Monthly Archives: March 2013

Tu Alma

Your innocence goes through me
Like a cold wet wind
Right to my bones
Right to my very soul
Where it stirs things better left unstirred
Like a delicate flower or a raging fire
I am afraid to touch you
But I feel compelled to reach out
In a careless moment
I might reach for you
Maybe to hold you close to me
To taste your warm moist breath
But like my soul
There are things better left unstirred

Your Surrender

Your torn shorts in a pile in the corner a sign of your surrender
You surrender your body to me on this matted old couch
Your feet firmly planted on the cold cement floor
My knees red from the friction caused the burlap covered cushions
My sweat drips into your innocent eyes burning them
But right now your mind is on something else
And your body is on something else
Your body is realizing pleasure while your mind is realizing your surrender.


The sharp angled faces and the heaving bosoms of the counter girls
Stare at me as I drive my car through the parking lot
It feels like I am moving in slow motion – the liquor store lady takes an extra look
It’s not the hot liquor store chick – it is the snaggle-toothed liquor store lady
I try not to look back at her – I try to be invisible
The counter girl’s breasts are a distant dream of a heaven I once knew

No White Horses

There will be no white horses to take you away
No sweeping arm to lift you up into the safety of the saddle
No cold tin armor protecting a warm heart
Because you do not warm hearts anymore

There will be no singing birds – no gentle breezes
There will not be any promises made
No proclamations of unfaltering love
And no there will be no white horses

When They Were Nina

A red moon sets over crowd gathered at the Humboldt Park boathouse
Nina has stubbed her toe and now she won’t play with the others
The children swimming in the lagoon are completely unaware of Nina’s misfortune
But the adults feel a gentle tug at their hearts – remembering their own stubbed toes
Remembering their own summer days in this pastoral sanctuary in the middle of the city
Remembering when they were Nina – just beginning to spread their own wings

This Property Was Condemned

The city street rolls up behind me as I head south on Kimball Avenue
The rolling pavement swallows up the San Juan Grocery and Amigo Foods
Crossing North Avenue southbound – Kimball turns into Homan Avenue
The complexion of the faces changes but the geography is generally unaltered
The broken glass in the second story window won’t protect the grimy Christmas lights
They still hang where they were last year before this property was condemned
Just up the street from the Dominoe Club: Private! Members Only! the sign reads
Across the street – Garfield Park looks inviting in the crisp cold December air
The Wilhelm Kroentgen Public School south of Madison Street used to nurture dreams
Now it has fallen victim to a bigger schoolyard bully – this one’s name is apathy
The Chicago Board of Education has discarded the old school away like a distant relative
The boarded up windows and the piles of broken glass report this is property condemned
The street unfolds before me as I continue south on Homan Avenue

You’re Incorrigible the Fat Mexican Lady Said

You’re incorrigible the fat Mexican lady said
The fat, dark-eyed hamster-cheeked Mexican lady
A young white girl turned her head to see who was incorrigible
She peeped a little peep when she saw it was the gutter boy
The gutter boy was making good again in a new place

After the December storm he walked out of the clouds smiling
He’s pretty much out of the gutter now
But you never really are
You can put on buck leather loafers and a bolo tie
But you can never really get out of the gutter

His past is so far behind him – and all of the angels are gone
But he never gave up – he just never did
Now he’s incorrigible – maybe insatiable – maybe just hungry
Either way he’ll find a new angle

He will try one more time
Like he’s tried before a million times before
And maybe – just maybe – he’ll get out of the gutter
Even if only for a little while

Then You Walked Away

The music goes around and around your once sweaty head – your hair now icicles
And you stand here with one thought dripping unevenly from your tongue
Your mind feels like a bad mistake you can’t take back now – a punch line they never got
Tonight for a brief shard in your fractured timetable you were – that’s all; you were
She brought it all back to you and them before you said good-bye – before the snow
Then you walked away – leaving her in the big red room with laughs and rum but not you
Then you walked away – leaving her in the winter night that meant so little to so many

The music goes round and round and you are alone and she is alone – you walked away

…the storm raged around him

There was no apology for his violent reaction to the cool later summer breeze
His head whistled around on his shoulders like a broken circus toy
His knees buckled under the weight of the charred remains of his soul

He finally allowed her to peel away the dead skin that protected him
She dragged him out of the darkness where he had lingered for so long
Her strong back propped him up against the storm that raged around him

A sliver of sun punctured the sky and forced its way out and across her face
The ray of light brought with it the warmth and love of a litany of strangers
He wrapped himself around her tender body but it was she who protected him