asylum

look behind you:

the orchard-lined hall-

way; all the things that have

grown up and pushed out fruit

 

in your wake; the worn door frames

and door knobs, the sleeked floors slipping

under committed feet, the living point of contact

keeping you both here, resolved—all in, so to speak.

 

not since those first nine months

have you ever been so

in love with a

lynchpin.

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forgive me, father

forgive me, father

for i have sinned;

 

it’s been fifteen days

since my last poem.

 

these first baby steps

are weird and wonder-

 

ful; i wonder where

they are taking me.

 

maybe to you—to the

brightest thing in my life.

 

let me know where

your heart is;

 

let me know your

words so i can

 

steal them away:

the purest relation-

 

ship, you say, preserved

in this crystalline distance.

 

can you see them? the pink

clouds rowing through the sky?

 

humming right along-

side? we’re almost there.

love to you and

the way you hold a

pencil,     the way you bend and tilt

 

toward what is important, toward

what moves you     and yet holds

 

you in stilled animation,

wonder,     desire;

 

the way your face      opens

to the widest smile, the

 

bluest

laugh,          like music

 

giving in.     love to you and

the granular tender-

 

ness in your eyes, on your

finger   tips, between the     universe

 

of your lips,     the tension of your sighs. this

kind of     love     has no name; it is just a

 

grate   ful   ness to be in the

same world with      you.

i want to read you

i want to read you;

i want to feel your words

slip over me, pull me into

their tide, strip me down with

their waves without trying.

 

i want to listen to the music

of your thought, follow it

into the forest, happen upon

a leprechaun and wood spryte

making gold, making love.

 

i want the letting of all this

matter into energy; these

disguises to fall away, the

memories of mountain-tops

to sway in their return.

 

i want to deep-dive into a

painting of a thousand sun-

sets, moments spent think-

ing of you; of our writing, of

our meeting: one and the same.

from when you died

there are missing pages in my

diary from when you died.

 

it was not a time for growing

poetry; all the words went in-

 

to the eulogy—which made every

thing else seem meaningless: even

 

music felt foreign and wrong. i

questioned every thing—my job,

 

my place in the family, my space

in the world. all my energy went

 

into finding documents, finding

pictures, trying to find you in the

 

boxes and piles of audio cassettes,

ledgers, sewing kits, coffee mugs.

 

it wasn’t until much later that the

words began to knit together; they

 

were in my head all along—but

needed to be brought to cohesion.

 

there’s a reason this time remains in

my mind: it is a hunt, a meditation, a

 

docking station for the spirit. i must

remember the things that god can do.

 

i must remember that music is for

feeling, and poetry is for eating.

 

i must remember the empty pages

from when you died, with love.

 

 

 

 

 

un-finish-ed

we watch our mothers, and

our mothers’ mothers; we

see the face cream, the grays

edging in, the soft clasp of

 

gravity. but we don’t think we

will become them; we don’t think

we believe in form, in discipline,

in the sparrows hiding in the

 

fury. but gradually, gradually, the

edges begin to blur, the beaks start

to speak, and the frame fills:     this

is the only way to be with both the

 

sorrow and the bliss, with the passing of so

many chapters, and the grisly opening of a

deeper chasm of books never fully read, never

fully grasped, up to the very end: un-finish-ed.