Constant as the fiddle’s hum,
we’ve done it all together, except run.
Fifty years in Appalachia,
we’re cracked leather, aged wine.
My home: the deepening
of our old love and Langer’s lines.
There’s a certain clarity in the breakdown:
to really know presence in one moment, is to drown.
These mistakes and this loss are a slipping and a falling,
but panicked stomachs in chests tune our ears to the calling:
Pieces of ourselves that we mourned to have lost, were a giving away:
now we’re shelters from the rain in Soho, and food for seagulls in the bay.
How we protest when we lose our things and our pride,
but lost too was every reason to not forgive (lies!)
Together now, my identity remerges in this task:
I will love you, through the fading of your mask.
I misplaced my love
blame it on my
and these too-big shoes.
I gave myself away
to the crowd,
in being diluted,
in this generic loud,
in someone who's proud
of my shape-shifting,
I’ve been responding
to the wrong name.
a look of loss
and the chest pressure
Beloved mistakes hang
in the mirror’s frame.
I found myself
in a pawn shop,
Coffee, *****, sitting:
Drugs abet this ringing in my ears.
All around the universe hums:
Be here, be here, be here.
We seem to think that the past
has a picture of us on its dresser,
and future’s a woman in a red dress;
her womb, our plans: impress her.
Here’s the secret that the birds chirp:
This is the only day.
You made the sky and all the love under it;
you sigh, and the clouds blow away.
Be here with me now, I beg.
Open the door with your whole body.
See me without the past,
and we’ll make love for the first time, always.
What a cast of characters
we parade through this play-life,
they're dying Juliet deaths 'til we're bereft,
pondering the qualities of the stage light:
how it caresses empty sets with as much grace as our dramas,
unrequited in its love of the playwright.
I hold the feather’s weight of your artery in my pick-ups,
and tiptoe the tightrope about which life and death abuts.
You’re a 2 AM trauma and we still don’t know your name,
the social worker’s thin lips had mouthed: “estranged.”
I read your anatomy like a text as you flat-line:
your hands turn blue as your heart falls still in mine.
The monitor hums "out of time," but by Epinephrine,
and Grace, your chest resumes its rise.
I leave trauma bay in prayer: for the surviving, not the knife;
for the closeness of my hands in your chest, our joining in this life.
Tonight I see you at the Kroger, buying TV dinners and beer.
I hide behind cereal, admiring the life I’d held dear.
But you look so tired, and my heart breaks for how when you died,
I would’ve sold the shoes off my feet to buy you more time.
I wish you knew how precious was each of your heartbeats,
I wish you the wisdom of my view:
How fragile the stent is where your veins meet.