You were sitting on the edge when I awoke
Half-dreamt thoughts still running while you pulled up knee highs
Quiet as a dormouse thinking I was still asleep
I didn't correct you, eavesdropping on this moment
Your soft locks spiling down bare shoulders
Bare breasts moving in time with graceful unrehersed movements
They didn't need to be, any more than you needed me
You picked up a satin dress, gliding it down curves I'd worshipped
busied yourself with leaving me although we never agreed
On times and places, ambitions we spoke of but didn't share
You seemed thoughtful for a moment and left a note on the nightstand
I couldn't read it then, but I knew what it read,
You always thought your excuses were so clever and novel
To me they felt like heartache, and little pieces of you
Pieces I couldn't help but try to reassemble
And if by some miracle, make you whole again
It wasn't your plan though. I was merely a replacement
but a heart can't bear the burden of another who's not ready
To put the deed out on the line
No matter how much I'd wished you're mine
You knew I wouldn't see you
But it didn't hurt any less
Returning cold embraces, warm caress
I knew it was too good to
Keep you from all the buckshot
I forgot, you can't cover the spread
Now I'll have to pattern another gun
One more choke, another run
Cause you weren't true
I lied when I thought of you
Now I'll cry, but know I'll get her soon
She's a sultry one, I know
seducing me with words I've used before
but never felt the weight until they came
From fingers nimbly graceful as her' s
When I see her profile I smile
Knowing what her words will do
though she's a thousand miles away
she can whisper clear as day
Make me feel again all those things
I ran from and forgot (or tried to)
She reminds me that I am not
Pining alone, or uselessly
If written words were miles
and reading the same as traveling
I'd be at your front door by now
begging for one more verse
I'd almost forgotten the blanketing beauty of sorrow
and the unbearable lightness of joy
that leaves you wondering why you were so happy
this must be what she felt when she decided to let go
I don't remember when I decided to stop trusting the world
or when that decision seemed foolishly myopic
but when I picked up my mat to walk it felt heavy
if there is miracle in healing, it is the miracle
of seeing yourself die, or at least an older version of it
then comes all the newness that really isn't new at all
like reminding myself that this is the first time
to hear our song, now that she's gone
or remember the way she loved the ocean
because I saw a seashell in a fisher's net at a restaurant
when did I ever start liking U2? Maybe she played it too much
and when did forever become yesterday?
maybe I saw the end coming, like a wave spotting another
breaking on the shore and disappearing never to be seen again
I suddenly felt my trough deepening, my crest folding
I felt my own demise inching closer to the rocks
reminding me of the pier in Longbeach where she said goodbye
they don't teach you how to have a broken heart
anymore than they teach you how to fall in love
then again, no one thought to tell the wave that it is the ocean
Anyone can believe
statistics and facts,
having faith takes courage
Our eyes were closed when we first began to see
though they were weak with sorrow
lit through light, though darkness still prevailed
and to him, who wandered desperately
the fire never died, though we were dead as nails
we wearied ourselves uselessly, but never without hope
I guess I should have known
but hope can blind when it shines too bright
truth leaves painful spots, retinal shadows
with one foot out of the door the whole time
You never lied to me
I believed in the shadows I sold myself
now I'm indebted to my heart
with nothing to show it, but the memory
of the sun I stared at from the start
Went back to the Hotel room
I knew you'd say not to if it had been up to you
But the labyrinthine hallways beckoned
Your soft hair scent still in my nose
I pretended you were by me, pretended we had more time
Such a precious thing, until you lose sight of it
so precious to me, soft lips and a cool breeze
and all the light of careless joy you bring
and fill my shady dark southern orchards
with a soft cool promising gale of kind intent
I lost you somewhere in still mornings
in the fog you belong to
quiet winter now your head looks high
and I can sink into your sadness
Shadows of regrets forgotten
The sun dies in your eyes and I
am lost with the thoughts of you
slinking secrets in tight pockets
A warm hand reminds me of all
the words we wanted to say, everything
like stolen secrets... whisper
into parts of me that only you know
You are flawed, it is true
but what diamond isn't? Can I polish you
fit until the days seem like they cant
fill all of our passion in ticks and measures
Then you will say to me
'This is what I want'
You will whisper
Things I wished I'd already knew
Have you ever had a poet
suck softly at your lips
Then say bye?
You said your lips were soft
I parted them with tongue and cheek
but you took me seriously
at least your body did without your consent
lips swollen, eyes closed
your firm warm button getting hard
until I could part your mouth with my own
I hugged you with soft lips
and you struggled, flailing thighs against me
you were no match
you never were
for this sort of thing, soft spots inside of you ached
and I was glad to fill them
Fill them with hope and excitement
then fill them with anxious delight
Softly hammer the head of your daisy
till it parts and withers like a lover lost
Your soft warm heat meets me
whisper words and gather your feminine charm
while I take your folds and soft surprises
pulsing under tongue and mouth
You press but I push back
not gently like a lover, roughly now
like a man taking a prize that he knew was his
your moans sing the soft song of thanks
And when your eyes alight
as they always do
They do so for me, while you stare
directly into me, because I asked you to
my lovers lips, moistened with your dew
You are the one I think of
when I'm awake
You're the one I dream of
When boughs shake and you're
awake, you're imagined in
the sheets next to me
You stir restless and
with knowing eyes you advise
all my advances
Engineers and Salesmen drop drafts on your desk
They know that you're the only one in the office
Who will read the damned thing a hundred times over
Searching for every misspelled word, every misplaced comma
Then read and 're-reread all over again
To see how the words taste and feel
To research to death any word you aren't 100% on
Read, write, polish, rewrite and polish again
Until that draft shines like a gem
And though you may never know the time I spent with your words
when they ask you, as they surely will
Did you write that?
You may proudly say 'yes'
I know it's crude and rude
But do we really need all the bullshit
When you're already leaning in at the bar
Warm hand on my shoulder
Whispering things to me you need not whisper
Laughs too loud
You stare at me with 'yes' in your eyes
but you wait for words I despise
Cliched rhythms of lovers past
Why not instead, lead me softly by the hand?
You're already in my head
hug me with your mouth
Don't tease and please like the prom queen
Fuck me like a poet
I want to feel your soft lines
The scars of your heart
are deep. I can't compete with
Whom I never knew
When I first arrived in Aberdeen it filled me with excitement. There was architecture here like none I'd seen at home, squares dating back to medieval times, bagpipers. Now after nearly a month of being here, after the awe had worn, after I'd lost a lover, it struck me a little odd.
A painter might easily paint any street in City Centre with the use of only two colors. All was grey, the masonry of the buildings uniformly so. The cobblestone streets reflecting the grey skies above like so many rivers. Women wore black skirts with grey leggings. The bench-less bus stops framed in dark charcoal metal and filled with Plexiglas seemed less quaint and more uninviting. Occasionally a cab driver might notice my accent, and once the perfunctory pleasantries had been exchanged, give me an impromptu tour.
That is where the bombs fell on the wall around King's College.
Duthie Park was a welcome splash of imported color, but it was a memory now, contained in snapshots on my camera, perhaps never to be seen again in life.
Work had brought me, and choked away time. It occurred to me that at some point, and I'm not sure when, I had simply become another commuter, another writer hopping from desk to hotel and back again. Hope came and went with every soft curl and pair of brown eyes that fell into view, none of course were her.
I looked out of the cab, a sign read '20 is plenty', a friendly reminder. I could only assume it meant kilometers per hour, which didn't seem like plenty at all to me. Perhaps that's why no one actually drove 20.
My time was ending here, and though I longed to be home, it still felt bittersweet. If only I'd had more time. If only I could see her again.
If. My mind began to fill with ifs and my mood followed like a horse on a bit, circling roundabouts inside of me: indecision, regret, lost hope, the vast unknown.
Possibility, though, kept it all bearable for now.
You faded out of view quickly, too quickly it seemed. A man walked through the car, surprising me at first. I thought I was alone, thought I needed to be.
"How're ya gettin' on?"
"Poor", for a second I found my terse, American reply slightly rude, but it didn't bother the man who had now taken the empty seat next to me.
"There'll be others lad." He reassured.
"Not like this one."
"Aye," he said simply, nodding his head in sympathetic agreement.
"Same will be true of the next... so it goes"
I looked him over briefly. A Scotsman, in trousers and a vest, or 'waistcoat' as the term was generally applied here. He looked sharp, a businessman was my first thought, yet his manner was that of a friend.
It was my turn to stare out the window. He looked forward as if he were studying the seat in front of him.
"Ne Parcus nec Spernas"
"Apologies if I'm out a' turn. Just noticed your plaid," he explained with a gleaming eye and slight lift of the brow.
"Lamont" he said simply by way of explanation. 'Lamb-end' was how it sounded. I had always used the 'anglicanized' pronunciation 'luh-mont'.
She'd bought me a scarf, my ancestral plaid was noticeable to him apparently. Perhaps he shared it.
"You'll see her again. She may've different eyes, different birthmarks, a softer scent..." he mused.
"Aye," I mimicked.
Once I finally pulled my eyes from out the glass window and looked over I noticed he was gone. Vanished, just as quickly as she had. Somehow, the motto of moderation seemed suddenly relevant, germane to my situation, yet still distant.
I rode the rest of the way back to Aberdeen alone, but I didn't feel empty anymore.
Union square was crowded, my hotel seemed much further than it had been the first time.
I smiled. Found my keys and hoped again.
Boats in the sky so
big all steel and wing swimming
through clouds, another lands
Love knocked on my door
but it had been so long, I had forgotten the sound of her knocking
I almost didn't answer, but she persisted
Knocking louder and louder until I felt compelled
to loose every chain, to unlock every deadbolt I had put up
I thought she might give up while I was trying to get all of the barriers out of the way
but when the door finally opened up
she simply stood there smiling at me
"I was looking for you"
I couldn't think of what to say, I hadn't had visitors in so long
all I could do was say "come in"
she came in. she smiled. she disapproved of some things
bur her eyes lit up at others. She walked into my life unannounced, uninvited
and all I could think to say was "welcome"
She stirred around for a while, told me things I thought only I knew
she told me things I thought she wished she'd kept to herself
she couldn't help it
She had some family of mine I'd never met
some people walked through my door unannounced, uninvited
yet I welcomed them like honored guests
and when she left, she left with her scent in my nose
her glowing eyes and lush lips smiling in the shadowy corners
of places in my apartment I thought only I knew about.
Places I still think about now
that she's gone
I placed my lips on your neck, curved away from me, looking out the window
your soft hair stood up but you said nothing,
silent as the green countryside passing by.
"Where are you going?"
"I don't know", you said. It wasn't dismissive this time; it had been in the past
when we were still laughing on Princes Street and window shopping like all the other tourists.
Your insouciant smiles soothed that sinking feeling that was beginning to grow in my chest.
It was premature then but it had ripened now. All that careless energy evaporated.
I wanted to look into your eyes but I had to make do with their ghost on the glass, looking not at me
but somewhere else, or some time else perhaps.
Your hand fell on my lap warm and still. For a moment I felt like a man on the execution block
wanting desperately to stretch out time, by some alchemy turn a single moment into an eternity.
The hills no longer racing by but only passing slowly helped fuel my desperate wish.
An electric pre-recorded voice announced what I already knew it would.
You looked at me finally granting my wish. Your big brown eyes like still oceans. I could
no longer sail in them; I was drowning. You smiled a sweet smile and kissed me on the lips.
"Where are you going?"
I was too weak with sadness to embrace you, and I knew you knew. You got up, your soft curls
brushing against my cheek.
I counted your footsteps to the end of the car as if a number could give me power over them.
The train started up again, but I felt emptier than the car I was now sitting in.
A solitary hot tear fell down my cold cheek while I sat watching my Gypsy lover disappear into the distant green hills.