After the Ending, Before Begins Again

My soul doesn’t understand this dead language
Muttering gritty salt
Ground between worn teeth
That permeates the cold air
Bleeds like a chapter book
Quiet stories on musty yellow pages
The reds are blue
And the blues are black
This breaking
That splits the air, the bitter dripping poison
Is another phase
Heavy drugged eyes
Dread opening day
The nights are empty
Void of sharp edges, bookcases, final endings
My sleep was rounded, curved away
Like flowers reaching for the sun
The black is grey now
Dried up and dispersed
Loss is eternity
And then it ends
And I’m drunk
Lips form words and fingers read poetry
Hands and hips and homes and hair
Burn to the ground
I loved you
I don’t know what else.



A Man I Never Knew, Never Knew A Man

His gentle soaks into my fearful and crushes chaos

His thoughtful sneaks up on my distraction and our minds’ align to obliterate a dreaded cold fate

Kindness seeps from his skin

Our happiness improvises lines from nighttime sighs where I’m his sweetheart and he’s my man.

His hands are a house and his breath is a car

His grip on my hip
Is a quiet Sunday street, empty sidewalk baking in the sun
I’m not scared
Of being here with him
Those old fears were crushing
Love ushered away on another summer day, blue and red lights flashing
But today is new
The heat settles in and swallows my scarred
My evil ugly worried tail
And I feel human

This budding, emerging man beside me
Pushes up through the concrete
Hungry for water and light
I sit down now and
Nurturing pours from my fingertips

I want to knead any hard parts with my knuckles until his skin turns pink
And we sigh together
Softened again.

Passing Through Ridgewood

The night air touches my cheek
With affection
Whispering sweetly, sincere
Calming an uneasy head haunted lately by bad dreams
The street is quiet and I’m alone
Feet echoing on the pavement like a single heartbeat
The hum of window ac units
And distant mariachi music
Remind me of families huddled together now on worn couches
As I pass
Pink cheeks peacefully pressed against mother’s chest
Lives mushrooming from the quiet that once was the emptiness of a lonely room
Love blasts from the stoop
A tornado that sweeps me off my feet and sets me down again, stunned
I don’t have anyone to call my own
But the scent of trees in bloom tonight
Brings me to tears
The volume of my soul is turned up
My spine is a totem pole and my legs swing in revolutions
That time I stitched my own tattered tongue and reassembled my fractured ribs did not scar me
My freedom is tangible
I carry it in my pocket and it courses through my headphones
I whistle the tune
While my love waits its turn
My dreams are bright and painful
These days
They light the street in front of me
And I don’t have anyone
But I have this.

My Heart Is A Mosaic


You focus on picking up the pieces of your life
Pasting them on a blank canvas
Colorful collage of self and solitude
You sing a story with snapshots that can only be found in travel magazines and books left at bus stops
You deliberately slice each page in two
Take the half you need and leave the rest
Piece after piece, surgery after surgery
You’re crafting a world by tearing apart what once was whole
You took my right arm
My knee
My nipple
But I still have a heart
And I never told you this secret
I never let you know my heart is a mosaic
Made from the rubble of a million glass houses
Formed by the sun playing on the lake in late August
Hold it up to the light and you’ll see something new each day
Its beauty is best viewed dancing under a canopy of trees beside a fire
A few hours before dawn
Hair filled with smoke, body pumping life
And it’s true
This glass ball can break too
It’s been smashed apart like yours
But the pieces are continuously, meticulously glued back together
I take what is already broken and rebuild
No cutting
No blank canvas
Just a collection of tiny parts that pressed together transform
Into a billion brilliant moments traipsing across the water.

There’s a pocketful of happiness in waiting, but a mouthful of loneliness, too

He is okay waiting. Jumping from one rock to the next under the sun, warm, hungry.

“Creating happiness is like throwing a pot,” he thinks to himself, pausing at the edge of a rushing brook. It runs, jumping, along black dirt, under sturdy bridges where people bring their children to school. It glitters as it flows into a river. Fish smile and run along with their gang. They feel a part of something truly special.

The river winds around like a chutes and ladders board and a dog walks in, up to its belly. Laps up some water with its pink tongue and the little girl at the bank giggles. It’s such an infectious laugh, her father thinks, and a tear slips from his eye.

And he sees it all, resting by the edge of that brook. He drinks all of it down and it nourishes him. He is okay waiting, content.

There’s a pocketful of happiness in waiting, but a mouthful of loneliness, too. He chews at it a while and calls her on the phone. Says, “But the wait isn’t so bad,” and “Happiness is a matter of molding a pot with your hands, then throwing it in the fire.” There’s glaze and paint and other brightly colored things applied. They are so beautiful we can’t look away.

“But,” she says, “Pots are fragile. They break.” She gave up waiting a long while ago. She is inspired by his hope and the sunshine that hits his hair and makes his eyes azure. “But, life happens,” she said and remembered how pots are thrown from the balcony after screaming turns to silence. Only to shatter on the pavement, brown insides exposed, azure and mustard paint glittering under the streetlight as she cries, crouched on the lawn, hoping the neighbors don’t see.

He drops the phone and turns away from the brook. He begins to run, bare feet beating the hard ground. Warm skin stung by the cold pavement. He runs and runs, happy still, heart filled with hope. Little beads of sweat trickle down his forehead and the cotton on the back of his neck is wet.

“Why wait when the time can be now?” he thinks.