She measures love in ink
and by the storm brewing in the sky
She measures love in torment
and by the look she finds in your eye
She measures moments in seconds
itching movements beneath her skin
She measures moments in ecstasy
aching touches that breathe with sin
She measures a look
with a jaundiced eye
and a gesture that's so worthless
She measures a look with a sigh
then turns back to something
more worth it
She aches to be touched
but cannot stand
a hand that's raised toward her
She aches to be spoken to
in a soft sweet voice
angels sighing in harmony
is what she prefers
She kisses all that touches her lips
be it poison or profound
She anchors herself
to the hands at her hips
it keeps her head from floating
to the clouds
A solid point of connection
is the world she has so often tried
that has been wasted by much rejection
she writes such perfect lies
Yesterday my sister visited me
and remarked on the dozen
blood red roses in a vase and said
how lucky I was to have someone to bring me flowers
I didn't dare tell her they were an apology, I didn't dare tell her they represented the blood I bleed,
I didn't dare tell her she could have them because if he came home and saw them missing...
He'd know someone came to visit
and the tones of the tune would be bass deep and in the end only I would weep to a song that would never end
and the roses would die inside the vase
while I quietly hid my face
Then the daisies would arrive
and once again my sister would visit
only to see fresh flowers in a vase
and sigh in heartfelt delight
but she'll never know, that the flowers
that continue to show up in the vase
represent my fear of the coming night.
Picture the clown
with his silly frown
Picture the big cat
that docilely sat
as you gave it a pat
Picture the main ring
where the bearded lady will sing
the unicorns, risen at dawn
will trail a rainbow on a string
Picture the strongman
holding a child's hand
when everybody just ran
Picture the journey
that involved you and me
Picture the empty seat
Now picture the chaos
the emptiness of loss
all the glamour and gloss
Picture the heartbreak and joy
see the little boy, with the toy?
It's the one thing he don't allow
others to destroy
Picture waking at dawn
understanding in a yawn
nothing will be different this morn
Picture this, the colours are wild
life is more difficult to adhere
Picture the difficulty of this postcard
Wish you were here
she started at the wrong door,
then stopped at the first instrument she saw –
a flute, shiny and bright, but
too incandescent for her soft-spoken eyes.
but then she heard a trumpet.
she fell in love.
and only later on the school bus did she realize
she preferred it in its case.
but she would never stop dreaming about
that first trumpet.
(no girl ever does.)
next up a saxophone,
taken home for a moment of heartcrush
in a lifetime of greater and lesser things.
jazz entranced for this short while, but
mostly just cheap whiskey, old Coltrane and
the special Holiday made from heroin.
(when the sax came in, low
it snuck up on her. knocked her off her
and truth be told she stood at that second
heartbreak far too long.)
she headed back in,
and sat down at a five-piece drum kit.
the sticks were awkward and she
pretended to be tommy ramone;
she just didn’t have the personality-coordination
for so much multitasking anxiety.
she learned to crave a beating on occasion,
but she missed the romance of melody.
(and she didn’t have a band to be useful for.)
she settled for a while on a fender ukulele – but
never learned to coax out a song.
she strummed steadily, making white noise
to drown out the embarrassing fact
that she could never get it in tune.
whiny bagpipes, a spit-filled harmonica, and
a mournful timpani later,
she wandered the store, restless.
not finding anything?
she turned to see a man
pretending to be interested in sheet music.
nah...I’ve tried to play so many instruments,
but I can't seem to find one that's a good fit...
maybe you don’t need another instrument,
he said with beguiling eyes,
and then was slow to grin.
you look like a violin...
an explanatory look at her waist gave
way to a proposition:
I think what you need...
is someone to play you.
yeah... he nodded in self-agreement,
you just need someone skilled
at tuning untried strings.
let me play you, baby.
I can make you sing.
we've come a long way
from the days when we
passed notes between mates
the words on the page
hiding them in pockets
to take them home
to smooth them against
the bed, reading every word
again and again and again
we've come a long way
from leaving little pieces
of paper, parts of our soul
on pillows and in bedside draws
from scribbled messages
on bathroom mirrors
written in lipstick the colour of
Siren Red and Bleeding Crimson
breaking out of our prison
we've come a long way
to being able to say
how much we mean
how hard it is to say the words
how easy it is to shove letters
into verse and choke
it's a long way from face to face
conversations that evoke imagery
from our distant dreams
it seems we've come a long way
for the High Definition brunette momma among us
there are tracks in your arm
to all those
with a personal microscope
examines the empty spaces
tween your poem-words....
the exterior all smiles,
whooping it up,
children, all smiles,
tumbling, breaking things,
ceilings collapsing, winters arriving,
as is the way of the kids
breaking you to
Abut to all this
is the contentiousness,
the aboriginal sense of loss
for what once was,
plain out in
in the secret messages sent
unuttered utter devotion
we need no qualification
of what we are
we are friends,
not drinking buddies,
the straight out
of each other
thousands of miles apart
of simple purity borne,
you warm me
with endless jokes
and familial tales
and I thank you
for sharing, for trusting,
me with that troubling notion
that I am missing
a sorrowful deepening
after a wellness examination
but t'is heard around the world,
gunshot to my heart,
come to me when
is understood that this
paean ~ pain ~ poem
is a simple wayfarer's way
I know you are sleeping now,
but when the fall sun breaks,
here is hoping me that you
break into private tears
in private places
like the ones decorating me,
the best of what