does it call, panicked, in tears at night devoid of hope or even reason?

Do you try to love it away?

Or fall to the ground consumed with

[fear for the living]

[pale ghost, terrified to look back at what once was, the sharp glass shards of abandonment ground into bare feet]

How to bring a ghost to life

love can’t

it has no mouth
or hands
it can’t reveal you as one of the living as you stare into the mirror, filled with anger.

It only sits in my heart and
spills from my lips
and it is
and it heals me
and I am one, small part
of this whole.

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It’s summer: I’m sentimental and sleepy

There once lived a natural sentiment
confined to a one-room loft
in the city
in a heart
longing to
break free from its container
hoping it would one day
materialize as
hand clasped in hand
soft breath on bare back as hair tumbles down
and two souls
rise
then
fall
as one

please dear shed the fear that confines
that lonely sentiment
to a dark one room loft
in the city
in the summer
with just one window
as it stares out at the garden
yearning to lie in the grass beneath the sun waiting for a brief cool wave of air
to free it
so rare
the heat is heavy
but a breeze will at once break the stillness and brush its hand across your cheek.

A series of city verses

Smiling at the Myrtle Ave. sign,
the bodega cat,
the rainbow of shoes that cross the street.

Nodding at St. Francis who
forever peers toward heaven.

Winking at the little lady
who cries into her phone,
“Don’t go. Don’t go.”

She sketches them as
they stare at their shoes.

The movement of the city
on an optimist’s afternoon,
all the beautiful women walk their dogs.

Since the worst thing that could happen
has
nothing worries me anymore.

Smiles splatter like buckshot
on the concrete
Rain gurgles in the gutter.

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Beauty in Order

Thoughts explode on paper
Scattered
I rearrange them
A series of numbers, letters
Code
A language in which you’re fluent
Words leave my tongue unsure
And find structure in your mind

A massive expanse of nothing is swallowed up
As the sun explodes
Complete disorder ensues
Particles of stardust drift through the abyss
Millions of miles
To find a partner with which to bind
Electrons, neutrons, protons
Become birds, boats, lips, teeth, skin
I touch yours and feel electrified
The earth rotates on its axis just so
Summer becomes winter and you need time
The earth circles the sun sandwiched by Venus and Mars
A tiny speck
But here we are
Smaller still
And I wait
A part of the endless expanse
We circle one another, drawn together
Our bodies are comprised of a chemical soup
Our minds a billion neurons firing furiously
But here my thoughts again drift back to you
Another page is structured and sense is made of chaos
Words that float, lost through my head
Are pulled into orbit by your brilliance, the beautiful light of your mind
I place them once more in code
A digital map
And you trace my lines
Pull them in, close to your heart
Where sense is made of senselessness
Entropy is destroyed
And it’s this we’ve created.

Flintstone Kids

Image

I want to grow as I grow old
roots twisting deep into the earth
spine straight and heavy
strength in my chest

I want you to know
I don’t need you

I stand up and stretch,
fingers push softly to the sky
feet grip the ground

When you are here and we are

I will not be a part of you
I will be with you
heart with
heart
mind with
mind

we’ll grow together
as we peel life

uncovering beauty beneath each layer
we’ll be nourished
as we inch toward heaven.

treee

Love does not stop either

When death hangs in the pit of your stomach and pretends to move like a baby in a womb, you simply sit up and stand and head out and go. And do this and do that and talk talk talk.

“This sadness is crippling,” she said, sitting on the ground among spoons, shoes, notebooks and long stripes of sunlight.

Breathing had become difficult.

Death is not the bad guy, she said. It’s life that turns on us.

I agreed, but I didn’t want her to believe it. I frowned and said nothing.

I expected the gun shot to my head, but she never did. She sat in a hot car, sun streaming through the windows, talking about the absence of god and how death really isn’t so bad. She could feel everything. She was as bright as the lake as they crossed the bridge.  Her feelings were colorful and the volume of her life was all the way up. She tasted and drank until she couldn’t fit any more.

Death now hangs at the bottom of her belly. It fills her up and there’s no room for the rest.

“I can’t breathe.” Her face was pale and her eyes hollow. “I need a mouth to press to my mouth to bring me back to life.”

I shuddered. Her flesh had begun to rot and I could smell death as I stared at her lips.

Please, take my hand, I cried.

She couldn’t. She wasn’t able to move. Her face did not twitch as she stared straight ahead.

Death filled her and the only movement I could see was a tiny foot that pushed up from beneath the skin of her abdomen. I fell back gasping for air, filled with the realization of life. That life. That death. That love does not stop either.

Silence

You are the croaking of frogs on a muggy night

The sound of summer

In that one specific place and time
A yellow house with brown shutters
Hot air heavy on our heads
Breathing into cotton pillowcases
Sleeping bags damp with sweat
We didn’t have beds but sleep came easy as the frogs trilled
Anger-filled voices from the next room gave way to silence and
silence
was the sound
of croaking.