what is love?
i thought i knew
on that saturday evening
when the stars were shining
like the slick pavement
on a beautiful
but all i knew
was the beat
of your steady heart.
is it the same thing?
i love the rain
so do you
it matches our souls
dark and beautiful
in times when there
aren’t words to say
it expresses us
in a silent way
saying this aloud
for the first time:
it seems cliché
but then again
so is “i love you”
and i do, i do,
i say it all the time
or at least i think it
so as far as cliché may go
at the moment
while i love you
(or at least I think i do
for I don’t know
what love is…yet)
i don’t mind.
so what is love?
is it a game of pretend?
is it more
than the sum of its parts?
or is it the merging
of two lonely souls
chasing each other
like a dog after its tail?
when i bite the coin,
will it bend under my teeth?
only time will tell
is a harsh mistress
she will not yield to anything
you ask her.
and as for now
i do not know the answer
what is love?
i want to know
so that i’ll know
when i am in it
and not let another opportunity
slip away between my fingers
before i get the chance
to grasp it
i want to know
what love is
but most important
i don’t want it from
just any old face
or any old place
the fact is
in a rain-soaked epiphany
that melted the ink
of your all-too-rare smile
into my spinning mind
indelible, not to be erased
i realized something
i might want it
and you alone
so tell me
what is love?
tell me so I might know
if we can have it
or if I might feel it
a sunbeam spreads
from within that
it warms the
sparsely populated fields
a little grain
but its growth
will not be fueled well
by the tears that fall
a little happiness
a little sunshine
in my life
and it comes
on the rare occasion
am your cause
these are the few
the far between
of the harvest
for a while.
Black velvet hat on the snowy ground.
The world is quiet, cold and round.
I pick cold powder up and roll.
Resulting snowman? Cold and still.
A carrot shall his nose comprise,
Two lumps of coal shall make his eyes,
The sparkling-dusted velvet hat
Shall top his head just so, like that.
I look away, the snowman smiles.
Or is it just a trick of the eyes?
I step away, the snowman moves.
Though he was just snow beneath my gloves.
I turn around, he greets me kind.
The will to move I cannot find.
How could it be, this snowman walks,
And thinks, and breathes, and loves, and talks?
His coal-mouth smiles, “Come, laugh and play.
Come dawn, we go to greet the day.”
I think about it, shake my head.
“A human sleeps. I must to bed.”
He laughs and smiles and takes my hand.
We run across the cold, soft land.
Come morning, “It is time,” says he.
“The day is warm, too warm for me.”
So Mister Snowman says good-by
A frozen tear forms in his eye,
And I embrace my brand new friend,
Hard-pressed to watch as he meets his end.
Black velvet hat on the snowy ground,
The world is bustling, warm and round.
I visit Mister Snowman’s hill.
Resulting puddle? Cold and still.
I don’t want to watch you go.
You’ve slipped between my fingers
One too many times.
I hate to watch your heart break.
I wish I could breathe life into your broken spirit
Instead of having to see you
With the next betrayal
Each new set of bullying youths
Or scarring untruths.
It hurts me beyond hurt that
I cannot be there to stop them
When they treat you so badly.
I can do nothing but hold you,
Trying to show you that
There is still love in the world.
I am too young, too powerless,
To do anything but adore you
Adopt you as my kin
Remind you that your world may be shattered
But you may also be somebody’s world.
Unfortunately, I am not enough to always offer escape.
I am just one.
And I must watch each time you evaporate
My sister sans blood,
My melt-away girl.
Is it possible
To love invisibly?
To feel a love for something you can’t see?
To hold it close,
And feel it brush your soul
Like something warm, a fire, a burning coal,
To get you through the times when you’re apart
And only see the image in your heart?
My answer is
And it doesn’t ask questions.
You don’t need to see someone
To know that you love them.
Most love is loved in absentia anyway,
Knowing you’ll miss them when they are away,
Loving them, perhaps, in more measure than you do
When they are standing right in front of you.
Let me this way begin:
You cannot see the wind,
And yet you may love it most sensibly.
For love itself exists intangibly,
And manifests itself in many forms.
And I will love at times invisibly; weather the suns and storms,
For if they shut my eyes once and for all
And I was blindfolded against a wall,
Held in jeopardy,
I’d count on my love
To save me,
Not in a foolish act of desperation
Or blindly trusting someone I cannot,
Not damsel in distress
But knowing this:
If I truly fall in love,
I will be able to trust them.
They will not wrong me,
And they will have nothing to hide.
So even though
I much prefer to see,
It won’t be hard
To love invisibly.
It’s a cursed game of peek-a-boo we play.
I wait for you to notice me
Behind closed hands.
Of course, you never will.
We chase each other around barriers
Thrown up by distance—
Or is it your resistance?
I know I don’t even know you that well.
I want to.
I want you.
But I’m hiding behind closed hands,
Ashamed of what I feel.
I know I can’t have you.
And if I told you how I felt,
I’m worried I’d scare you away.
So I hide behind closed hands
And tell myself:
Not now. Maybe someday.
It’s better for the both of us
If I play this little game because
I don’t want to scare you,
I think I like you.
The sad thing?
I know that you can’t like me too.
I take a breath of the cool morning air.
The sky is gray with after-dawn.
My lips taste of dew and salt,
Bare toes on a damp dock tap now in count.
One. Two. Three. Leap.
I plunge into an endless bubble whirl,
As simultaneously delicate and strong
As the vermilion tendrils that wave at me from the sea floor.
My feet kick, brushing one.
Shy fish bat at my toes and then retreat into the kelp
As I open my eyes
Blinking out into the brine.
It stings, creating a fog that I have to shake
With focus on my oscillating feet.
When my vision clears, it is like waking into a dream.
A world of possibilities is born as I take in all the life.
Living things are displayed before me
In a beautiful vital rainbow
Of silvers and blues,
Grays and greens,
And I am instantaneously in love with it.
Only stopping to rub my eyes once,
I dolphin kick my way to the floor below.
The sand is a soothing loam between my toes.
A hermit crab scuttles across my foot.
I swear, he grinned at me, just ask him.
Oops. He’s gone.
As I turn my gaze upward and take in the rippling sky,
I feel my lungs shall burst.
Though if not for my anatomy,
I think I could stay here forever.
Paddling out my goodbyes, I am now on the rise,
Escorted by what seems like millions of cascading tiny fish.
Higher and higher I climb,
Heading a parade I know only I shall finish,
As one by one they peel off, and once more I am alone.
Eyes shut tight, I break the surface.
Pulling myself back up onto the small wooden dock.
My skin shines bright with the dampness
Now rolling in small beads down my thighs.
I hug my knees to my chest and stare at the vastness before me.
The air is cool, still morning.
I’ve never felt more alive.
At night I hear them
Sneaky little feet running around my head
The creatures they belong to
Biting on my brain cells and
Rummaging around my memories like
They're trinket hunting in a dusty old attic and
Pulling out the most repulsive, musty things they can find,
The things I hid in boxes, embarrassed about,
Old snapshots of a past I’d rather not remember
But they always creep back out of there come family reunions.
These sneaky little creatures that bite on the back of my brain
Cackle over my most mortifying trinkets,
The kind that I try to give away but the thrift stores won’t take them
And I’d be too humiliated to sell them directly
Because that would mean I’d have to share the fact that I had them
When the fact of the matter is that I’m walking in the snow
And trying to cover up my footprints
With an evergreen branch
That does nothing but leave bigger, clearer marks on
The cold white unforgiving ground
And makes the marks more visible
But less obviously mine.
And the sneaky little creatures don’t like this,
Because it’s taking away from the treasures they keep
Up in my attic with the moth-eaten shawls
And dusty old rocking chair stashed in the corner.
They love the old, repulsive musty things
That I don’t want and cannot give away,
And so they make me look them over and over
And shove the hideous things into my face
Dissolving my sense of self as easily as
Salt into water
And gradually changing my taste buds
From honey to brine
As I wonder
Why, why, why
And the sneaky little feet that run around my head
Turn heavy, as if clad in iron boots
And every little trinket that they share
Makes them less and less easy to ignore.
When it all comes down to it,
At the innermost core
We are our own hearts.
Not the ones pulsing blood like the beat of the ocean
Or salty-sick tears to mimic emotion,
But a bright, shining moonstone of a heart,
Plucked from the sky and infused with our qualities,
All of our dreams, personality
Fears and realities
All pulled together from mutual disparity
Into the real us, something of clarity
All tucked away at
But we treat it like an apple core
Once round and full
Take bites of it
Spit out the seeds
Throw it on the ground
And let the birds peck out the juice
And we tuck ourselves away, bundled up in insecurities
The need to please
The standards of society
And hope for nothing more
Than to be loved and thought of highly.
It’s the side of us you’ll never see-
I’d like to wear it on my sleeve.
Excuse me for a sec while I go dancing in the rain so
The drops can hide my tears and I can laugh away the pain
I’ll pull all my outer layers off and throw them on the ground…
Let the real me shine through
Or I would
If only I knew how to.
Until then, I content myself with
Showing little pieces of it when I feel most comfortable,
Looking for a diamond of it in a loved one’s smile
So I can find perfection for a while.
In the core,
My core, your core, doesn’t even matter,
These little moonstone cores are beautiful and someday
I would like to have the confidence to wear mine on my finger-
I don’t care if it’s a flawed stone anymore.
I’m done examining it for imperfections.
Because it’s mine
And I am proud of it.
Its truth is in its beauty
And it is beautiful because
It is the real me.
Someday I promise I will gather up
The strength to wear it proudly
Like the people who are braver than I.
Until then, I wear myself
Like a badge on my shirt pocket
And try to notice if
I’ve subconsciously let it slide
Under the heavy suede jacket
Of the expectations of others.
I’ll take it out, polish it, and display it in a place of prominence again.
Because it’s my core
And I want to let it shine.