Friday, November 30, 2007

you keep a tally on
the wall above the
headboard of who
is on top, and when
i am getting too much
ahead, you rearrange
the names and somehow
that makes it even –
past midnight, we always
find too much sense in your
reasoning, when i am
a drunk, and you
are the lone bartender
lassoing my thirst

Thursday, November 29, 2007

when your father said
don’t get your heart
stolen, you ran out
onto the beach, eyes weighing
the sky, and you called to ask me
if there were a place
in my big city
to dream, understanding
that in a perfect world, you could
pick up that coral and be
with me, like listening
for the ocean, sleeping
in my mouth

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

running around like a chicken with its head cut off...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

with a bouquet of
history in one hand
a fading hourglass
in the other, you try
to convince
me that when we are
together, we become more
of who we already are
apart, but the torn
pages have
leaked and the years
have changed colors
on twisted vines
i have bound
my life, and those pages
have never belonged in here

Monday, November 19, 2007

on the warmest november
night, the saddest thing
i have ever
heard was wrapped
in your happiness
when you nearly
after five years, “i can
become human again,”
as if you were
a trapped dragon
enclosed in your
steeliest suit
armored against
hope’s slippery face
waiting to tip into flight

Friday, November 16, 2007

five years before the divorce, they were
debating daily over who would pick up
the children when and where
each pushing
the task to the other, wondering
how they have grown
so tired all at once
always one argument away
from finally collapsing.

one year before the separation
they tried losing
every angle, disappearing in
overtime for hours to avoid
confrontation. they picked up
and dropped off the children like
clockwork, taking turns civilly.
they have long found excuses
to sleep in separate beds.

six months before the divorce, they were
debating daily over who would pick up
the children when and where
each claiming
their parental devotion, wondering
how much they have grown
worrying how much more
room they could grow apart and
away from their separating hearts.

one year after the divorce, they noticed the sun
still rose from the east

Thursday, November 15, 2007

(four for shw)

on hearing the news
of your impending
death, i am sick
to my stomach, allowing
an evening of confirmation
to travel cross-country
as i toss
and turn and awaken
to the finality
and it is finally
time for grief, you –
emptied of sickness
and we – refilling
of approved loss

for everyone there comes
that day
when we will be carried
one flight, two flights, even
six flights of stairs
out of our homes and
the sun
sunless, bodies
no longer

when everything works, we do not
question and rarely
wonder at the absurdity
of how, when
they unveiled your
liver and discovered
the most barbaric
decaying, we look
to our misshapened
hearts and reconfirm
our most secret
desires to continue
beating, waking
knocking our knuckles
against all closed
doors and keeping
the perpetually opening one

upturning death and
you, a deafening sorrow
summer’s ending shroud

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

remembering how this feels...

compromising music
drying white men in suits
and ties with their white
arm-toting wives support
music on the side like the
butter, the sauce, the sprig
of leaf atop the dessert
i’ve shook hands with all
of them i can’t wash away
one guy’s oil fields enough
and another lady’s rings
and the firmness of my
hypocrisy and i’m sorry
for running to you unclean

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

tonight, it took five
policemen to take you
away, hopeless
cuffed behind your back
long, black
hair still teasing
your face as you
all the way
these stairs, across the
saddest hallway, echoing
your por favors
and down
the front stoop
where silent blue
lights have stirred a
hundred pairs of sleepy
eyes through city windows
to play witness
on the warmest night
of your arrest, when
summer is putting up
her last fight and in
every way, you
have just lost

Monday, November 12, 2007

you say i must be
a clandestine
track star
because i want to
stop and go with you
all the time, and i am
taking a real good look
at you - still
crazy after all these
years - wondering how
it seems
that we are only
meeting again
for the very first time

Friday, November 09, 2007

good fences hold
good lies – everything, but
promises, and as you fortify
the circle keeping us
safer, you cradle our
dreams, an accidental
suffocation – and when
we look
up, we see the closest
semblance to prison
a well of a sky

Thursday, November 08, 2007

(for b, a stolen memory)

after nineteen years, it is still
a mystery
whether Grandpa
or the Atlanta Braves
kept better time
across those long, warm
nights, ushered in by a bowl
of strawberries cooling
in Grandma’s whipped cream

like clockwork
between the 3rd
and 6th innings, i would be
rooting for Dale
to the steady
indiscriminate nodding
from Grandpa’s appetizing

the Braves would play – sometimes
slowly, sometimes picking up
the pace – until effortlessly,
Grandpa would raise his head
to welcome the sixth inning scrolling
in from the same Chevy
commercial, and nobody were ever
the wiser on who kept time better:
Grandpa or the Atlanta Braves

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

found: a new york city postcard
with twin towers intact, a handful of letters
behind the façade, still holding up
kisses and all the sentiments
one reserves for postcards
on the rush

traditionally requiring
no response, i have suitably lost
an appropriate reaction, timelessly
treading that crumbling grey
sky, all hushed
but for the wailing –

you ran up to the roof;
you stood lost
between Thompson and Sullivan;
you stared out
your Brooklyn window
from across the waters;
i sat locked
in morning traffic

and someone held
this postcard, in love

how to say yes –
the city, wound
tightly, can still unfurl
the most complexly alive
secrets, as we empty
and refill ourselves
with these lost
or found moments

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

already, the muscles of day
and night are tearing and
rehealing, stretching
and slicing the hours into
the seconds
that carry your
voice across these primordial
wires shaping my veins
and the seconds that stand
still, waiting to evolve –
a natural selection
in bas-relief

Monday, November 05, 2007

à cause des photos
november’s wrinkling
magnolia stacking up
terraces of
sun, you
haphazardly looking
up from beneath
a slip of light fallen
across those curved
edges, a captured
vulnerability, the
unwieldy sky’s
suffering intensity