The silence slices through me like a whale-bone knife
Rendering my soul two parts that no longer make any sense
We didn’t choose this – but this is what we are now
I can hear your voice like a hushed whisper across the beach in February
I can feel your touch but it is only a memory – a dream that is long over
The sadness brushes up against me like an old lady trying to get her pills
My body is jostled without humor or warmth against my soul’s will
We didn’t ask for the bridge that doesn’t quite span our love
You can feel my love rising up around you like a warm wet flame
You can hear me sing love songs of other places and other times
Miles Davis and an ice cold Old Style and a promise that you are not bound to keep
But words that resonate in your ear when you held her under the sweet moonlight
You were played – she played you – but you won and when you win it tastes better
Sure she let you win – that was her plan – it wasn’t going to be easy but there it is
So you retire to the writing garret and you pull out Miles because no one else gets it
No one else gets that you can win even when you are just learning the rules to the game
You grab a cold one because the heat is emanating from your shoulders and your heart
The world spins by you – as it is wont to do on these air-conditioned early summer nights
It spun fast when you were together – slower later – but soon it won’t matter – will it?
The long cold drive home is a constant reminder of you and what almost happened
Your smell on my shirt mingles with the whiskey reminding me that I am destined
We were close tonight – I was happy and sweaty and you understood what I said
But you left in the heat of a moment that I could not control – yet had to find a way to
The last sweet soft cocktail is the messenger who will not be killed tonight for the words
Your voice rings in my ear – a promise you can’t keep because maybe I’m not destined
We were close tonight – you were quiet and beautiful and your language intrigued me
You have to know I took a stand and sacrificed our moment – I can’t regret that
The notes on that old guitar resonate with clarity in this place where radiators whistle
Your taste lingers on my mustache like a joke I never said to a crowded room of friends
We were close tonight – we only danced once but we believed it was enough for now
I just wanted to tell you that destiny is overrated and I can only give you the love I have
I don’t think I have ever seen anyone like her. She stopped me like a 67 rusty blue Impala at 45 miles per hour across a deserted parking lot at dusk. My bag fell from my shoulder as I slumped back into the chair. I grabbed my wilting paper coffee cup just to have something to hold onto.
Her smile was unlike any expression I have ever seen on a human being before. Her eyes were kinder to me than that old fat nun when I was a nine-year-old pudge-pot getting kicked around by the sixth-graders.
Her mouth moved with gentle grace when she spoke. When I got past my fear and actually let her speak. I was afraid if I stopped talking, she would vanish in the night like the name to that obscure song that you can’t quite reach, but you can’t let go of either.
Her hair fall across her shoulders encouraging me to relax and enjoy the coffee and the conversation. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her and I couldn’t look to long. My tired head spun like a used Maytag on dirty towel day. The safest place to focus was the papers in shaking hands.
The rain is pounding – without mercy – on the dirty streets around where I live – the water is running along the chipped cement curbs and heading to some unknown place. I stand against the blonde bricks of the large building in live in and watch the pregnant drops bounce off the street only to fall back to the ground and – for the big ones there might be one more bounce. The sweat is burning my eyes – even mingled with the rain. The thunder sounds like a primeval shotgun blast into the heart of the sleeping city.
I was really worried that the kids might forget this moment – this slice of glory that will carry them through all of the bullshit that life will force down their throats. I walked with you across that parking lot and you laughed at the cherry moon. I wasn’t smart enough to remember all the things that were swirling around us. The kids scuffled along like bright sweet candy wrappers blowing across the empty parking lot. They buzzed with the excitement of what they had accomplished. I buzzed with you and the cherry moon.
I tried to explain to an old friend that you don’t always get what you deserve and you don’t always deserve what you get. This isn’t fair – but she and I are old enough to remember when things where fair – and we agree they aren’t anymore. As the rain began to fall hesitantly from the sky, I felt like a tired cliché about my tears – my sweat. There are times and ideas that are unspoken – but sometimes we try to force ourselves. I miss everyone who has ever loved me. Where are they tonight? Not under the cherry moon.
Like the lone fierce monster roaming the countryside
Looking for someone to look beyond the grotesquerie
To dig deep down inside past the callused skin
and matted hair
To see the beating red lonely heart
crying out for understanding
He is only a man who has become
a product of his circumstances
Outside he may appear ghoulish and threatening
maybe even dangerous
But inside of the monster stirs a soul
longing for something – someone
He walks along through the world alone and scared
He is in much more danger
than the people who fear him
But they themselves will never know
what lurks there inside of him
They just may never know