Sunday, November 29, 2009

Nine Lives

i started with one
cat, just one, but
we weren't getting along,
so i added another,
then another.
and then there were
nine. i had become a cat
rancher. i had a litter
box in every corner, the
dog looked at me like
i was crazy. i lied
to the cats telling
each one how much i
loved and cared for them.
i told all of them that
they were special,
and the only one despite
the obvious evidence
of the other eight.
the stray hairbrush,
the lipstick cannister
under the bed, a high
heel there, a pair of
torn nylons in the bath
room. that long strand
of blonde hair on my
black sweater. i called
them by the wrong names,
i became forgetful
about what they ate,
or how they liked to
be petted and cared for.
i realized the folly of
my ways, but i couldn't
help myself, because in
a strange way i did
love them all and the
feeling, at least for
awhile, seemed mutual.

this war

is very confusing.
where and why, and how
much longer does it need
to go on, but isn't that
said about every war,
perhaps, but these wars,
these new wars linger on
and the bodies pile up.
the soldiers come home
without limbs, or eyes,
their minds ablaze
and unless you are part
of it, by family or friend,
or you wear the uniform
and carry the flag, it's
invisible, it's quiet, it's
a blurb on the news, online,
it's a war of whispers,
and so easy to turn away
from and ignore.

lavendar fields

she swims in lavendar.
things have gotten out of hand.
it's everywhere she looks
across the hard tilled stretch
of land, the snake green hoses
lline the rows and arch rain
onto the hundreds of bushes,
while she stands wiping her brow,
limping with her broken foot,
amazed that she has gone a
little bit crazy with it all,
and yet strangely happy. she
knows she is where she is
supposed to be, this is a place
that needed lavendar and for
her hands to sink deeply into
the soil of memory and love
and to bless him with this field.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dreams

The dark trees
are lined
like soldiers
on the blue snow.
their arms
draped in white,
in surrender
to winter,
to the night.
I see them
from my window
above the street,
above everyone
lost in their
own dreams
and fast asleep.

The Wishing Well

is full of coins.
it overflows with
silver, the change
of strangers passing
by, emptying their
pockets, hoping for
luck or love, or
wealth or health,
fame, perhaps, or
wisdom that they may
or may not lack. but
the well fills quickly,
is there anyone
without wishes, anyone
not in need of a coin
to throw and drop
into the deep well
that only takes
and never gives back.

holiday

you move slow
now in the morning
light, the legs lift
then go to the floor,
the eyes unlbur
and the dreams you
had subside. this
is the day you live
in, unlike the one
before, but the same.
you want the holidays
to end to stop
with the smiles,
the cards and notes,
the gifts you must
send. you want the bells
and lights to stop
ringing, stop
blinking. you have no
joy because the one
you love, the one
you truly love says
no and you don't
know what to do with
this empty feeling
that you've swallowed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Allergy

i'm not afraid to say
that i failed you in
so many ways. leaving
you outside in the rain
without food, or water,
tied and chained in
the backyard while i
went about my business.
the business of shirley.
but i offer you this
pork chop cooked with
onions and mushrooms
as a peace offering.
i hope that you accept
it, because i do love
you so and would hate
to have these few
forgetful moments of mine
interfere with our dog
man relationship.
in fact, she's gone
now, come on in sweetie
and bring that bone too.

The Bride and Groom

My needs are not being
met. You know exactly
what I'm talking about.
Don't turn away, don't
roll your eyes
and cast that glare
at me. I know that
look, you learned
it from your mother,
didn't you? Yes.
I feel a cold coming on
in the form of your
shoulders. Both of them,
going into the deep
freeze aren't we?
Maybe you have another
headache. I should have
invested in aspirin.
Well I hope you snap
out of it before the
wedding, We've put alot
of time and effort,
not to mention money
into this event,
and I won't let you
screw it up. My family
is driving all the way
from Jersey for this
thing, and Aunt Mimi is
in a wheelchair, so
act like you're happy,
just for one day,
will you? Where the hell
is that number for
the cake maker. Cakes R Us.
I told that woman
specifically when we were
there five layers not
three, and I get this
receipt and it says three.
And we want vanilla,
right, with pudding in
between? Hello, can you
hear me, vanilla?

Hopeful

My new neighbor is mouse quiet.
Svelte with brown eyes, soft as tea.
I love her, but she doesn't know it
yet. When she sees me her voice
is like a whisper and I have to lean
towards her to hear what she has
to say. There is a lot of smiling,
and nodding, politeness. I smell
the food she cooks at night as it
filters through the windows. I hear
her music turned gently up. I imagine
dancing with her, slowly around
the room, my hands around her waist.
She is always wearing a white dress,
and smells like lavendar. Of course
her husband, the weight lifter, might
have other thoughts about our romance,
but maybe we can work that out, just
maybe he won't crush me in his iron
fists like a holiday walnut and allow
our love to blossom as it should.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

from the top

of the stairs peering
downwards, to where the
television blared some
black and white show,
i could hear the arguement
ensue, burn brightly
and raise smoke from below,
the rattling of dishes,
the holiday crash
of glasses and bottles,
the dull thump of a fist
going into a body,
beneath the mistletoe,
the scream and snap of
my mother's arm as she
reached to call the police
on this christmas eve.
leaving blood on the
presents wrapped and
ribboned beneath
the twinkling tree,
it was before he grabbed
the knife and severed
the long black cord,
before the shore patrol
beat on the doors with
clubs, awakening everyone,
everyone, but me.

Friday, November 20, 2009

like snow

i fall for you,
in a white heap,
though, not soft
flakes, but frozen,
shoveled and plowed
towards your heart.
i am a blizzard
in your face,
and i see you open
the window with a
hand of salt, pouring
it slowly onto who
i am, you can't wait
for winter to end,
and for me to be
a puddle, running
towards the drain.

I don't remember you

i'm sorry,
but i don't remember,
did we meet, or even
talk and if so, what
was it about, are you
tall, or short, where
do you live, what do
you do, kids? give me
a hint, a clue, i hand
out my number like
candy on halloween,
i am at the door
with a blue bowl
of numbers, the bell
rings, i drop it
in the bag,
so excuse me if i have
no idea who i am
talking to, you do
sound nice though,
perhaps we should meet
and get this over with.

Wine and Roses

It's a very nice night
out, on the town, with my
new girlfriend Gina.
She looks lovely in her
embroidered jeans, and
tank top. Bright red roses
cascade down the seams of both
legs. She's got a thing for
roses. She's from Baltimore,
closer to Reistertown, but
what's in a name, or a few
miles. It really doesn't matter,
it's a hell of drive for
me, but she drives to where
I live and here we sit
in a warm, cozy restaurant,
well at the bar, the table
isn't quite ready.
Seven t.v.'s have seven
different games on, and loud
music is playing overhead,
Jackson Browne, Running On
Empty. Gina loves wine,
she loves to smell it, sniff
it, slosh it around in her
puckered mouth, then spit
it out, tasting several
and studying the labels,
asking extensive questions
of the twenty two year old
bartender about the wine's
origin, etc. It's a half
an hour before she is able
to make her decision. she
took a wine class at the
community college and makes
a habit of getting loopy
at every wine festival
within a day's drive. She
tells me the story of a wine
she once sipped last summer
in Fell's point. The story
is much too long. I sip
on my gin and tonic,
my second one, and look
warily at her, at the tv's
that beam from every nook
of the lounge. I'm suddenly
rethinking this boyfriend
girlfriend thing and I
excuse myself to go
the restroom, but I don't
go there, instead I go to
my car, get in, start
the engine and drive away.
I realize that I need to do
this more often. Just leave.
I think dreamily about a bottle
of Boone's Farm apple wine
that I shared with about
six other people on the
boardwalk in ninety-seventy.
Now, that was a wine.

Retirement Money

i'm counting pennies,
quarters, nickels, thin
dimes, pinching them,
tossing them into a jar,
then transferring
the jar into a bucket
which i will lug to
the bank so that they
can be poured noisily
into a machine that will
churn them into folding
money. of course there
are always screws
and buttons, lint, and
nails mixed in the soup
of coins. this makes
the bank man angry and he
scolds me in his Indian
accent, while adjusting
his turban which is askew
on his hot head. i tell
him that i am sorry,
that i thought it was
a clean batch, but it
wasn't. i'm sorry, my bad,
i tell him that this
money will see me through
the hard times when
i'm stuck inside an
old folk's home, this
change here is my bread
and butter, my easy street.
he doesn't buy it though,
and shows no sympathy,
but instead wags his long
brown finger at me
and says, no more, no
more change from you
in your dirty bucket,
you jam up our machine
with your money.
retirement won't come
easy.

Bug

I see germs in my sleep,
they are coming up the stairs,
no matter how many wipes
i use at the grocery store,
swabbing down the carts,
my hands, everything i come
in contact with, i still see
those dark and mean microbes
coming, like an insidious
army of fearless bugs.
the news can't stop talking
about them, the onslaught
of flu, the epidemic,
the deaths, the closings,
the fear of it all.
i cringe at the sound of
a cough, a sneeze, a clearing
of the throat, i pull up
my coat collar and hold
my breath for dear life.
please don't touch me,
or kiss me, or get near me.
i've sequestered myself in
my house until this all blows
over. let me know when
it's safe to go back out again.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Addictions

we met for dinner,
this stranger and me,
chinese food at the strip
mall shopping center
down the road,next to
the wal-mart, somewhere
in the middle of where
we both live. a compromise
of miles. she was
waiting in her truck,
legs sticking out the
window, pale and slender.
a green tattoo crawling up
her ankle. she saw me
walking up and figured
i was worthy enough to
unfold her legs and come in.
we sat and talked, ordered
food. i had a mai tai, but
she said that she didn't
drink, that she was in AA,
three months in recovery,
which was fine with me,
i was happy that she was
dealing with her problem.
she didn't mind if i had
one, or even two, so
i did, in fact i indulged
myself with a third one,
but by evenings end,
the magical smell of rum
was in her and she leaned
nervously towards my drink
peering into that dangerous
amber pool of deception.
she said that she needed
to go to a meeting, now,
and asked me to go with her,
she sweeted the deal by saying
that they had the best
desserts at the meetings,
and i was welcome to go
and eat. but i said no.
i stirred my drink with
the little umbrella,
stuck with fruit and
drank another healthy sip.
I told her that if i have
one piece of cake, then
i want another, and another
and before the night's over
i'm lying in a gutter
with a half a gallon of milk
and an empty Entenman's box.
she saw my point, so we
went back to my place
and decided on a different
addiction, but one we
both could agree upon.

the lesser of two

I remember being
on the moon in my
silver white space
suit, the enormous
helmet with it's
reflective visor
holding earth so
blue upon it's sheen,
and the gathering
of rocks. we needed
more rocks, the grand
canyon apparently did
not hold enough, nor
the mountains, not
to mention what lies
below the oceans.
but it was fun
just the same, and
the billions spent
were at least not spent
on wars. the pictures
were pretty too.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

the bell rings

to awaken you,
and it's dark
when you leave,
dark when you return,
and fatigue sets in
like wet clothes,
heavy on the line.
you can't find
the hot bath
soon enough
when you return that
night, or
the bed, but it's
one a.m. before
you do, before
the next bell rings.
nothing seems done,
complete, there are
piles of laundry,
of bills on the edge
of being late,
dust, like small
tumbleweeds roll
beneath the bed,
below the tables.
laundry appears
mysteriously
everywhere. while
relationships
that were fragile
to begin with drift
and crumble
like cookies in milk.
falling in pieces
into that great abyss
were so much seems
to go these days
the bells keep ringing,
both phones, with
the urgency of fire.
but you can't be
everywhere, please
everyone, some
things just have
to burn to the ground.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Want My Future Now

if i have to drive
longer than an hour
i lose interest, not
just in you, but in just
about everything
i'm driving for,
that's why we have
to break up, and call
it quits, i'm done.
being behind the wheel
puts me unconscious,
my hands get clammy,
my back gets sore, my
neck stiffens.
i have to pee and i'm
hungry, i want
the transportation
that was promised us
when we were kids,
the zip of a tube,
a tunnel train, a
jet pack, something
other than the car which
hasn't changed much
since day one. i want
my future now, i want
to blink my eyes and
be wherever it is i
need to be. i know
that's alot to ask,
but can somebody look
into this and get the ball
rolling on the future.
then perhaps we can
start dating again.

Lobster Night

it's your birthday,
or rather your birthday
week, that's how
women do it, and
sometimes it becomes
birthday month,
you make sure everyone
knows that matters,
just in case you need
some stuff. but
just the same you say
to me, that you want
lobster, preferably Maine
lobster, a big fat
two pounder stuffed
with crab meat and
whatever on the side,
it's all about the
lobster, the melted
butter, the breaking
of the hard red shell
to get to the steamy
rich white meat that melts
in your mouth, dripping
not with margarine,
but with artery clogging
deep yellow hot buttah.
it makes you happy,
this lobster, and so I
oblige, hoping for
the best afterwards,
after all it is your
birth day.

sleep over

the sun comes
up too early
in the morning,
it climbs
in between
the blinds,
filters gently
through
the sheers,
it appears
when i want
more sleep,
when i want
the night
to continue
with you lying
next to me
in dream,
warm and soft,
your skin silk
and still
against my rough
watered sleep.
i hold onto
you to keep
me afloat,
above the surface
of a deep
blue night,
i dont mind
if you leave,
but i want you
to wait,
just wait
an hour or two
longer
until i'm safe
at shore, and
your lips
are touching
mine.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

all of her

is what i want,
but no, she gives
me bits and pieces,
enough candy
to bring me back again.
a kiss here,
a kiss there, some
whispery stuff beneath
the apple tree,
maybe a quick snuggle
in the garage,
but it's the appetizer
that i'm living on,
and it just won't do.
at some point i need
to order off the main
menu, the entree,
i need it all,
salad, dinner, bread,
dessert and coffee.
maybe an after dinner
drink to end the night.
and if there is some
misunderstanding,
if these metaphors
are not getting
through to you, let
me say it plainly,
i need to come up
and see your etchings.

flight

as the plane
lifts
impossibly
from the ground
and the flight
attendant
brings me
another bag
of nuts,
another round,
i look out
the window
near the tilted
wings and
wonder why
i married you
in the first
place.
we never
got off
the ground,
and if we did,
it was mere few
feet before
the crash and
burn.
but we bought
the ticket,
we stowed away
the bags,
we planned,
and marked out
on a map
a life
we thought we
had, but no.
so now i fly
alone,
the plane has
risen, it's
in the clouds,
it's so high
i can barely see
the town
you live in,
and that's a
good thing,
full speed ahead.

home

everyone wants
to go home,
to that place
in the mind where
all is well and safe,
warm. they want off
the cold streets,
the hard pavement
that puts holes in your
shoes, breaks your
heart with every new
job, or love.
everyone wants to go
home, to open
the door and feel
the fire, smell
the oven,
pet the dog as he
runs with tail
wagging, listen
to the kid's day
at school.
everyone wants
to go home and be
greeted with a kiss
by someone
that will never
leave you, that will
love you until
the clock runs
out and more,
and why wouldn't they,
what better place
to be.

The Act

The magician with his wand,
on the stage with a silk
black hat and rabbit,
a scantily clad woman who
waves and woos the crowd
into awe and wonder, is tired
of his job. Making things
appear, then disappear,
or sawing Zelda into two
has lost it's zing, it's
pizzaz. There is no joy
or juice left in the applause.
He wants to rest his weary
arms, stuffed with tricks
up his sleeves. He wants
to go where he doesn't have
to flip through cards to find
just yours, or pull a coin
from a child's ear, or bend
a strip of metal with his
wild eyed stare. Enough.
He's done with doing magic.
He'd rather work the line,
putting bumpers onto trucks,
hammering nails, or filling
up the next donut with banana
cream, but his wife, Zelda,
who adorns the stage and has
felt the edge of the rubber
knife, the silly saw, wants
more. She wants it all and
pushes her man to greater
heights, to bigger feats of
amazement. She knows that
she can't look this way
forever and needs to fill
the bank with money, and then
to find the man she really
loves before all the time
runs out, like air in the
water filled glass box where
the magician hangs suspended.

miscommunication

a wink is no
longer a wink,
a word written
is no longer
a literal word
but code for
something else
entirely.
it's all smoke
signals now.
the mood you
are in, that
drink you had,
the lack of sleep
can alter the
meaning and sink
the ship.
the written
word is dangerous
in this short
cut world
of phone texting
and e-mails,
nothing said
is safe
and almost
everything seems
to be lost
in translation.
i am letting
the battery die,
putting thick
gloves on my
fingers
to keep them
from wandering
into word places
i should not go,
i'm zipping up
my lips.
i hope my
silence is not
misunderstood,
but i'm sure it
will be.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Road Trip

Grandma has a new boyfriend,
Chuck, or Charles as she
likes to call him. I saw
her the other day clinging
like a panda on the back
of his motorcycle. Her
knitting needles and yarn were
sticking out of her backpack.
She met him on the internet
and says that he is her soul
mate. What about grandpa,
I ask her, and she dissmisses
that forty year marriage
with the back of her hand.
They are going to Atlantic City
for the weekend to try their
luck at the slots. Between
the two of them, their social
security checks, they figure
why not, what's there to lose.
She tells me in a whisper
that the little blue pill
has made all the difference
in the world. I close my eyes
and put my hands over my ears.
Just don't get hurt, I tell her.
Shhh, sonny boy, don't you worry
about me. I like having a man
around the house. She gives
me a wink. I cringe and tell
her, okay. Water my plants
and empty the cat's litter box
while I'm gone, will ya, she
asks when Chuck pulls up
on his Harley. He revs the
engine a few times as they
like to do, making the bike
belch and rumble. He smiles
and gives me little wave
with his black leather gloves,
the fingers cut out. I see
his nineteen-seventy mustache
beneath his visor and his grey
ponytail sticking out of the back
of his flat black helmet.
He has a POW decal and a small
American flag blowing in the
breeze, on the back of his bike,
close to where grandma's rear
end is wiggling and bouncing
as they pull away, on the road
to jersey. She tries to wave,
but doesn't want to let go
of Chuck's slippery leather
jacket, so she yells out a
scratchy, TOODALOO!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Babe Ruth

It's midnight again,
and the cat who is in
heat wants in, apparently
she's had enough for
one night, so I lift
the screen and she jumps
onto the couch,
runs to wherever it is
that she goes to at this
hour, but I can't
fall asleep after a long
afternoon nap with the
window open and the cool
november air blowing
in, and so I wander
about the house finding
magazines to browse.
I'm halfway through
a dozen New Yorkers, stuck
in the middle of all
the fiction, and disdaining
nearly every poem.
I go online and see
nothing of interest,
no one I need to
communicate with.
Nothing I need to buy.
I open mail, all the mail,
junk and bills, nothing
good. I look in the
fridge and move some
jars around and find
nothing. I'm not in
the mood for celery,
or peanut butter. So
I hit the couch, flick
on the television. I
find a show about orphans
and how they cope. It
makes me wish that I
was an orphan and had
that kind of get up
and go. They lead such
energetic and rosey
lives. I'd be asleep
perhaps, or maybe not.
They all want to find
out who their real
parents were, which is
understandable. But
I yell at the t.v.
and say don't, stop it,
block it out and move
on, you don't need to
know. I'm on the edge
of my couch worrying
about them, what
they might find. I then
remember that Babe Ruth,
the legendary baseball
player was an orphan.
All of this suddenly
makes me tired, very
tired and now at last
I feel that I can sleep.

A Dream

She comes to me
in my sleep,
walking slowly
through the room
in a ghost like
haze. I can hear
her bare feet
against the wood
floor, smell her
skin, the scent
of her perfume.
She is silent
as she approaches
the bed and leans
over to kiss me,
but she doesn't,
instead she whispers
into my ear, placing
her cold hand over
my mouth, letting
her long hair
pour over my face.
I listen to what
she says, it's the
same thing each time
she visits, the exact
same words that leave
her soft lips
and puts tears into
my sleeping eyes.

hey you

i write you this note
not in anger, or in sadness,
quite the opposite, but
with a smile on my face.
i loved you at one point,
and probably still do
in some benign, safe,
friendship sort of lame
way, and i know that the
feeling is mutual, you've
made that very clear, but
i just wanted you to know
that i'm moving to alaska
on monday to hunt bear
and ice fish and to live
in an unadorned igloo
without heat and cable
television. i hope that you
are doing okay too, with
JIMMY, or whatever the
hell is name is.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

desire

fools you
into thinking
that it's quenched,
when it never is,
it whispers
for fulfillment,
begs for it,
but when it's
over, whatever
the desire
may be, it rests
for awhile,
it takes it's
sweet time,
but always
comes again,
knocking
on the door,
ringing the bell,
kissing the nape
of your neck
and telling you
all the things
you want to hear,
hoping for more.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Let it Snow

Let it snow, let the white
flakes from above
cake the frozen ground
and bring Christmas
on. Let the fire burn
bright and loud, while
music plays and the gifts
beneath the tree pile up.
Let the stove be full
of warm bread and pies,
cookies by the dozen,
ready to be iced. Get
the turkey stuffed,
the potatoes peeled,crush
the berries and glaze
the sweet potatoes. Hit
the switch when the sun
melts away from the sky,
beyond the trees, and light
up the yard with a twinkling
string of colors that
edge the house. Put
the children into their
night clothes and read
to them the story that
they love to hear,gathered
warm and safe on the couch.
Let the heart grow ten
times bigger. Let it
snow, and let everything,
everything else, let go.

Notes

There are are notes
I've written onto
yellow pads,
scattered on my desk,
and scraps of white
paper, envelopes,
napkins, pages torn
from books, all
with numbers and names
of varied importance,
scribbled in haste,
left by the phone,
the computer, some
even legible, but most
are vague, like lights
coming at you in the fog.
Maybe the sun will
come out and dry the sky
and let these reminders
in ink remind me
of what and where
and when I need to be,
and with who, but if not,
so it goes, I'll find
a way to manage, or just
maybe, once their
irritation dies down,
they'll call back.

Landings

soft landings
are good,
on the moon,
or on the earth,
we want to cushion
the descent with
a gentle ride down,
and barely feel
the hard surface
that we land upon.
love is like that
when it fails,
we want a soft
place to fall, to
regroup and heal.
no crash and burn,
but soft and blue
thrusters easing us
onto the white cool
surface of tomorrow.

Night at the Opera

I can see your lips
moving, gums flapping
with something of great
importance, but I can't
hear a word you're
saying. The words that
sing and singe from
your open lips
are not the ones I
want to hear and so
I let them fall away
one by one, like
notes struck boldly
on a piano, but with
no melody to hold them
up. This doesn't stop
you. There is a point
to be made and so you
hold center stage,
it's your own personal
opera in a foreign
tongue, a marathon
of discord and
discontent, but I'm
already down the aisle,
removing my tie, my
shirt, flipping off
my shoes. I am nearly
home free while the
sound of your voice
echoes in the almost
empty hall.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Leave the Light On

I find you asleep
with chocolate
bleeding from your
lips, you've been into
the candy bowl.
I see the wrappers,
like bullet casings
after a shootout
with the mob, once
again you've over-
stocked for the kids
who never came. Sure
there were a few,
little casper holding
his mother's coat,
and dracula with
lipstick and a flash-
light in his powdered
hand. Susie from
around the corner
dressed as a ladybug,
tripping on her wings,
falling and rolling
onto the wet grass
of every lawn, but
most of them stayed
home, fear being
the world we live
in now, and so you
feasted alone on
the bowl of snickers
and pepper mint
patties, hershey's,
licorice, candy corn,
and a bottle of
of pinot noir to keep
the evil spirits away.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Jello

the x rays
show
a shadow
on the white,
a cloud of
distress,
like a storm
off the coast
rolling in,
the blood work
is in too,
and it's not
good,
positive is not
the word
you want to hear
from a man
in a white coat,
things are
not exactly right,
open wide, say
ahh, this will
hurt, not
just a little,
this will bruise,
there will
be pain, more
than a pinch,
now bend over
and touch
your toes,
tell us your
mother's maiden
name, and we're
just getting
started,
but we will keep
you alive
at all costs,
and find something
that your insurance
will cover if it
kills us,
or until the money
runs out, now
sign here, take
off your clothes
please and put on
this paper gown,
have some jello.

swimming

so far from land,
but you can see
the gulls fly
near, and so you
swim harder,
you glide
through the water,
arm after arm,
the legs kicking,
you find your stroke,
your rhythm,
at times you can
only see the wave
you are in,
it's walls are
all that exist,
it seems as if you
will never get
there, exhausted
from the blue cold,
the salt and depth
of your life,
but then
you rise a little
upon a swell
and you can see
the island
up ahead, past
the breakers,
the tops of trees,
the lush grass
that you long for,
a little further,
it's in reach,
almost there.

roses

what brings
you here,
you ask,
and open the door
slightly,
blinking your
brown eyes,
in your pajamas,
done for the night,
a black
and white cat
in your folded
arms. what are
you doing here
standing in
the rain
with roses,
a bundle of cliche
roses, wilted
and crimson red,
there is no
spoken answer,
no reply, no need.
what's more
obvious than a
man standing soaked
in the rain at
midnight with
flowers, the taxi
waiting at the curb
to take his
broken heart
home.

blackbirds

fast
are the days
and nights
that fly
away
like blackbirds
on wind,
off the wire,
tossed into
flight,
it's all
magic,
this brief
stay,
the moments
savored,
the nights
endured,
the desire
to live
just one
more day.

Temptation

lies at the tip
of your finger,
out of focus
in your wandering
eye. Is it
sugar or sex
that you prefer
to step towards,
or into, upon
the hot coals
with bare feet,
perhaps a drug,
or drink,
poured late into
the night, or
even early day
that piques your
prurient interest.
It's everywhere
you turn,
temptation,
this whisper
of discontent
nestled warmly
in your ear,
this sense of
needing more, a
splash of color,
or spice that
takes you off
the middle and to
an edge, where
danger is ripe.