Us and all our lonely ghosts
trying to fill the gaps in
with lover's flesh and ink.
Whiskey to warm our ribs,
seal us air-tight,
and drown the monsters
we can't write out of us.
Suffocate the damn things
before they learn how to swim.
Haunted, but not horrified,
we've seen ashes before.
We only wait for the March winds
to blow them away
fell in love with a Marine once,
Broad shouldered, strong armed,
With a voice like sunlight’s warmth,
And tough, battle--scarred hands.
He was always quick to smile
Laugh his loud, boisterous laugh.
But his eyes,
Green as beech leaves in spring,
Bore depths that could not be fathomed.
Scenes that had played before them,
Replayed as pain across the iris,
Sometimes hazy with tears,
When the scarred hands would grasp mine tightly,
The voice like sunlight’s warmth
Deepen, storm clouds gathering,
And drop to darker times and days
Of sand and blood and a beating sun,
When the head I cradled in my arms
Found rest on a lonely desert stone.
When the gentle hands that caressed my cheek,
Caressed a rifle,
But with less fervent tenderness.
When the lips that kissed mine,
tasted of sweat, caffeine, and nicotine.
I loved a marine once
Tried to bandage the wounds
Made by war and a hard life
But I was only a salve to numb the pain.
And when he left me,
To chase long deferred dreams,
I let him go, praying he’d find the peace
Which had eluded him for so long
They say that one can lead a horse to water,
but one can't force him to drink.
this must be true.
However that may be,
I've never seen a thirsty horse
refuse good water.
I imagine that Jellaludin would have
something very witty to say about this.
I simply will say,
let your heart be like the horse
who never refuses sweet waters.
Hair holds scent like memory.
The fall evenings spent by campfires,
coming home to the empty house, washing the sensory reminder of fellowship and pine down the drain,
but the smell stayed on pillows
Remember smelling formaldehyde in its strands
after anatomy class
and holding the heart of the 17 year old boy
who crashed his motorcycle.
And wondering how many children
the hands of the ancient old woman
held before they stilled.
They were perfect, marble, the nails elegantly long.
I remember how my hair trapped his scent with me.
It smelled like his hands,
like his mouth.
Tobacco and smoke
cool night air and January stars.
I haven't cut it since.
you are a cathedral.
Your ribs rise in vaulted grace,
the nave of your mouth stands open,
and cloister arms,
Your skin's stretch marks
are etched like stained glass,
Flame light flickers in your eyes.
Wonder of time and art,
made by divine hands,
You are more beautiful than Notre Dame
and all her souls.
When the men come to pray,
Do not let them
desecrate this house.
as the bombs burst around you.
You will tremble.
But you will not fall.
Enfold the weary pilgrim
who comes to you by night.
he will say.
And find it, in you.
I am not falling.
I am drifting.
as a feather does on the breath.
There is a quiet strength in this joy.
my heart has not known before.
We stand on solid ground,
though our knees are weak.
The love in your hands
matches the look in your eyes.
beats in rhythm with mine.
There is peace.