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I don’t know how this happened

but here’s a brief summary of what I do know:
At some point in history
a rodent belonging to a group of large ground squirrels
known as marmots
peaked it’s head through the ground
and fell headfirst into the all of mankind.
Observant as we are
we watched said rodent,
presumably for decades,
we named that rodent marmota monax
we named that rodent woodchuck
we named that rodent groundhog
and then
be it because we were drunk
or tired
or deliriously confused by our purpose in this life,
we decided that the entire pendulum of winter
swung on one insignificantly particular day of the year
when a groundhog with a proper name
emerges from his burrow
and either does or does not see his shadow
because the sky either is or is not overcast.

It’s that kind of thinking that brought us here
into the swell of feeling like we are designed to repeat ourselves
same way train tracks prove that most circles are not perfect,
a freight train and a record player tell similar stories.

It’s that kind of thinking that brought us here
into the shape of a species who even on our best day
is literally not satisfied with the everything that has ever existed
same way our taking of selfies is a detriment to releasing ourselves
from the all that we ever were
when all we have are these constant reminders.

I never asked you to be pretty or handsome or perfect
just ready and honest
and willing to take nothing to bed with you
just knowing how to emerge from your slumber
with the entire pendulum of a season
pivoted on your correlation with a specific source of light.
Look at me
my eyes are trying to tell you a story in real time
about how I’d give up the sunburn to live in your shadow
so long as I was never a cloud in your sky.

You are a needle
touching the spiraling grooves
in every square inch of this earth
picking up the vibrations
which you then translate into the sound
of your existence

I’m all ears.

I don’t know how this happened
but one morning I woke up
at the exact
same time
as I woke up the day before
with a song
stuck in my head—
it was you

it was you with a harmony
it was you with a record scratch
it was you with a slow fade

it was you
and you kept telling me,
you said, “Frankie,
if you keep waiting for Bill Murray to show up
you're never gonna make sense of anything."
Chaos first was a primordial deity.

And I'm Ralph Wiggum on Valentine's Day.
Even if every girl in class gave me a card.
I still go home feeling less like Romeo.
Lying awake trying to make sense of
why their sugar just didn't taste so sweet .

Lying in bed like a nebula
waiting for all my stars to form.

--the nothingness from which all else sprang
headfirst and heartfelt,
half-naked and handsome,
hook, line, and

All of this.
Every measurable aspect of
every particle that makes up
every object set forth in motion
sprang from a void so harmoniously
as if the absence of everything was kissed
by the presence of something.

Often depicted with wings,
a bow, and a quiver of arrows--
son of Venus--goddess of love
son of Mercury--god of trade
his story
almost identical in Greek and Roman
His story about a couple of gods
so inherently human by nature
jolted by jealousy
dumbstruck by beauty
hellbent on immortality.

His story has been hallmarked
as red hot velvet rose petal fine wine
and symmetrical hearts
wrapped in tin foil red ribbons
bitter-sweetly sugarcoated
dipped in thin layer of chocolate
taste-tested and lover approved.

Remember that scene in Hook
where Tinkerbell leaves her footprints on Peter's chest?
Well that's you and that's me--
touch me where my heart beats
because I don't ever wanna be a lost boy.
I wanna grow up like a good bedtime story
with morals
and purpose.
I wanna have meaning.

You might say that Cupid found himself.
You might say that Psyche found her soul.
You might say that Tinkerbell was just faking it--
with the clapping.
Truth is
we can never know the whole story.
Problem is
we think we can
and act like we do.
So the only time we mean what we say
is the first time we say it.
Every utterance thereafter is just an attempt
at recreation.

I love you
is a paraphrase
that deserves three separate ellipses
because there's a lot left unsaid.

I (distinctively remember shadow-boxing with)
love (against a star-dotted sky anchored to a
moonlight so vibrant it can only be compared to)
you (and your tidal waves).

And that's where I fell
headfirst and handsome.

I (was punched-drunk by a kiss so breathless
that it spiked my dopamine to a volume
that can only be described as) love
(in that every time my nerve endings feel) you
(they spin themselves dizzy and dance to your science).

There was a moment
in the absence of everything
when I was kissed silent
by the presence of something.

Hold me to your breastplate.

I don't ever wanna go back to the void.

[2/09/10 - Revised 2/14/14]
Sometimes I feel like an angler fish
and this body feels like ocean.

I’m somewhere
in here. I’m lost.
You see more of me than I know what to do with.

I’m still catching the waves
that the teen-aged version of myself
bellyflopped into tides
when he thought
I’m too big to be loved.

Except ‘loved’ meant everything.
I’m too big to be happy.
I’m too big to be handsome.
I’m too big to be seen.

I still watch thinner people do things
and know
that no matter how many lights I turn off
there’s still a reflective surface somewhere
that knows
that no matter how high I learn to jump
from this skin in a moment’s notice
it’s still an ocean I’m cannonballing back into.

That no matter how much I sweat
this ocean;
double-chinned and love-handled
does not know how to be a pond.
We all know
that the Sun
does neither
nor rise,

Both these moments
only ever look
in the Earth's attempts
to turn/pull/move
from the Sun.

For ever.

That's us.
One of us
a celestial bolder
smothered in hope and fear
landslide-ing through
the nothingness,
and the other
an abundance of light
in the foreground.
Three times in my life I failed to deploy my armies on time,
failed to unstrap my armor and lay down my shields,
expose my chest, honest.
Take me.

Three times there has been an eclipse for which I wasn't equipped to see.

Sometimes I'd mistake your occurrence with that of a natural disaster.
I'd take cover.
Not willing to pardon my fears for a chance to dance with a hurricane
who identified himself as a tropical storm.
They say the difference is miles per hour.
We all know the difference is in how they allow themselves to be perceived.

On the days you touched down
beneath my armor
your aftermath was a smile that broke my face.
I was born with a need for earthquake scars but you
came to my landscape with conquer chest
convinced my natives to dance different.
You showed up with hunting, soil aggregation, and medicine.
I laid down my virgins for you in sacrifice.
In silhouette.
In your presence all my armor turned to tent sheet
transparent in the moonlight
until the fire went out.

Three times in my life I failed to peel back my Band-Aids fast enough.
Offer up my wounds for healing.
Yes, there is blood beneath these words,
there's a man on the other side of this voice, clutching
on a stone he soon realizes- his heart.
He's done slain the last of the dragons,
come back to a vacant cave, weeping
he talks to the skeleton that surrounds him,
swears the sky is as thin as his flesh,
swears he hears a voice on the other side
talking in terms of confession.

Three times in my life I can say, you're married now.
We speak to each other through veils.
It doesn't matter how much liquor we drink in tandem
or the size of the table between us
or the volume and shape of the laugh
or the impression that's left by the hug,
you're married now.

I was right to feel like a farmhouse on the wrong side of a tornado warning.
Where everything weighs nothing.

In the midst of a drought I retrofit my barnyard with castle walls,
pine over how I'm perceived,
pray for rain,
and practice my best impression of a storm cloud
because there's a man on the other side of this wind tunnel
and I'm tired of letting him down.
Honesty is a naked truth standing
in the middle of a clear desert
on a pale moon night
with skin the color of temperature,
eyes the depth of oceans,
a glass of whisky in one hand
and an invitation to forgiveness in the other.

Let's be honest.

I'm your Get Well card.
I musta got lost in the mail but I'm here now.
Follow my instructions.

Now it's your turn-
be my acceptance letter.
Be my eleventh birthday wish.
Be my lifetime supply of ego boosts.
Be my church bell, be my armor,
be my ****.

I've got a few decades left
and I was kinda lookin' for somebody to spend 'em with.

Let's burn calendars like the universe burns stars.
Without reason.

You'll find a lot objects in this galaxy get struck by meteors.
Lucky for you, all my ugly's on the surface.
Get past that
and you're good.

The whisky is for celebration.
The invitation is BYOB.

I don't know how to talk to you
without feeling like neon red siren screaming ambulance
with bad brakes and a blown tire
hauling through a busy intersection
where the crosswalks are full of children
And you're a pedestrian
soon to be in need of my stretcher.
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