but we keep
Inside these walls, fix them up,
build them up again, patch the holes
we’re leaking out everywhere,
seeping through the cracks, every piece of
us, of Us, running down the walls
flowing through the gutters, spilling
away from this place. Here I hung
curtains of hope and invited the sun in,
but the sun has gone and the glass is
broken and so are we, so are we, and all
that was here is cracked from your words
turned inside out, this house we were,
and all our ghosts and angry walls
can’t contain broken glass and bullet holes.
We take it with us and move on.
what once floated on lost
grew roots from the sky, and they
wrapped around clouds, painting them
luminous and full of harmony,
and the roots of found rained down
in gentle hold, showed the trees
how to stay the seasons, how to last
they spread and deepened, wove
through time, centuries of roots,
paths that crossed and crossed again
until it became one path that grew
and led us home
The sailboat waited for the wind,
for the tide to rise, and the clouds
waited for the sun, while the trees waited
for rain. The river waited for the moon
to tell its tidal tales, and the fish waited
for the river to flow their days. And it was
quiet, and still, and I was waiting, too.
I was counting tides on the sailboat,
waiting for you.
you’re on a plane but you are not coming home,
waiting in line, third for take-off, a life through
oval windows, and you’re off again, gaining air
losing ground, time spend moving around,
departures and arrivals, runways and wind direction,
climbing and descending, landing gear,
it’s just another day, another day I drink tea alone,
another day the sky claims home
Use all your tools
To crush her, to grind
Show her what happens
when someone leaves
you, leaves YOU.
She’ll be sorry when
there’s nothing left
of her but
Watch her crumble,
stomp on her, kick
what’s left, and then
call her a breakdown,
a total loss, a waste,
watch her fall
trying to save
watch the waves
and whisper in your
tiny, monstrous voice,
You make a joke
You throw a joke
I am the joke
Can’t I take a joke
They laugh, they look
You smile, I within
I am the joke
What’s wrong, but
They know, I just
Can’t take a joke
I am the joke
It is me
And they laugh
At your jokes
They laugh at me
You grow like
A giant fed by
Their laughter, and
I shrink – tiny, tiny
Me, and that makes
An even better joke
So you say that, too
The laughs swallow
Me up, tiny me
She used to face the wind, steady
strength worn in straight lines and
sound steps. But harsh nights
and bitter words weathered her
core, washed away resolve,
beat down seasoned worth,
pieces fall away, she lets
them go, it’s all broken
anyway, layers of fall
lean and snap of
her, cruel words
grab, she’s only
a fragment of
what she was,
the rest of
don’t blossom here, flower,
close up, go back inside. don’t reach,
for your sun, don’t open your petals
wide. don’t smile, or believe, or
speak your fuschia dreams.
he’ll pick you if you bloom just right,
grip you, rip you, wilt your hue,
until a lovelier one blooms, and he will
drop you. pick her. pick her. pick her.
you’ll be lying on the ground, with no
way to grow. wither. hold your blooms,
dear flower, let him pick no more.
all the ways I drown in silence
as lifeboats climb trees
the tidal pull, the listen for you
but wave after wave of mute breath
while your forests are alive with float
songs of save, so far away
sink, sink in salty quiet
none of your life lines reach
they play melodies in trees
and I struggle
wordless rip current
He and she lived a simple life of years
in a house with shuttered windows
and a garden of roses by the back door.
But she was I and he was you and years were only
things that didn’t happen and things that did.
And the house was a palace and a prison
and an empty box, and it was all so complicated.
The windows were weary eyes that always
watched, and the door, the door was the keeper,
the releaser, the rectangle of know; behind there,
questions were born. And yellow roses grew out back,
but so did thorns, and we never knew which we would
collect. Strings of together pulling, binds of tight,
and then invisible hands to reach down
and sweep away our tangled life.
We talk about the way you build wooden boats with your hands,
and the way the sun shines off the water when we canoe across the lake.
And we talk about the snow in the winter and the way the snowflakes fall in the quiet.
We talk about the way that you rode an elephant in Thailand along the side of a cliff,
and the elephant put one foot in front of the other so he kept on the trail,
and the way I went dogsledding in Alaska, felt the dogs pull and heard the trees whisper blue.
We talk about the summers of sun, sand and waves, and how we grew with salt water in our veins. And we talk of our smiles and our failures and the lessons we learned, tomorrow’s plans
and time that we hold in the palm of our hands. We talk until the coffee grows cold and the night grows wings, until the words have words no more, but our eyes keep talking.
We don’t talk about your aneurysm that might kill you tonight, or tomorrow, and we don’t talk about my brain tumor that’s growing as we speak.
We don’t talk about it.
long ago he had gone
to the silence, though
she held time as if was
the hands that once
caressed her cheek
before the decay of days
the way his eyes never
fell upon her anymore
their journey away
had begun before the trees
wept and footsteps grew
farther in colder days
the surrender of years
until nothing remained
but the window watching
tell me again
what’s wrong with me.
I’ll pull up a chair,
like a child listening
to a bedtime story,
while you list all the ways
I will never be enough,
remind me why I am alone,
sing me my failures,
question my abilities,
paint my inferiority,
hum my inadequacy,
strum the notes of my wrongs,
then ask me
How did she taste, when I was writing poems for you?
Was her bed warm, did you sing to her, too, while I waited
in silence for you? Did you look behind or ahead or only
in her eyes? Was the press of her flesh all you needed
to feel alive? Were my words tossed aside like last weeks
trash, while you cherished her body, and I walked alone
outside? Did you wonder what it meant as you sighed in
release, the waves of torment you set on the seas? Or do
you owe nothing to no one and your body is free? Do you
realize that your body will never claim me?
“I will end up alone he says,” and in the silent pause,
so many doors close. She collects the know before the feel,
cancels the gray-haired couple, arm-in-arm,
rocking late days on the porch of music. Promises
to stay, believe, carry him to night, those are blown away,
stripped like maples’ autumn color, disappear like summer
days. Perhaps he chose alone to spare her in some way.
Though the layer of fallen leaves and torn up plans weighs
deeply through her bones, she carries pieces of him with her.
He will never be alone.
secrets like a tree torn of leaves,
each one a truth untold, even
the desperate grip of branches
could not stop the fall. sun stares,
demands honesty, reveals deceit
in her glare. his wooden arms
are no match for her golden gaze,
so all of it falls, half-truths and lies,
and he becomes bare, only bony
fingers of regret, reaching out,
as if she would forgive. she covers
her eyes in clouds and turns away.
On the balcony, overlooking the sea, inside of time,
they drank their tea. Blessed by orange and gold,
the sun set slowly, holding every moment,
hand in hand, a dream set on repeat.
Yesterday came and went, and the ticket remained
on the shelf. She folded up the sunset with the tea,
inside the hands, palm lines underneath time.
Today is forever remembering tomorrow.
On the Sun’s day, she called for a walk,
so I obliged, and listened to the birds of Spring.
They sang to each other, but left me out of their songs.
My steps were slow, while walking, to know.
And back in the woods, so far that I was alone,
they began to come, each at a different place
on my path: those that I fear most –
the snakes. They wound right to me, looked through
my eyes, never stopping – though I could not
move. They each wore different clothes, but none
feared me; they approached. Stopped.
Spoke their silence. Froze me in the leafy moment.
Seven times, seven snakes, seven silences,
each of them with something to say.