Friday, December 20, 2013

razor blade

razor blade

she had hidden the razor blade
beneath her tongue or in her cheek

maybe that’s why the kisses were so rare
and the i love you’s so hard to understand

Monday, December 16, 2013

measured (this is what she learned)

measured (this is what she learned)

I have swallowed these words like bullets.

this is what she learned

there would be a certain amount of time
(and that would be forever)
when she would be watched

a circumspect gaze of judgment
that measured her against all other women
and left her in relief like a leaf in granite

this is how she held her head
this is how her knees touched
this is how shoes raised her heels

so that the arch of her back slightly turned
the smoothness of her skin in the light
and the fullness of her cleavage exposed

could all be dutifully captured in photographs
as the clock counted up and then spiraled down
and no one had ever once looked at her

this is what she knew

he would take her bare feet into his hands and lap
pressing his thumbs into the arch of each one

them together there alone he would close his eyes
while she read the words she wrote that were she

Sunday, December 15, 2013

a reasonable man

a reasonable man

Then I pace in circles, waiting for me to show up. I wait and I wait, you know.
I wait and I wait in the office, she said, but me never comes. (p. 188)
Violet, Feed, M. T. Anderson

one by one
and over many many years

they took him aside
guiding him by the elbow

leaning in close
before whispering through a smile

you’ve got to be reasonable, man”
they would say or something like it

only with reason are we able
one actually added once nodding

he developed no callouses
against such a relentless onslaught

and masking proved impossible
for him with his heart born on his sleeve

and he found he was able
to calmly pull his elbow free

by imaging he was buying her
a new pair of black boots with buckles

and he would hand her the box
while thinking of what she might wear

his heart certain that everything
matched perfectly her slipping into boots

of course his dreams were never reasonable

the dream began in the middle of everything
the day was gray both the sky and the ocean

he lived in a beachside condominium
with giant windows for all of the walls

a large and much older house stood nearby
its wooden deck on stilts reaching to the sea

and he knew as if someone were telling him
that the older house was soon to collapse

because the ocean was pulling away from the shore
no longer supporting the frail old house all alone

and then the deck collapsed and the house leaned
as he realized again as if someone were telling him

that the old house was some sort of library
filled in every room with books and books and books

how would he ever find anyone to help him save them
rushing into this house not on fire but about to fall

he woke to the anxiety of losing books in a dream house
heavy as black buckled boots walking across his heart

Saturday, December 7, 2013

the last straw (touching)

the last straw (touching)

“The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener
is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not
have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
—Granger to MontagFahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

“You were only waiting for this moment to be free”
“Blackbird,” The Beatles

it was only ever you
who really knew me
the exposed me and the true
and i suppose that was the final straw

i tried to take you
for sushi once
but the restaurant was closed
so we had Thai instead

then later at a bar nearby
i cried talking about my daughter
because i am the type of crier
who makes others turn away

and now some times
i pretend we are alone
listening to “Blackbird”
on The Beatles’ White Album

sharing a beer from a can
and talking about the novels
i have gathered
on a shelf only for you

i am sitting alone at a bar with friends gathered for a holiday party

adults hold babies and beers while children weave through the talking

one father stands in a small group his daughter close with her back to him

he reaches almost without looking tucking her exposed shirt tag under the collar

then he gently rubs the curve of her spine along her impervious child’s neck

and there in that touching and her still everyone else disappears and then silence

as i drift on that father’s love of a child once again back to you humming “Blackbird”

Tuesday, December 3, 2013



when i fell in love with you
birds dropped from the sky

in abeyance

when you walked away from me
the mountains refused to rise above

in deference

i cannot find all the crayons
to finish the picture we started

i dreamed you took them with you
i dreamed you took them with you