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Jul 2021 · 495
sight / touch
declan morrow Jul 2021
touching what is seen,
seeing what is touched:
i cannot see you.
you cannot touch me.

my love.
Jun 2020 · 314
Your heart beating
declan morrow Jun 2020
I pour my suffering out
into my hand,
over your side,
so as not to
drown you.
We flow together,
we weep together,
we follow each other;
we oscillate between varying dimensions.
It is a state of languid frenzy.

You trap me; you keep me; you hurt me.
You are strong.
I hold you; I cling to you; I caress you.
I try to be gentle.
And the feeling
is divine:
the feeling of
your heart beating
alongside mine.
Mar 2020 · 122
declan morrow Mar 2020
i wanted
love me
salty waves

i felt you crash on top of me

and you
of the
warm ocean
Mar 2020 · 143
man on the side
declan morrow Mar 2020
this man by my side,
his love pinned me down.
his love runs through me.

but it's another face
i see, i caress
when i lay down
and my sheets are bare with his absence.
i don't know why.

i don't know why,
but my man on the side,
when his fingers run across me,
my whole world is his
beads of sweat dripping on my chest,
and falling down my side.

it lasts just a moment,
i don't know why.
declan morrow Jan 2020
it was the first time we met; i was freshly 18.
and that Fiorentino barbuto--i guessed aloud that he was 24.
and he laughed at me, but softly.

i got into this italian's car unquestioningly,
the 'plan A' having been compromised.
Whitney Houston in my ears;
his hand drifting over my thigh;
the gold bracelet on his wrist.

desolate hilltop, well outside city center.
it was nighttime. so many twigs and leaves;
bottle of red;
political conversation;
sitting on two tree stumps;
trying to speak spanish;
city below.

we stood up.
his left hand took me; i bet he bruised me somewhere.
(i had shaved all over, thank god)

he caressed my face with his right,
his thumb dragging against my jaw
as he surely longed for someone who had left,
and i longed for the one i was yet to meet.
i saw the golden lights through my eyes pressed shut.
it's been a while since i actually wrote something; i've been reading more, though. i wonder how explicit i'm allowed to be in detailing my ****** exploits???
Nov 2019 · 186
day and night
declan morrow Nov 2019
tomorrow morning
i'll walk quickly,
keeping pace
with the hurried crowd,
wading through pools of brisk sunlight.

it will be beautiful.
and i will see your face everywhere
and tonight's truth will find tomorrow's joy:
tears of joy running clear down our cheeks.

and day and night
will search after one another
like two inseparable lovers
who have yet to meet.
Sep 2019 · 264
tell him
declan morrow Sep 2019
if you see him, tell him.
tell him i miss him.
tell him i forgive him.

tell him to let his guilt dissipate,
like the smoke from his cigarette;
tell him he knows
he can't just let it churn indefinitely there,
in his lungs.
tell him to exhale.

tell him i love him.
he knows, but tell him;
he needs reminding.

and tell him it's a feeling that
has never left me: not once,
not for a moment,
from then, when we first broke bread,
to now, when we shatter each other's
stares across the room full of people.

tell him our love was a miracle
that gave light to my soul,
confirming its once elusive vitality.

tell him how true it all was,
in spite of and yet because of everything:
the pain,
the laughter,
the ramblings,
the loneliness,
and the chins held high.
declan morrow Sep 2019
though you can't see me,
though you can't feel me yet,
i'm wrapping you in the embrace
of my big purple sweater.

yo veo
your scrunched white socks;
your wavy dark hair;
your fist beneath your chin.

leaning back in your chair; words under your breath;
a harmless smile:
i'm a child again,
entranced by the image of you.
youth's joy pulsed through my veins again,
and i was so glad,
for i truly thought it had left me for good.
Aug 2019 · 78
declan morrow Aug 2019
i had to pinch myself.
i had to claw into my skin
to ensure that i could still feel.
i had to tremble
to ensure that i could still move.
i had to think of you
to recall a time in which
there was no cause for panic.

i thought of you.

i thought my heart was breaking.
i thought it was stopping;
i was frantically searching
for my pulse.
Aug 2019 · 131
declan morrow Aug 2019
Just look at how
the sun
is shining outside,
how it's
shining on our bed,
how it's
shining on our skin.
what i would say if he were beside me.
declan morrow Aug 2019
late afternoon sunlight
painting the buildings across the street,
the city's constant hum,
second avenue's never-ending rush,
cyclists coming and going,
faceless people who love each other walking by,
people who love me
telling me what's right,
the sounds of their voices,
your voice
in my head:

it means nothing to me.
i mean nothing to you.
Aug 2019 · 213
all of a sudden
declan morrow Aug 2019
i felt you
my arm
although my skin was cold.

in the
bliss of
our carelessness
we could feel
ourselves growing old.
declan morrow Jul 2019
i wonder what piece of myself
i left with you
to keep:

whom i loved
with the vitality of
spring's awakening;
who made me feel
the warm comfort of green grass
at the bottom of a hospital bed.

we were so young,
so very,
very young:
just babies
learning to talk,
learning to walk,

we were innocent;
we were defenseless
when the pack of wolves came:

they came and snatched you away.

your name shall forever be
on my lips:
in every word i say.

and though you've gone,
and though i ache,
the taste of honey
shall never leave my tongue
for i still love you so.
Jul 2019 · 370
declan morrow Jul 2019
"it's either my thyroid
or an iron deficiency"
i would say.

but it was always you:
etching away at
my waist
my thighs
my cheeks
to the bare bone.

how did you expect me
to busy myself
while i slowly withered away,
waiting for the day
when you'd realize how
were the one
who was drowning me?

but it's just that
every ******* time our eyes met,
or we grazed each other
under the platonic guise,

i collapsed.

i exhaled,
retaining my semblance of calmness
while i dutifully
parted ways with
another fragment of my pure innocence;

i knew it was you.
it always was you.
Jul 2019 · 339
i wonder how you feel
declan morrow Jul 2019
i hope you're doing well;
a friend said you were.

i'm forgetting
the precise shade of your
deep dark eyes;

it hurts to forget.
my forgetfulness
causes tears to well up within me;
and what i still remember
makes them burst out,
flowing, pulsing, running
down my cheeks.

i still remember the feeling
of looking into
your heart-wrenching eyes.
and though you're gone,
i feel it still;
it carries my mind
so far adrift that
it paralyzes my body.

but i wonder how you are.
Jul 2019 · 132
looking at old photographs
declan morrow Jul 2019
my eyes grow
as i look at
the pastel-colored sky
and your face before it

photography's hardened the sky's softness and
softened your hardness;
i recall
the sweet, sweet feeling
of your hair jabbing at
my smooth chin;
i remember you felt small

your face cannot
be as it was
no, i cry, not
Jun 2019 · 332
a dream i chase
declan morrow Jun 2019
i'll feel autumn's cool rush
in the park
on a sunday,
with you by my side,
your arm curled 'round
the sleeve of my leather jacket.

and sunlight
will soften
your face;

together we'll walk,
retracing our steps:
it's a dream i chase.
Jun 2019 · 375
the steadiness of rain
declan morrow Jun 2019
it's rained every day
since i got here

the soothing
sound of rain
showering a forest's leaves
the thought of you
and so i ache
in the face
of such peace and familiarity

i wonder what
the thought of me
feels like
to you
half a world away
by a sunny breeze off the bosporus
by your native tongue
by your mother's gaze

if i was there
with you
i'd whisper softly
that the river of my love will never run dry
i'd whisper that you are heaven

but since i'm not
i hope the thought of me claws
into your skull
i hope that it gives a bullhorn to the voice
of your guilt
so that the next time you see me
you'll know
Jun 2019 · 193
new in nyc
declan morrow Jun 2019
i wanna take the subway
i wanna take the train
to the end
of the

i wanna think
in anonymity

of how i see you
in the face of each
passing stranger
of how your breath sweeps over me
in the draft from
the black tunnel

i beg the calm silence of
time passing
to align my hopes
i hope the city can set me free
i hope it reminds me that although i am lost
i am unafraid
Jun 2019 · 243
waters of the bosporus
declan morrow Jun 2019
his broad chest shudders
at night, holding in hot tears;
he sees ships sinking.
Jun 2019 · 426
days were never grey
declan morrow Jun 2019
i loved him because
of how
in need of love
he was

tending to his
bruises and scars
stitching his wounds
days were full
of tears
of joy

i loved him because
loving him
was like
feeling summer's first breeze

we struggled together
we struggled with ease
declan morrow Jun 2019
i'm reminded of how
we'd smoke
on the valley's ridge

you tried to kiss me
or perhaps a dozen times

i wonder if
what i saw
what i felt
was true
i wonder if
my longing just
became too
much for you
declan morrow Jun 2019
by june, each flower's fragrance
reminds me
of the
softness of your dark t-shirt:

my hands
drifting over
little valleys;

my chest
pressed intensely
against yours,
little wrinkles.

where has our world gone?
by june, all we can do
is remember
the flowers we once planted, now long-dead:

their petals dispersed
into the sun-drenched breeze.
May 2019 · 78
7:38 a.m.
declan morrow May 2019
today your sunken eyes
gaze out from your weak bones
through your weathered flesh.

lines under your sunken eyes are
deep ravines
with whitewater rivers;

your skin is marked with craters.

your eyes look out and gaze:
a stream rushes, sheep graze.
morning sunlight's gleam
blesses pine-crowned peaks.

bones rattle along
with the rattling of the train coach,
gliding over cold train tracks;
bones listen to the squealing
of every turn.

last night you were pacing around,
your feet pattering
over the bathroom's cold black tiles.

you were wondering then
about how
you let yourself slip
so far
how you let yourself love
so deeply.

you were wondering
who will clean your blood
from the cold black tiles,
who will wipe away
the rivulets of your tears.

how long will it take him
to appear,
to come back?
your bones grew weak
with all your pacing,
with all your wondering.

the mountain ridge,
Creation's pride and joy,
vanishes all at once,
surrendering to
the tunnel's cold blackness.

the train coach rattles
along the train tracks;
you feel it in your bones.
May 2019 · 427
declan morrow May 2019
blessed be the agony
of love unrequited.

blessed be clutches of wildfire
that swept
through this forest.

for after its flames were tamed,
planted a bed of wildflowers
in its center,
wildflowers of every color:

bright yellows,
hopeful lavenders,
piercing reds.

blessed be the agony,
blessed be the wildfire, the wildflowers.
for it made me kneel down
and pray.
for you,
for me,
for us,
i've gathered a bouquet.
May 2019 · 249
declan morrow May 2019
petals sprouted, bloomed,
then vanished into the cold
night's breeze. i miss you.
May 2019 · 198
where we began
declan morrow May 2019
back to square one

with you stealing glances
at me across the room
and me
pretending not to notice

your forced smile
masks an impassioned
i so readily project
in the clothes i'm wearing
your clothes

back to square one

our love began and ended
with you kissing me
when your ached
grew too much to bear
a longing i
so readily project
in the tears in my eyes
your tears

i weep for you

when you
no longer can

you want to love me
from a distance
you'll soon love me
from oceans away
but like the scent on your shirt
you linger
in your window, still
i pray for you, still

when you
no longer can
May 2019 · 99
we spoke
declan morrow May 2019
we spoke last night
i hope it's for
the last time

in our
sunny white-walled
west philly apartment

your face was so soft
the way it gets when
no one else is around

we laughed about sweet nothings
over what nothingness
we've become

you paused
to ask me
how i was

i tightly clutched my pillow
i tightly squeezed your arm
blood mixed carelessly
with tears; we sighed

there's nothing left
May 2019 · 140
april mornings
declan morrow May 2019
every night
i hold
you in my arms
and every night you
slip through them

like petals
falling away from
vines of wisteria

a pillow
is too soft
to be your firm
chest pressing against
mine so trembling
a pillow
is too smooth
to be adorned with
your rough
soothing hair

i long to hold you
to show you
how you must
be loved

even now you're
with me
while i restlessly sleep
but with every night
more of you
more of your lips
your beard
your nose
your laugh

more of your eyes

more of you fades
into the fog of
april's early morning

and with time our
arms come to shiver
as they lack the truth
of the other's caress
May 2019 · 121
the eternal; the beyond
declan morrow May 2019
i felt eternity in the prickly hairs of his chest.

tears fell as there was nothing I could do
to halt the melting of his eyelids,
submerging all truth, all aspiration.

why could i not see
that the beyond was all around me?

in an unmoving, unyielding laser focus,
i’ve somehow let it all melt away:
another year swirled down
the drain.

but new years will come;
old years will go.
to the rhythm of time’s drum
i’m planting roses; tomorrow they’ll grow.
May 2019 · 376
declan morrow May 2019
God's Mercy rushed
over me,
enshrouded you
in its grace.

It washed us
its tide so calm, so pure.
It was my mother’s breathing,
your father’s laughter,
their chests rising and

It tore off our
in another war of charity;
it peeled us
to the holy core.

Then all I knew was that
I felt safe with you.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.
Tanrı benim gücümdür.
Tanrım, lütfen beni koru.

Down from the imposing
basilica's dome,
to the pulpit's
booming drone,
to our soul's
cold sweat
after the angels have gone
to bed.

We saw it all with bloodshot eyes,
wondering how
we could flay ourselves
further yet.

Then all you knew was that
you were scared of yourself.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.
Tanrı benim gücümdür.
Tanrım, lütfen beni koru.
The Turkish lines translate to:
"God is my strength.
God, please protect me."
May 2019 · 231
declan morrow May 2019
yellow afternoon
light flitted

across your face

so sweet and faithful

the truth fled your
lips with too much

and so the moment of your tender love
my memory at such a gut-wrenching pace
declan morrow May 2019
what a tearful memory
your sad brown eyes
            sad brown eyes
                sad brown eyes

you’ll never know
how beautiful
you are
   you are
       you are

i love you
i love you
   sad brown eyes

     don’t look to my feet

look to my eyes
know how loved
you are
   you are
                       i promise that you are
Apr 2019 · 113
declan morrow Apr 2019
within you a dog is howling,
Precious Love

a dog’s growls brought you to a
frozen trembling

a dog’s barking brought you
into my arms

a dog’s barking brought night’s cold,
Lonely Love

a dog howls for food; you’re too frightened to
feed it

you would if you only knew better,
you frightened fool

a dog will stop its howling once it ventures to eat
its master’s heart

Precious Love, Precious Love, my Love: no more
muffling of ears
no more swallowed
tears, nor wasted years

for before long,
a howling dog appears
Apr 2019 · 204
declan morrow Apr 2019
eyes intertwined like
two thin blackberry vines on
the cold chain-link fence.
Apr 2019 · 629
declan morrow Apr 2019
one cloud
heaven's gates

i thought
of god
of his saints

it's all fallen to
and i let it go

i've let my

one cloud
has faded
white to blue

and now
i turn
to you

drooped sunflowers
in my chest

still putting
me to
the test

be still young fool
though love
now fails

a clock ticks
driving deep your nails

time's cruel winds will soften your restless sea
caught in her haunting gales remember me
declan morrow Apr 2019
Drooped sunflowers in my chest fell apart.
For your sad, tired eyes I just want the best:
And so to you I offered this tired heart
And you offered to put me to the test.

I ran to you, accepting, unafraid,
Although you had never been loved before,
I saw your face, and all your dues went paid
Your dues are paid and then some: evermore.

Something about you made me feel alive;
Something about me made you feel at home.
To the dark bottom of my lake you’d dive;
Your embrace was a tender honeycomb.

But water is cold, and sugar’s too sweet.
I think it’s for the best; let’s never meet.
Jan 2019 · 368
game of pretend
declan morrow Jan 2019
you sobbed.
you whimpered.
you cried out,
your face
buried deep
in my chest.

i made my fingers feel
like soft water droplets
through your hair.
i let my voice flow
like the River Jordan,
that i myself was calm.

why is it,
do you think,
that our only moments
of true intimacy
occur when the
flames of our ignorance
can no longer
be tamed?

why can't we just pretend?
pretend and be happy
Jan 2019 · 6.1k
go after her then
declan morrow Jan 2019
it's been a day
since we last let our love seep through,
since you held me close
in that moment, now long gone.

then you shoved me away
once you'd had enough
of my then-green heart;
it's been a day.

your punches and kicks
have turned my heart black;
i will no longer feel.
i won't let myself.

"that didn't count,"
your worried soul insisted
never venturing beyond
your delicate bubble.

go after her then.
Leave me here,
a sinful

go after her then.
go be
your father's

is simply too elusive.
so you may as well
get comfortable.
Jan 2019 · 3.4k
an outpouring
declan morrow Jan 2019
your eyes are
more potent
than any pill
i could swallow.

not of this earth
the nearest i can reach
to the image of god:
a deep muddy earth
i think they're sweet
like chocolate

but they punish me
without thought,
peeling off
each layer of
my endurance until
there won't be
anyone left:
nothing left of
who i was

so here we are

i remain latched
to the thought of you.

and you
you're as blind as ever.
boys am i right? especially boys who don't know who they are.
Dec 2018 · 171
We were once rich with time
declan morrow Dec 2018
You played a note,
swung a pendulum,
hypnotized me; I knew.
Flowers grew.

They grew in every corner.
They grew on the bedroom ceiling.
They grew down
your soft arms.

Another life grazed us once
with gentle hands.
Another life robbed us
of our time.

It’s never like it was.
The world turns:
colors fade,
canyons widen.

Pain leaked away
to the placid stream.
I fought for the freedom
you couldn’t give.

Pain leaked away
and I grew daring,
enough to even embrace
the night you brought.

I hid myself in its
blues, violets, blacks;
I’m no longer
chained to your wall.

Time passes,
flowers wilt.
Days end.
One day I’ll be glad.
Dec 2018 · 120
Our Paradise
declan morrow Dec 2018
We are together
in those Pennsylvania woods:
Our Paradise.

It is fall--
birds are singing.
You say they sing for me.
Fogged light shines through
the falling orange leaves;
your face glows (you’re older now than when I knew you).
I am glad
that in Our Paradise,
the moment we share does not fade.
We lock eyes,
from the shackles of time.

It is summer--
after a week of rain,
the creek has grown wide.
We cross it,
stepping over slippery stones
like always,
to reach the bed of wildflowers
on the other side.
We make bouquets for one another,
lying on moss
the same color as your eyes.
I am unafraid
of telling you everything.
In Our Paradise,
the creek’s cold water
washes away all past reticence.

It is winter--
Our boots, crunching over snow,
are side by side.
Everything around is frigid
the trees are bare,
but you are so warm; you’re vivid and alive!
When tears of despair fall
I feel you wipe them away,
consoling me, saying:
“Dear heart,
beloved, my love:
you do have a home.
Your home is in my arms.”
We make snowballs; they
never seem to hurt.
We kiss.
In Our Paradise,
love is our god.
not the winter,
nor jealousy, nor ignorance,
can make us weary;
now we stand on solid ground.

But I know that it’s actually spring--
and I don’t go to the woods,
it would be too lonely.
Spring was the time of year
you left.
I wonder if
you can hear me,
calling out while I stare at the
blank ceiling
above me,
tears running
all the way down.
I can’t hear you
I wonder if you can feel me
when I grip my bedsheets into a fist.
I can’t feel you

Our Paradise is
my sole escape
when all our moments
have been buried
in some foggy cemetery east of here
I don’t have the guts
to visit. To this day,
only I
have walked over those fallen leaves
felt that creekwater
picked those wildflowers
in that Pennsylvania forest, alone.
Fantasies keep me sane.
That is what it is to live;
that is what it is to lose.

— The End —