Sunday, April 28, 2013

sleeping alone

sleeping alone

“Things I dislike: sleeping in an apartment alone”
Susan Sontag, diary, February 21, 1977

“I, who have felt the horror of mirrors”
Jorge Luis Borges, “Mirrors”

it was no mirror
but words from a diary

that showed me to me
the one who let you sleep alone

despite my only true desire
being me and you intertwined

so that others could not tell
where you ended and i began

i wake to a gray day of rain
only cracker crumbs sharing my sheets

Sunday, April 21, 2013

impressions (hints of you)

impressions (hints of you)

I’d like to paint you, but there are no colors, because there are so many,
in my confusion, the tangible form of my great love.


i have trouble remembering names
but some things i never seem to forget

i am lying on my side
as you motioned for me to do

you are lying on your side
pressed against me front to my back

the angle of your knees wedged
warm and smooth into the angle of mine

yet i am not in the bed where you are not
because i am walking alone in memory

haunted by the embracing ghosts
of the impressions you left on me

unable to lend it the words it deserves
struggling to recall the name i almost hear

i have trouble remembering names
but some things i never seem to forget


i am waiting at the counter
to order a sandwich for lunch
and i hear others enter behind me

when i turn to look i see you there
in the young woman my eyes catch
these hints of you as a young woman

in small ways she looks like you
around her mouth and nose
but most of all she seems like you

the young man with her watches me
and he does not like that i study her
so i smile at him before looking away

i sit to eat my lunch aware of them in line
but i continue as if that doesn’t matter
as if these hints of you haven’t filled the room


a painter’s love letters
in her own handwriting

are both tiny works of art
and exactly like anyone else’s

although i cannot read spanish
i recognize the anxiety of deep love

her letters are sweet and bitter
like dark chocolate on your fingertip

Friday, April 19, 2013



i often wonder
how beautiful you truly are

for i have only my eyes
veiled with love and desire

through which to see you
forever beautiful to this believer

i cannot trust the sound of your voice
the smell of the curve of your thigh

every moment now stored in memory
i do not doubt but wonder in belief

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

they ran (15 April 2013)

they ran (15 April 2013)

they ran

they ran to win
they ran to be fast
they ran to chase personal bests
they ran to honor
they ran to survive
they ran to raise money for others
they ran to finish

and then the explosion
followed by another

they fell
they stumbled
they ducked their heads
they turned to look

they ran toward the billowing smoke
they ran toward the debris
they ran toward the screams
they ran toward the crying
they ran toward the bleeding

they ran

Friday, April 12, 2013

tears remain tears (time travel pt. 2)

tears remain tears (time travel pt. 2)

Do my crying underwater
I can’t get down any farther
All my drowning friends can see
Now there is no running from it
It’s become the crux of me
I wish that I could rise above it
“Demons,” The National

well before she could recognize it
but the way he came to understand

in those first days when they orbited
each other’s temporarily separate worlds

she would come to him & hook her hand
into his choosing him to follow her, to listen

this he came to long for in her absence
the briefest of connections merging planets

this initial gesture of love & anticipation
grew to hand holding embracing kissing

the inevitables of making love & slipping
into each other as if nothing else could matter

but soon followed the other sort of inevitable
the complacency of habit & forgetting the hook

tears remain tears
at the bottom of the pool

where no one can see
the sobbing & crying

the stoicism of holding your breath
the infinite solitude of water

long after she did recognize it
the way he fell back through time

she hooked her hand in his hand
reaching for him to follow, to listen

he shot to the surface to inhale
hurled back fourteen years to then

hooked & longing for it in her absence
& once again floating on it in her presence

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

the economy of mix tapes (bygone)

the economy of mix tapes (bygone)

'Member when we argued on the concept of regret?
You were an expert even then but not me, not yet
Now all you gotta do's remind me that we met
And there you got me, that's how you got me, taught me to regret
“Regret,” Fiona Apple

“’A real story requires a kind of magical baptism to link the world on this side with the world on the other side.’”
K to SumireSputnik SweetheartHaruki Murakami

You were right about the end
It didn't make a difference
Everything I can remember
I remember wrong

you taught me how to say “i love you”
and to hold my tongue with “i’m sorry”

you warned me intentions do not matter
as we walked hand in hand on eggshell paths

there was a certain economy of mix tapes
choosing the perfect blend of songs and order

for the one you love
when you are apart

but having only so much cassette time
(and then eventually the mysterious CD)

mix tapes had the precision and care
of quilting a poem from memorydreamregret

i regret the infinity of digital music
and the laziness of iTunes iPods and playlists

i know that i love you
i know that i am sorry

but i no longer know
the lines between memory dream regret

we are in the shower
it would be the last shower

a shower like a baptism
warm and washing over us

embracing until i slip to my knees
my arms encircling the center of you

my face against your stomach
and your hands on my head

i think of your armband tattoo
permanent and circling forever

i say quietly “i love you”
you reply “i know” like “good-bye”

i know that i love you
i know that i am sorry

you taught me how to say “i love you”
and to hold my tongue with “i’m sorry”

you warned me intentions do not matter
as we walked hand in hand on eggshell paths

no one had to tell me this
no one had to teach me this lesson

without intending to
i taught myself walking afraid:

regret is the cold dry ever after
the bygone of having let go

the jealousy of a solitary man
longing to be forever around you

Monday, April 8, 2013

spring (en route)

spring (en route)

when the world is puddle-wonderful
[in Just-], e. e. cummings

this is what we wait for

(like a reaching word
from a long-lost lover)

on the other side of winter
relentlessly cold & gray

this warm sunshine caress fulfilling
the aching of our hibernating chests

longing for the return

because we cannot forget
e. ecummings
children’s Siren voices
new blossoms & balloons

that first touch
after long separation

so when spring finally sweeps over me
it says to me what i want to say to you
through pollen-dusted lips against your ear:

i gave you the Milan Kundera novel
because i was looking for some way to say ‘i love you’
i was afraid ‘i love you’ just wasn’t enough.”

Monday, April 1, 2013

april fool

april fool

i am an april fool
although this is no different
than the fool i am
every other month of any year

twelve times a fool am i
because every single now
of every single day
every single week and month

my foolishness lies
right there on my sleeve
foolhardy and sincere
my heart is no hoax

i am a happy fool
i am a willing fool
i am a holy fool
i am only a fool

i am an april fool
but pick any calendar day
or any spot on a map—
now here me fool for you