we will have words

there’s no room in my life

for new men; because the old

 

ones keep creeping in.

at night, they get the lay

 

of the land. still, after all

this time—they inhabit the

 

dreams of both body and

mind. every now and then

 

a new man will arrive on

the scene: in real life.

 

a good man. a man who

makes me feel alive.

 

we will have words;

so help me god.

 

we will have a new life,

a new touch, a clean rain.

 

and i will be reminded:

you are not your pain.

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each time you get better

i will never forget what it feels like to fall

in love—because i feel it every year at this

 

time: the deep stillness; the wind; the wait;

the open sky; the crucible of cooler air, shifting

 

leaves, things coming out of the cracks to play.

it’s a final act; you can feel the beauty in the

 

urgency. it’s everything you’ve trained for—

happening in these few months—at a breath-

 

taking pace: the sugar build, the fullness,

the vivid colors, the dance;    the fall; a giant

 

hinge turning in a door as you watch it open,

smile, take a huge breath, and then close.

 

in those precious moments, everything

tastes better; everything feels brighter;

 

music sounds better; you feel lighter.

but everything in this life is temporal:

 

everything changes, everything dies.

even in the middle of your love, your

 

cells are singing right before their final sigh.

each time you get better at saying goodbye.

 

 

we are always building

i miss the feeling of shaking

from something other than

 

anger, other than fear. i go

to my window and look for the

 

little flowers of hope. they are

every where; fragments amid

 

very long sentences: the swallow

tail, the barn swallow, the migrating

 

monarch. your energy goes where it’s

needed; there, it meets the energy it needs.

 

fire is friction.

imagine these are real:

 

a tiny wild child on your knee,

a tired dictator on the other, the

 

view of your own face from the

inside; they are all in the arena

 

with you: daring greatly.

we are always building: bridges,

 

portals, spirals, spaceships—

without knowing. all the

 

water droplets are being

summoned into one

 

stream, here at the

intersection of all things.

 

 

we saw each other

i thought i saw a white hat

passing by my house.

 

it was just the tip of a

flag; it was just used as a

 

weapon of war.

to be a cone in

 

training, to be washed

up on the shore so far

 

from your mother drum—

from where you also came

 

from: you can’t hear your

heart beat any more.

 

you think others are erasing

you, but you are erasing

 

your self—strike by strike,

gun by gun.

 

we all came

from a woman;

 

we all lay helpless

at the tit and grew.

 

we used to be

syzygy.

 

now we beg, borrow,

steal, kill—

 

in the name

of history.

 

our birth is our

birth-right: a gestalt

 

of will. we were all

there at the beginning.

 

we saw each other

across the

 

great expanse

and knew.

 

 

here’s the truth i never really told

my eyes have not seen

nearly enough—

and, yet, too much.

out of the corner of one:

 

my hand—bent like

my grandmother’s,

like i’m cut

in half.

 

part of

my privilege

is

ashamed.

 

i must allow myself to undress,

to let go, to see what’s under

the show: this is the time.

this is where i am, taking a stand—

 

i do not

want you

in my

land.

 

but hear the

crickets;

they are for

everyone.

 

how i wanted to be a

miniature in your

china cabinet, tucked

up in ruby red glory,

 

un

aware of

the

imprisonment.

 

i am hard.

i am glass.

i cannot change

time, space, the past.

 

the mind does not

want you to know

your self, your

iron-on heart,

 

how to sit with the

hurt and be a light,

a lamp, a fire

extinguisher.

 

how can

hate

talk to

hate?

 

i am laughing; i am charlie

chaplin weeping on the

inside. first time’s the charm;

after that, it’s just repeats.

 

i am alone.

a heart in a house.

does a house

need a heart?

 

laid up for nine months, like gestation, and

what was born? i am turning into stone.

how can you force a turtle? if you

push it, it just goes skidding.

 

if i stand still long enough, can i cheat time?

can i drill down into space and rewind?

can i find my inner child, waiting there

with a shell in her outstretched hands—

 

saying—

here, you’re

going to need

this.

 

i do not have the

stomach for a

revolution. i am not

my grandmother.

close carry

i used to fall asleep in the car,

riding home at night after a

 

long outing. i remember the hum

of the road, the flashing head

 

lamps; i remember the sudden quiet

of the engine cutting off, daddy scooping

 

me up in his arms to carry me in. some

times a shoe would slip, a mumble, a word—

 

a hint that i wasn’t completely asleep;

but he would carry me up the stairs into

 

the house, up the stairs into my bed.

i don’t remember what was said: just

 

the strong arms around me, the

scent of man, of capability, of love.

 

later there would be times i would try

to recreate this safe feeling, this

 

extended touch, this close carry.

but it was never the same.

 

worse for the wear

this is the poem i don’t want to write.

this is the poem that is not beautiful.

 

or maybe it is,

because it is true.

 

the truth is,

i wish she were worse for you.

 

the truth is,

i wish she would just disappear.

 

i wish she were not so much like me.

it would be easier to hate her.

 

for both

of us.

 

the truth is,

she is good for you.

 

the truth is,

she is better for you

 

than i

would be.

 

i try to woo you with

my words, mystery,

 

well-timed

misery;

 

but the truth is,

i’ve never had a healthy

 

relationship.

it feeds the

 

poetry, but not

the living.

 

the truth is,

if she disappeared

 

tomorrow, i would not

know what to do.

 

i would probably

cry for you.

 

and then

for me.

 

i am the one who

should disappear.

 

i am the one who

is worse for the wear.