separate checks

I should have stole a kiss that day,

leaned in from the driver’s seat before you

rolled your window up or maybe when

you reached behind to grab

your heavy leather purse you always say

you’ll clean out one day.

Your hand clung to my shoulder just

to balance while you looked for it.

That would’ve been so perfect right then, but

your perfume lingered like an orphaned ghost

after you left as if it wanted me to ask her

if she’d like to dance.

Perhaps that could have made things right

or filled in all the awkward space our goodbyes

left behind,

the empty chairs with jackets placed on top

where no one else can sit.

It seems I’m always squinting in the darkness

waiting for you to come back

And it seems we’ll always ride together

just to leave a seat between us.

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out of focus

There are objects always in the distance

points of light in space that seem to flicker like spent candles

in defiance of our questions

threatening to blow out

and we’re just arms waving at mirrors in the dark,

chameleons who’ve forgotten their true colors.

I hold this smile as if there were nothing else to wear

and these lies we tell ourselves are just blankets

to keep our dreams from catching cold

as if Happiness were lying naked underneath

laughing at the truth

that you can’t make out objects in the distance

with your back turned

but I already know

what your smile looks like

when it’s trying to say “goodbye”

“There’s something different..”

it’s funny how you always think that
and yet..
how is it
everytime I see you I can never get my fill?
Me getting tangled in that same sly web your laughter weaves
that I would freely jump into.
This light you fill me with has a weight, a density
as if I were submerged in it
and it’s strange that with you here
my smile becomes a bouyant thing
and somehow this new feeling lifts me
when your voice
kisses my thoughts another part of me lets go
a little lighter every time..
but since you asked
perhaps I did get just a little taller too

a valid question

She says the freckles on her cheeks mean that she’s dying
and I have to laugh at least twice for each funny thing she says
like a wine that hits you harder when you try to stand long after
and I’m feeling drunk off of this day
overtaken by a feeling heavier than hunger
yet sweeter than forgiveness
I wonder what we must look like hanging by this dim lit bar
leaned in towards each other like plants reaching for the sun
“why don’t you ask me any questions?”
she says between my rants and broken eye contact
as if she were the perfect punctuation that I needed there..no, there.
I want to know so many things that I should never say aloud
“Are you a sorceress?”
I think your eyes must whisper secret words to me that pull my smile
or maybe thats your laughter moving through my veins
like gospel that lifts you from your seat
until you have no choice but speak in tongues
and sway and tap
to music no one hears
or did you think that I was just nervous?
“what’s that..oh..um..where did you graduate?”

a kind of gravity

Light celebrates your skin
like toasted cinnamon
sweet amber rum
and I wonder if this sun
is just a clever object for your eyes to play with
mixing colors like a reckless painter
folding time into forbidden shapes
that leave hard creases in my thoughts
which fold all by themselves
But something bends for you
each time the shadows flee
like refugees made homeless by your smile
more potent than your laughter’s hymns
a rhythm my heart beats to
a kind of gravity
that spins me

beautiful ghosts

last night my hands reached out for you but found only this pen

tracing your face with words only your voice could color in

then it happened in the morning when I sat up in my bed

to find the tip toe of  your bare feet was…the falling snow instead

and no where in my neighborhood is lavender in bloom

but how else could the scent of your hair find me in my room

I know no ancient incantations said to keep spirits away

but I would recite all of them if it made my ghost stay

empty couches

How is it I still feel your sighs against my neck
as if your head had never left my chest
Of course, we had no need for pillows then
your long hair catching in the velcro stubble on my face
halfway through your “must see” films we rarely ever finished
and all those times my arms went numb
afraid that I would wake you
watching your head rise and fall
as I breathed in and out.
And somewhere in that rhythm your peace conquered me
and somehow underneath your weight I found it easier to breath.

The Starving Hour

The silence of this empty room collects and pours into the gravity
that pulls me further from myself.
With every little sound that isn’t you how could the creaking of these
floorboards be the turning of your sleep?
And there you are again… your foot steps fall like cotton down the
hallways of my mind.
These starving hours stalk me like a helpless prey, baiting me with
memories that taunt me with the taste of you.
And they would have devoured me but there’s no meat left on these bones.
How could I fall asleep so hungry?

One Island in the Universe

We sit in reverent, silent awe as if this moment were a jem that we could hold up to the light and polish with our smiles
If we could keep it for a little while..reach inside its velvet case, pull it out and listen to the song it makes ..perhaps we’d memorize the tune
and hum it to each other
we are like castles resonating with the echo of our silent thoughts
like choirs for the dead or dreams that never touch our sleep
“How long has it been?” we’ll ask.
tracing each other with stray glances moving in just close enough to feel the pulse of breaths…the empty cold of empty hands
Goodbye seems so impossible when..
the distance penetrates our bones like hunger.
tonight this park bench is an island in the universe only we inhabit
beneath these stars laughter is the love our souls make
Let our fingers touch
Let our hands swallow the emptiness they hold
these fragile seconds..like snowflakes melting when they land.

Emperor

And we’ll be close enough to hear our skin sing
Weigh our kisses with smiles that break the contact of our lips but only for a moment
So happy that we keep smiling so close that we keep kissing
in the lamplight we’ll wage war with smiles and kisses
no one wins and yet I am an emperor
warm breath against my neck spills victory into my veins.
I own the universe – I bend for you, crumble in your hands like dry leaves
fade to dust and disappear when you breath out.