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I wanted to write you into a love poem,
But all I can conjure
Is a picture of a girl crying off her mascara
On a stoop in the south of Chicago,
Smeared burgundy lips wrapped around
Thin cigarette,
And the man she used to love
Entering the scene upon his exit
From the doorway with it’s crumbling yellow paint,
Pale, now, in the rising moonlight,
Faded from
Decades of wind and rain,
And the gun he’s hiding behind his back –
“Come in,” he says to her –
Voice shaking in the cold December night,
And she says
Words in return,
Breath rising like a halo around her lips,
But it’s lost to the wicked wind,
And he raises his hand and puts
Slim, flattening bullets
Into her, and the
Children they had together
Come running
Just as the church bells ring,
Announcing the arrival of the hour

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And dawn,
Rendered into one, the promise of morning
Against the timeless, ancient values of night,
Eclipsed by the brutal reality of day,
Seen in the sky like distant stars,
Orbiting but separate and never the twain shall meet,
Save for when they do,
For all those times a baby’s cry sounds to ring in
His mother’s last breath,
Or he, stillborn, does not speak at all,
Destined to be silenced in the cosmic noir,
Mute, but not forgotten,
Or when, at our final appointment in Samara,
We hazard to ask,
“O Glorious Death, what is next?”
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What I heard
And what you said
Subtlety clash,
Like that split second
Between reaching out
And realizing
That the person in the mirror
Is not reaching back.
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I must confess
That the sun went West,
For it is in its nature
To do so,
Just as it is in mine
To follow its path,
A wanderer wandering,
A rouge retreating
Forever into the sunset,
Always seeking,
Never finding,
Always looking,
Never seeing.
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The greatest resistance you can offer
Is knowing you will one day die,
Yet choosing to live anyway.
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True courage
Is not the winning of wars,
But rather the dignity
Of a graceful defeat
From which one moves on
Swiftly, like the last of the morning stars
Bleeding from the sky.
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“I will bury you,”
Should only be said
By the Earth below us,
And the Sky above;
“I shall outlast you,”
Should be spoken only
By the birds and the bees,
And perhaps the leaves on the trees,
For all that remains of a man
When he is long-gone
Is the whisper of his memory
Along the cosmic wings of time,
And, of course, the planet
That became his tomb,
Busy growing and changing,
Too vast and ancient
To see his life as greatness,
Yet too resilient
To mourn him.
You can find more of my poetry at
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