The Truth

I press your photos to my face.
The anger burns into my bones.
I am *worse* than half a man,
hopeless prayers,
written wrong,
worth the effort to erase.

Words were never
“Hands that held you”,
Magic spells
or silver songs.
They told a tired story
To a crowd that barely heard.

And nothing changes
that I’m lost.
Even when I dream a voice
That’s loud enough to hear,
I wake to find it dying
down to silence,
unperceived.

You

When the very last letter
Fades to black,
There my love
Will burn them back.
Turn the dark
From its attack
On everything we do.

For what was slipping
Through the cracks,
Paralyzing love
Attracts;
Words are frozen
In their tracks,
But winter falls, for you.

Fearless I
Embrace the facts
That pride and poetry
Are pacts,
Doubt
Dispassionately lacks,
And we, are all that’s true.

Vex

Endless night
Of whispered hexes.
Burning,
Sleepless eyes… 
It vexes. 
But a writer’s wrist, 
It flexes, 
Racing dawn to break.

Sure as the shiver
That shakes my bones,
Shed my fear
To the distant moans
Of alarms
On bedside telephones,
The restless
In their wake.

I will cherish
The exchanges, 
Brash and brute, 
In midnight mansions. 
Be not mute, 
But flick my cigarette ash
And shoot
Guns and glances, 
Gather loot.

For dawn is a wedding;
Wind and wear
Wrap like rings
And fingers dare, 
Using only words,
To spare
Their feeling, 
Now acute.

Rachael

You were there, first of all,
For the ninth grade debacle:
The bible-bearing days
Of crooked faux hawks
And crowded crowds,
In search of sense,
Like sails want for wind
To leave the shores.

I remember missing
More than mere sums
Of unlived life,
And confidence.
If I’d known, like Nemerov,
The point of all our style,
Little could have changed
My younger mind.

And words I write
Struggle now to clothe my bones
The way your skin
Once did with you,
Changing, awkwardly
Like contours of a body
Informing faint attraction
From afar.

Maybe I have dreamt
Or dressed this idea
In memories I’ve misconstrued.
But the way our conversations
Never truly start or end,
Nor need intention,
Says enough.

Now storms of luck
Are rushing to converge
Upon your looks,
And the hooks
Of older doubt must sink,
To hang in wait
On lines I cast in ink.

Trees

We don’t need
Any greed
In the shade
Of a branch,
Or the bed
Of an arm
That I lend.

We can shrug
Under moons
And wave
In the wind
While the roots
Of our love
Learn to bend.

And as these
Planted trees
Are as ports
To the seas
Of the sky
Where the stars
Hide a home,

We can lay
Lightly there
As the world
Falls apart.
Let the leaves
Overbear
Every bone.

Wanderer

I have traveled in valleys
Darker than death,
Wasted my passion
Chasing my breath.

I lost what I came for
Running away;
What it was
I cannot say.

I’ll wander the alleys
After dawn
Until I understand
What’s gone.

Ode to those

Folks who lick fingers
Before turning pages.
Strangers who long to converse or confess
In supermarket isles,
Or on silent streets.
Those unafraid to sit
By a beautiful girl.
Men who know whiskey
Is better after swirling drops
Of water in the glass.
Those who hark to better days
In golden rays
Of sunlit parks,
And we who send them
Smoke ring kisses by night.
Families who stand
Through two hour sermons
Hungover and half asleep:
The hell-bent on heaven.
The ones who say,
“Certainly”
As I pardon my way
Through crowds,
And the quiet children
Learning courtesy.

Bennie Goodman foot-tappers,
End of movie-credit clappers.
Letter writers.
Grammar Nazis.
Streetwise city slickers
Pounding coffin nails,
Turning church keys.
Women who wear hats.
Men who can compliment.
Nouveaux riche with the sense
To unbutton suits while seated,
And stand when ladies leave.
Lighterless lads
For whom I’ve lit a match,
And gals who get their man
A drink for free.
The brainiacs
Maniacs
Insomniacs
Amnesiacs…

I know it’s strange,
But so it’s true.
Heaven watches what we do.
Laughs at what it never knew.