Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Sun Struggles Up

The most natural feeling as the sun struggles up is my bones grinding against yours
You are jarring and crushing and breaking your promises to the ghost of my childhood
Still a whispered breath trapped within your vena cava keeps me cold and you alive

The ribcage forged of your love protects the soul of my past and memories of my father
Washing the bony joints of our crippled fingers the dirty water runs down the baby’s face
The weak understand this is a baptism of desperation and consolation but not redemption

The charred remains of a dream I couldn’t afford and you couldn’t live without haunt us
Our bones have been put up for the first thaw and there’s something burning on the stove
We argue His presence in the room but we don’t deny it as we watch the sun struggle up

The Summer Began

The summer began with a cool breeze
It made her uncomfortable and cautious
She dressed in layers of many different colors
She took his hand and they walked into the summer
Cautious and many layered waiting to see what was next

Juggling Smoke

Very suddenly and very directly
The cold wind shut me up
Like I came down with yesterday’s rain
Like a plug opened in my head
And all of what I am ran out of me

I stood there sweating and aching
Not at all sure what to do
But I couldn’t speak
And I couldn’t hear
And I could hardly see

It was like I was juggling smoke
Right hand over left hand
The smoke never returning
Each breath scorched my lungs
And I was helpless to cry out
My voice had left me
Carried off on each cloud of smoke
Never to return

September 1, 2013

The stars came out tonight for you – they came out for you but you were gone
So I was left with my old cat and some cold beer and a pen and paper

I lost my glasses between the words and the beer
And could only think about how sad that someone else saw your stars
They were delicate like you – and quiet – and sweet – like you

It was the rain that ended the night – that turned off the music
It was a brief rain – but with lasting effect both cooling and sad
The pink clouds in the grey sky betrayed us but only after love and music
The sky crashed down and washed away the heat rising from our fingers
The sky crashed down and washed away the love rising in my throat

I saw the stars tonight – I saw each one and counted them
I drank another beer – then another and counted every star I could see
I rubbed the old cat behind her ears the way she likes me to
Then I wrote this down and I will never share it with you – but I wrote it for me

That has to be good enough – it is good enough for me and the stars
It’s good enough for the old cat and for anyone else who saw your stars but not you

Thursday Night in the Library on the Phone

The phone kept ringing
I knew I had dialed the wrong number
But I let it ring anyway

The voice that answered was a dead man’s voice
A friend of my father – recently deceased
He didn’t seem to mind the intrusion
But I hung up the phone nonetheless
Anxiously eyeing the redial button

Was the man of God back among us as promised
Or had the cancer really taken him away
I felt guilty for thinking about it
To ever have a thought like that at all
But I couldn’t help myself

When all around me got quiet
I redialed the phone using the right number
And when I got your machine I swallowed my voice
And left a message speaking as clearly as I could

The Ugly American

I was the ugly American who told her she was brave to come here
When she could have stayed there – stayed in that faraway land

She said if she was truly brave she would have stayed there with her mother and sisters
There in that faraway land with no ugly Americans to breathe their bourbon in her face

I couldn’t grasp the idea of staying somewhere like that – that which I did not understand
Me the ugly American; she the stunning Polish goddess – a dream walking

She felt like she belonged in my arms as we danced to a nameless old love song
Her smell was as foreign to me as she – but she felt so natural in my heavy arms

Jesus Christ I have never seen anyone who looked that good to me – no one so flawless
She looked like an autumn dream I dared to allow myself to have against my own will
She looked like an angel coming down to illuminate the darkest corners of the night
She looked like the remnants of a piece of Italian art carved carefully in Caracas marble

She started to say something but even she knew her words would hurt me
The ugly American is a sensitive beast – somehow she knew that better than I

I’m sorry was all she was able to whisper in my ear but she didn’t let me go
She seemed to know she already lost me to her sigh – me the ugly American

1/1/2005