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Triumph and Falter was your Lesson's Bust
For all your Journeys now you must Decide
And never blame your Nation's Hat in-must
Since a Soul you own and identified
Even the Queen took such time to Commit
And mingle her Subjects loyal or lame
You are Season's Diver; More so admit
Humanity can Support you just the same
In my own Contract, Conscience must be clear
Aptly aware that I write the Just Things
And avoid the Example done this Year
Then share the Blessings this New Year will Bring.
When can you ever Understand, Nineteen-Him
That not all Best Friends come from the Plym?
#tomdaleytv #tomdaley1994
making love with no love
(kissed her with his freedom)**

<•>

a new person in an overnight stay in a strange,
aptly named,
bed and breakfast

and

you do all the same things that just feel good, careless loving
that comes from practiced renewable remembering,
kiss her neck for hours, drink in her crescendoing cooing

rename her Appalachia, bemused, wondering why,
she gasp-asks, when your tongue traces her odyssey body
from her Georgia to her Maine, then no need to explain

it all feels familiarly strange, imbalanced, shaky, loving the thrill
of your first solo bike ride, an invisible hand letting go,
the wow of walking the line of new freedom and
old responsibility that you have walked on both coasts

carry on, love is coming to us all lyric, enacted-recalled,
loving yet another
long cool woman in a black dress with unquestioning

how to explain to her, how to yourself, loving with no loving,
and the best you can stammer is it is like writing a poem
with too many commas or none at all

she laughs you up with one mouth lingering,
then one amazing kiss on your heart
and nose,
grabs a piece of toast and gone girl,
then you are returned to alone, to the dreams that
may or may not have occurred and two hands overflowing with
too many commas
and none to keep
<•>


11-18–17 2:54am, somewhere
“kissed her with his freedom”
Cactus Tree by J. Mitchell
11/18/17 2:54am
A crystal pitcher; aptly made
My trembling hand upon it laid
Then to my lips, I did lift
With loving sips upon more sips
To feel the wet and languid kiss
Of innocence amiss.
There is no more painful love
than unrequited love
A heart that is open
pouring out to another
but an empty space
like a vacuum
with nothing in return

Like giving a gift
‘Tis better to give than receive
And the heart offers freely
all of its wonderful presents

Free of expectations
when truly filled with love
It blindly releases itself to another
With a simple creed
‘I am for you’

Like the wall of a dam
suddenly letting go
A deluge of emotions
Thoughtful, interest, caring, warmth, love
A flowing waterfall
of Niagara proportions

However, without intention

which goes without saying
since the truer the love
the blinder it be

The vacated space
creates a sudden vacuum
A sharp, deep pit left
where once all of itself was housed

For a brief time
the heart is unaware
still glowing in the warmth
from the happiness and joy
of the love it gives

But slowly the glow fades
And the presence of the empty space
becomes more obvious
and apparent

A coldness sets in
An addict looking for a fix
The heart desperately seeks
in return what it has given

Never intending to give with strings
but so it finds itself
now tied to another
with the strongest of bonds

The intense fulfilling feeling
once experienced
Replaced with anguish,
longing, loneliness and pain

The mind and heart begin
an epic civil war
Feeling the torment
and seeing the destruction
the mind invokes all its resources
to break the bonds
the heart has created

But with hope that is
almost sad and pitiful
the heart refuses to let go
So sure of the ties it made
And fighting back with all
of its might to defeat
any attempt
the mind has
to remove the bonds of love

A man at war with himself
will find himself at war with others
And so, the inner conflict
resonates outwardly
displayed aptly with defiance
and destruction

Like a pebble in a pond
each action creates ripples
Slowly at first
but then with exponential speed
a life is destroyed
leaving only a broken
and beaten shell

And after all the destruction
and loss
All of the pain and suffering
The tears and sorrow
At this moment
standing on a pile
of nothing but debris
The mind,
with a sense of arrogance
and certainty,
confronts the heart
and pointedly asks,
“Do you see now?!
Do you see the
error of your ways??
Look what it has cost us!
Do you see the
mistake you’ve made?!”

Without hesitation or waiver
the heart responds
with a steady certainty
that is calm and cool in nature,
“No. Love is a risky venture.
One always, ‘takes a chance at love’.
But I will not admit
fault for trying.
When I love
I love freely and openly
I offer all of myself
without expectations
It’s only when you get involved
and create conflict within
that we have problems
To love is to love
It brings joy and happiness within itself
If it is not returned
then it is not returned
but an open and loving heart
can not feel emptiness and pain for it is filled with love
And there is no greater reward
than finding that love in another
and having another
find that love
in you
Written: March 4, 2018

All rights reserved
Noel Billiter Sep 2018
Short sided half blinded
Slight of hand and I’m reminded
Tricks hidden up his sleeve
As well as the Ace of diamonds
always ready for the next  show
As it must go on as we all know
Well suited half cocked fully booted
Well dressed and nicely suited
mischievous clever handsome gent
More confidant than the president
Well worded heavy handed compilments
Flow like honey from his lips
Sparkling smile and sinister grin
witty banter and articulate speech
Each magic trick a selfish greed
To trip you up and slow your speed
Prepared illusions well practiced form
precisly metered and preformed
Perfected evil and aptly staged
To keep you fooled and entertained
Jeff Gaines Mar 2018
OK Reader, I'm going to tell you a tale … with great trepidation. You see, this tale, well, it's kind of like telling someone that you've seen a UFO. They want to believe you, but … it's never really been proven scientifically. Not to mention the fact that most folks who believe in such things are often the tin-hat wearing types, written off as … lets be nice and call them “odd”. And, of course, the more you swear to it, the crazier you appear. It's an epic tale, spanning 30 years of my crazy life.

  But, It's a story I want to tell, because it happened to me. I can barely understand it myself, let alone explain it. So … I'm just going to launch into it and you take it any way you wish.

*  *  
Where Can You Be?

Where can you be?
Where can you be, my love?
Oh, can't you see?
You're not with me!

I'll search with gazes and I'll search with cars,
I'll search the cities and I'll search the stars, well …
I'm gonna find you, oh, wherever you are,
I'm gonna find you baby …  near or far, but …

Where can you be?
Where can you be, my love?
Oh, can't you see?
You're not with me!

I thought I'd found ya, but she wasn't you,
that girl she left alone and blue, well …
I know that's something that you'd never do,
your love has always been strong and true, but …

Where can you be?
Where can you be, my love?
Oh, can't you see?
You're not with me!

If you must settle for some other man
and deviate from our immortal plan, well …
I hope you realize I will understand
and I'll try and do the best that I can, but …

Where will I be?
Where will I be, my love?
Hoping the next life sees …
our destiny!


Where can you be?
Where can you be, my love?
Oh, can't you see?
You're not with me!

~Wednesday, April 1st, 1987
10:30 P.M.



  I was singing in a band back in those days and, as it happened, this was the last song I'd ever write for it. Just after this, as it does, it all came crashing down and the band was finished. But in those last days, they pondered this song, with great puzzlement. You see, it was unlike anything I'd brought them before. It wasn't rock … It wasn't a ballad … it wasn't even structured like a “normal” 80's rock song.
  
  No bridge, no solo, no loud grinding guitars, etc. It even had bits where I hummed, yes hummed, the melody, like a lullaby. As they read the lyrics and I described how it went, they all looked at me like I had three heads and asked where this had come from. It was nothing like anything I'd written before. I could only tell them when and where I'd written it, but had no explanation of what inspired it. It had just came to me, so I wrote it down. They didn't know what to make of it, or even what to do with it.

  One of them said it sounded like a late 70's or early 80's adult contemporary song or even in the vein of The Eagles. Another asked if it was about reincarnation … And I honestly, until that moment, hadn't thought of it that way, I didn't think like that at 24 … but then, one of them said it was “Haunting” …

  “Haunting”?

  “Wow”, I thought, I'd never had anything I'd written described as that before. When I asked him what he meant by that, he told me that it was haunting to think that this poor guy is desperately seeking a girl, that may or may not even know that he exists … in a world with billions of people in it. To top that off, he fears that she may off and marry someone else if he doesn't find her in time.

  This, along with the suggestion of it being about reincarnation made me rethink and rewrite the song. Well, a few lines in the last verse and chorus anyways. It actually made the song flow better and seem more complete. In a way, it actually made the song make more sense … to me and them. Sadly, we never did anything with it. There wouldn't be time. Ha … Time … how ironic. Over 10 years later, came this …


For Someone I've Never Met

Please save a place for me,
deep inside your heart.
Always know that I think of you,
as we both practice our arts.

Our worlds are full of temptations,
so very hard to resist …
and the good Lord knows
we're both far from,
sixteen and never been kissed.

Wealthy men with jaws divine …
Temptresses with looks so fine …
Paths that lead our hearts away …
Paths that surely lead astray …

They'll lead us there every time.
They'll leave us there … so  unkind.
Our hearts must shine,
night and day.
Through any darkness … they'll light our way.

If you never touch my face …
If I never look into your eyes …
We'll always have the comfort of sharing
the same
big, blue sky.

If I never smell your hair …
If you never kiss my lips …
Always know the search for your smile
has launched a thousand ships.

So, I hope you save a place for me
in your heart so sweet and kind.
Please, save a place for me …
Heaven knows you've one in mine.

~Thursday, September 9th, 1999
9 A.M.



“For Someone I've Never Met ” poured out of me in the midst of another breakup from the second, and last, girl that I wanted to marry. That emotion, never found me again. I looked at it on my computer screen and smiled, seeing “Where Can You Be”, in my mind, on my tattered old note pad that I called my “Song Book”. The memory of me writing it while sitting in my Z-28, looking out over the Gulf of Mexico as a beautiful heat lighting storm sent bolts across the sky, came flooding back; as did the debate of reincarnation I'd had with my pals in the rehearsal room all those years before. Here I was, again, writing about “someone” that I sensed, for lack of a better term, was out there … somewhere.

  Well Reader, do you believe in reincarnation? I was never really certain, but, as you can see, I had twice written pieces to someone I wasn't completely sure existed. I had always “sensed” someone out there beginning with the period after I wrote “Where Can You Be?” and thereafter. So, there they were, each written after losing someone I was deeply in love with. Each came out of nowhere, as they usually do. By the time I was in my 40's, I began to think I was either imagining it all (a side effect of being a hopeless romantic) or that I had just somehow missed this person and our “moment”.

  And then …



Epiphany

There was a place.
There was a time …
There, I stood … still unknowing
and everything seemed fine.

But there in that place …
at that moment in time …
the moment I saw the eyes,
I'd never believed I'd find.

Well, what could I say?
What could I do?
In a world filled with billions …
and there … was a you.

I'd always known you were out there …
even written of something amiss.
I never, ever stopped looking for you …
because my heart always said you exist.

My breezy Fall became harshest Winter.
My crazy life left my health running out.
I'd resigned myself that our moment had passed …
but this moment … it removed all doubt.

Well, what could I say?
Tell me, what could I do?
There we stood, staring … alone … in a city of millions …
yes, there … there was a you.

Oh, that mistress fate, she is just so cruel.
Frustration, a curse to be mine.
   I'd searched for you my entire life …
but now … my clock … knows a limit of time.

You see, I would never venture a love with you,
while knowing I'd have to leave you … hurt and alone.
I could only admire from afar … stoic and aloof …
while turning my heart into stone.

Nothing I could ever say and nothing I could ever do …
But now, at long last … at least I finally knew.

There, you stood … green seas, gazing up … into skies of blue.
My long-awaited revelation … become sorrow-laced realization.
There really is … a you.

~August 12th, 2009
  

  Typical of my life-long Charlie Brown syndrome … After being told in 2005 that I had “the lungs of an eighty-year-old man” and that I had “Six to Ten years” to live, I made a conscious decision in that Doctor's parking lot that I could never have another girlfriend and that I must face this alone. I don't see woman as objects. They are glorious creatures that are here to be our partners and friends and to make our lives amazing. I could never, ever knowingly let a woman fall in love with me, all the while knowing I was going to die and leave her. It's not in me to do such a thing, lonely or not.

  Yes, I'm still alive, I'm stubborn like that. But, some days are better than others and my new doctors say that they don't give people “time limits” anymore … because of people like me. I can't afford the lung transplant. So, as Bono so aptly put in one of his songs: “The rich stay healthy, while the sick stay poor”. It is what it is … and like the energizer bunny, I'm still going. Good for me.

  In the moment that I met her, the morning that followed, and the amazing speed of our nexus over the next several months combined with a string of synchronicities (Coincidences? Did I mention that she too, was a poet and writer?) that not only came after I met her on the sidewalk in front of the publisher we shared, but in those pieces I had written before and in several after; I was pretty much convinced I had actually found her. I have NEVER experienced anything like this, or her, in my entire life.

  So, after all this time, here she was … and there wasn't a **** thing that I could do about it. Besides, she was much younger than I and it probably would never have worked anyways. ****, the universe is rotten sometimes, huh? Maybe, if I'm lucky, things will balance out better in the next life. I can only hope. But I'm reminded, worryingly so, of the **** The Alarm song: “Collide”:

“All of these thoughts pounding in my head …
with the words I've wrote, in the letters I've never sent.
The distance in our lives may change …
Times that you can never erase …
But will our worlds collide?
Will our worlds collide, the next time?”



  Only time will tell.



  “Colors”, and a few others, were written about/for her. But, I could never show them to her. I would never endanger my friendship with her. I just wanted to keep her in my life. That, and that alone, was the only motive I'd ever had with her. I looked forward to seeing her marry, hearing her stories of her three kid's adventures; Hubby, all greasy, working on the car in the driveway, rabbits in her garden at night, eating her precious organic veggies or even about her new curtains. Just to know that she was alive, happy and doing well. I found a solace in her voice I could never describe and I was completely content to just have her in my life and watch hers unfold. Only I could end up in this odd position.

  I feared that she might get weird-ed out because I'd never displayed any romantic inklings toward her, so, to suddenly read these might make her feel a bit, lets say: uncomfortable. Actually, I didn't write them with any romantic intentions, per se; I just did what I always do … write what comes out. Still, there's no denying that they come across romantic. Again, so, so Charlie Brown. (long sigh)
  
  It is what it is. I also have to ponder the fact that maybe all those Charlie Brown moments in my life were preparing me for this one big, painful one. That does makes sense … ******' Universe.


Colors

Well when you're Green, I'll be your Brown.
Like the earth that loves the flowers,
I'll will be your solid ground.

And I'll be your Azure, when you are Verdigris.
We'll be thee most beautiful ocean
that eyes have ever seen.

And when you're Black, I'll be your White.
Mixing all of the colors … I'll make everything alright.

Now when you're Blue, I'll be you're Red.
If something should make you wanna cry,
I will feel your pain instead.

And I'll be your Orange, whenever you are Pink.
We'll be thee most amazing sunset,
that the sky could ever ink.

And when you're Black, I'll be your White.
I'll mix all of your colors … and make everything alright.

Should you be Violet, I will be your Beige.
Like a sleepy moonlit desert,
pasteled in dunes and sage.

And when you're Grey, I will be your Rainbow.
We'll be thee most soothing rainstorm
the world has ever known.

And when you're Black, I'll be your White.
I'll mix all of your colors … yes, I'll make everything alright.

With love on my palette, painting a glorious sunrise …
I'll color all your mornings with a smile and brighten up your skies.
If you should find yourself in sorrow from someones hate or lies …
I'll take the stars down from the heavens … and paint them in your eyes.

So whenever you are Black, I will always be your White.
I'll mix all your colors with a promise … everything will be alright.

Yes, I'll mix all of your colors with a promise … Everything's gonna be alright.

~  Winter 2012



  I wrote this after she had rang me up one afternoon lamenting about her life at the moment, troubled that her latest novel hadn't done as well as she'd hoped and now she had to be waitressing to make ends meet. I tried my best to cheer her up and assured her that she was strong enough to handle anything and that she must keep chasing her dreams. I wrote it as a poem, but I can't help but notice it looks like a song, though I've never heard music for it. Those repeated verses look just like choruses to me.

  Earlier in the day, I had been looking at a booklet of paint swatches. I guess, up there on my roof looking at the Manhattan skyline, her sadness and me looking at all those colors melted together somehow and, as happens, out came this piece. Even this, became another synchronicity as she would name her next novel “Show Me All Your Colors”. I remember seeing it in the bookstore and looking straight up … shaking my head at the sky. Was this the universe telling me to show and tell her all this?

  Well, if it was, I stuck with my gut and kept it to myself. My God, if you only knew how many of these synchronicities there were between her and I. It simply boggles my mind. I wanted to call them “coincidences”, but there were just so **** many of them … Each so unique, they just couldn't be called that. I don't want to tell them all here, because like I said, the more you swear to it, the crazier you sound. And I'm sure your questioning my sanity by now, aren't you? (Smirk)


  OK, OK … this one is definitely romantic. I wrote it one night, drunk to the bejeezus. I'd done what we called “The Crosstown Crawl” with my pal Tristan and a gaggle of assorted waitresses we knew. This involved starting at Brass Monkey on the west side highway in the Gansevoort District and ending at my favorite ****** bar, Karma, on the Lower East Side … Drinking in, and often being “asked to leave” (Read: Kicked out of) every bar that took our interest as we walked (Read: staggered) west to east, staying below 14th St.

  On my way home from the city on the J train, I thought about all the phone conversations we'd had while I was on this train crossing the Williamsburg Bridge. Being drunk, I guess, I caught a bout of sadness that I'd never get to tell her any of this or even how I felt about it all. Before I hit my elevator, this piece was swimming in my head. It's about as mushy a piece as I've ever written … if not thee most! Not the norm for me, but this is, after all, a lot to keep pent up inside you. I wouldn't wish this predicament on anyone.


For My Little Red-Haired Girl …


You …

My Love.
My Queen.
This Shining Light in my eyes.

My Laughs.
My Dreams.
My Soft, Contented Sighs.

My *****.
My Lavender.
My Dew Covered Rose.

My Smile.
My Cinnamon.
The Joy in my heart … ever inspiring my prose.

My Best Friend.
My Co-Star.
My Fearless Partner in Crime.

My Breath.
My Cohort.
My Side-kick throughout time.

My Snow-capped Mountain.
The Wind caressing my face.
My Vast Green Field.

The Ivy Covered Wall
that harbors my soul … ever refusing to yield.

In a different time ...

You … would have been my Life.

You … would have been my World.

You … would have been my Everything

and I will always love you for my own special reasons.

It is just a shame … and I'm so, so sorry … that you … must never, ever know.

Maybe next time.


~Charlie Brown




   When I came-to in the morning and read what I had wrote, I had to laugh a bit. It is borderline corny, very beautiful, very telling and very sad … all at once. I shook my head, laughing and told myself :

  “*******, Sam … yer losin' it. Get your **** together, will ya?”

  I guess in my stupor, I was imagining what it would have been like to write something for her. I don't know … There it was and I was stuck with it. I almost deleted it, but, my finger wouldn't press the key. As I told you before … I'd NEVER show this to her. She'd probably never speak to me again.

   As a sadder epilogue, that eventually happened. I still don't know why, but we haven't spoken in years. Maybe she sensed this emotion in me and ran away. Or maybe, just maybe … she thought I'd pushed her away somehow … but for whatever reason, we drifted apart. I guess I'll never know.  As you can see by reading this, that was never my intention. But, like I keep reiterating … It is what it is.

  One day, I called her number to catch up and shoot the breeze. I hadn't spoken to her in a few months as she'd been busy promoting her new novel and I didn't want to pester her. But … it was disconnected … I checked my emails … nothing. I'd never been so confused, she just closed me out. I didn't want to bother her. I was sure she had her reasons and if she wanted to reach out to me again, she would. She had my email and my phone number. But, for now … she was gone … and that was that.

  So, what do you think, Reader? Do I get the Tin hat … or a Badge of courage? Am I bat-**** crazy … or just eccentric? I'll leave it up to you to decide, because as I said, this all happened to me and there isn't a thing I can do about any of it. I just had to get it off of my chest. Thanks for letting me vent.

  Wherever she is … she will always mean the world to me. I can see her green eyes if I close my mine and look for them. Sometimes, on occasion, her face haunts my sleep. Still, I like to picture her, kids playing in a sprinkler behind her, digging in her garden, wearing gloves too big for her hands and a smudge of fresh dirt on her cheek … it makes me smile.


-Sam Webster
Brooklyn, New York
2013
OK, you can stop scratching your head. I'm sorry if you feel like I tricked you or was playing a prank … That was not my intention. This piece is experimental writing, of sorts. If you are wondering, it's titled “Somewhere … Out There”. But I didn't want to put a title at the head of the page, as that might have clued you in too early.

I also confess that “Sam” the narrator is, on no uncertain terms, based loosely on myself. But hey, what better way to string you along? Besides, as Stephen King said, you “Write what you know”. As far as I 'm aware, using poetry within a short story like this, or in this manner, has never been done before. Welcome to the future!

It really belongs in my “From Thee Edge” Collection with the rest of my Twilight-Zone-esque short stories. (You can now read some of these fiction short stories here, posted in my "[email protected]" posts, along with some non-fiction essays. I hope you enjoy them.) But, because I pieced together several of my poems to not only tell the story, but as a vehicle to carry it along as part of it; I wanted to put it here on Hello Poetry just to see if I could convince you long enough to get you through the story … while having you believe it was me speaking to you and that it was all very real to me. Thus, making it feel real to you as you read it.

Was I having you along right up until it was signed by someone else? Or, at least until the narrator addressed himself as “Sam”?

If so, then I accomplished my mission. I'd love to hear your comments on it. If you've been reading any of my other posts, I'm sure you've figured out that I like to run wildly outside of the box sometimes. This was just, as I said, an experiment in a different way to tell a story … fiction or otherwise. As always, I hope that I took you on a journey and, more importantly, that you enjoyed it.

~Jeff Gaines
L.A.
(Lower Alabama)
2015
Yenson Dec 2018
These little things with their little things
( aptly, like pigs in blankets )
sit in their little worlds with little minds
With little senses and little knowledge
they look at all things with little perceptions
and little understanding
cocooned in their little lives with little desired
and little expected

which means

A lot of time for self loathing, a lot of time frustrated
A lot of time depressed, a lot of time unfulfilled,
a lot of time for mischief, a lot of time for hating
a lot of time deluded. a lot of time wasted nursing delusions
a lot of time fantasizing writing deluded *******,
a lot of time projecting their ignorance and in pain
a lot of time for anger, a lot of time for mediocrity
a lot of time for distraction, a lot of time to be nothing
but totally and completely foolish and repulsive

but

Spare a thought for ignorance is bliss
and misery needs company
how can the unloved want others to love
why would a little one wish to know a magnum is in action
why would the frustrated ******* want others to scream in
******* throes
why would little damaged things want happiness for others
why would restless frenzied things want peace and goodwill
when they are just little things with Ninety nine problems
and ******* helps hide their twitching

These little things, with their little minds
and their little lives
         poor pathetic little things .........
“With ignorance comes fear – from fear comes bigotry
“People who love themselves, don’t hurt other people. The more we hate ourselves, the more we want others to suffer.”
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something sometime in your life.”
Deb Jones Dec 2018
I live in a large cabin
In a little valley
The wind whistles
Down this natural funnel
And shakes the trees
All their dying leaves
Rustle and ride the wind
I have 108 oak trees
I counted them once
I live in the foothills
Off the hi-way
Almost a mile down
A hidden road
I wanted to hide
When I first saw this place
It was a buying point
This beautiful valley
Me, a city girl
Over a hill
In a culvert
On my property
Is thousands of coyotes.
They surround my house
At night to sing
Their hello songs
Here we are songs
Mating songs.
Luring songs
Their teaching songs
Their pup songs
Their yipping songs
They come right
Before sunset
And go hide
As the morning
Mists and sun rises
Lightening the morning
I was scared of them at first
Terrified actually
They would come
To my large windows
And the next morning
The windows would be Covered with nose
And paw prints.
But now?
I have done all I can
To let them have
Their own space on my land
While I have mine
The road I live on
The mile long one is called
Coyote Hills
And my property
Is aptly named
Coyote Junction
Now their music
Is hauntingly
Beautiful to me
It’s a yearning sound
And when they
Surround my house
It feels ritualistically
Archaic and full of paganism
I don’t anthropomorphize
Any animals
But I sincerely believe
They all have emotions
Fears, doubts, hungers, needs
After they have sung to me
For eight years
I hear the playful songs
The crying songs
The worry songs
The fear songs
And my heart
Echoes their songs
Well met. Well met
Deb Jones Dec 2018
First Candy
My mouth still remembers
The sweetness on my tongue
I was three
It was a candy aptly named
A “Bit-O-Honey”
It’s still a favorite

First Near Death
Our home was on fire
I was five
My older sister and I
Ran to my mother’s room
She hid under the bed
I hid behind the door
My mother truly
Used herculean strength
To move a propane tank
Beside the window
To get to us

First Secret
My brother

First Authority
I remember the day
I realized I had a parent
One that controlled my actions
And punished too
The day I felt fear
I was three or four
And climbed under the house
So far in. Like a mouse
No adult could reach me
The grownups pried up the floor
I was comforted
My older brother was spanked
(Irish Twin)
He was only 11 months older than I was

First Butterflies
I knew he liked me
A light skinned black boy
Every time I stuck my head out
The school bus window
He did too.
So he could see me.
His sweet little face
Carried in my heart forever.
Even though we never
Exchanged even one word
I was six

First Male Touch
Sodomized
Adult male
Son of my mother’s best friends
11 surgeries
And a entire school year

First Fight
My sister stole clothes
Off the line of our nearest Neighbors
A mile away
Unique looking jeans
And a blouse
She wore them to school
The next day
The girl confronted
Her on the bus
I had to fight the girl
Because we were not
A family of thieves
Just a family that had thieves

First ******
I fainted

First Kiss
Charles.
He was fourteen
I was thirteen
His hands cupped my cheeks
As he lowered his lips to mine
The flick of his tongue
Was a surprise
He wrote me for several years
Beautiful love letters
I would hide them

First Thrill
On the rooftop of a speeding car
Hanging by my fingertips
On to the rooftop
Where it met the windshield
Another boy.
He was nineteen to my thirteen
He kissed me at 50 mph
My brother was driving

First Public Lie
I went door to door
Asking people to donate
Money to buy mice
For Cancer research
I fed my siblings that week
I was twelve

First Shame
I brought home a girl
From school
To stay the night.
Even though I thought
Our house looked ok
My father came home
And said
“Aren’t you ashamed?”
And right then I saw our lives
Through the eyes of another
And my father was right
She told everyone at school
What we did and didn’t have.

First Stroke
A hard punch to my temple
So was the second
And third
Fourth
5th
...

First Pride
Teaching myself to drive
Three on the tree
In a 47 ford
With a chain steering wheel
Glued to the steering column.

First Baby
She’s in my purse
Wrapped in pillowcases
In the ground

First Beg
Please let me come stay with you momma.
“No”

First True Love
No other love came close
To the feelings flowing
Through me
As I held my first son
And the second
Then the third

First Panic
Seeing my four year old son
As I raced down the street
To the woman racing
Toward me holding my child
Bloodied and unconscious
In her arms
My throat closed on screams

First Adult Love
I had loved others before him
But he taught me
How to be cherished
He painted my name
And the date on his wall
In letters taller than me
And he sealed the wall
And built cabinets
That will never be moved
We love each other still

First Motorcycle Ride
My thighs cradling his hips
The feel of his hand
Caressing my calves
At every stoplight
Silently falling in love

First Professional Pride
My career
The wall of framed degrees
I will turn away a personal compliment.
But never a compliment
About my accomplishments

First Pets
I always poured my heart
And tears
Into and unto my dogs
Angel, Benji, Gizmo, Baby
Dobie, Mandy, Cheona
Nora, Jackie, Gus, Callie
So many, many more.

First Drugs
Marijuana more than a few times
Hash once
Formaldehyde (***), Juice
Did once.
So many terrifying hallucinations
******* once

First Emotional Pain
I told my husband
We needed to see a counselor
As soon as possible
He refused.
He didn’t understand
How serious it all was
Suddenly serious
I left this man that I still love
Two weeks later

First Heartsick Pain
I told a man I loved him
He didn’t tell me he loved me
Until a year to the day
We first met
He broke something
Inside me that year

First *** with a Younger Man
He was done, I wasn’t
He moaned for me
To help me out
I opened one eye in a slit
His moaning turned to panting
I think he watched a lot of ****

First Time I said No
And meant it.
I was supposed to pick up
Prints from a Christmas party
He was naked
And drug me around his house
I still had my purse
On my shoulder
As he came all over my dress

First Dance Trophies
West coast swing
East coast swing
Two-Step
10-Step
Schottishe
Dancing the “Neon Moon” naked

First Disillusionment
The man I married at fourteen
Was having *** with a woman
Who asked me to babysit
Her kids that night
I did. I watched her two children.
He reeked of her perfume.

First Song
Always and Forever
By the Heatwave
Our song you said
How young we were

First Stage Fright
I gave a performance at school
It was a great hit
I was ashamed
I published the story about it
Twenty-five years later
It was a great hit

First Justice
Was no justice at all
Attacked on my patio
Saved by a neighbor
He was out the next week
About the same time
The swelling went down
On my “cauliflower” ear

First Adult Stage Fright
I took a summer off
Of my medical career
And DJ’d at a different club
During days of the week.
When no one had requests
I was required to sing.
It’s what I was hired to do.
Especially the piano bars
In San Francisco

First Deaths
My Brother
My Father
My Niece
My Mother
My Sister
It feels like a first each time

First Songs
Drops of Jupiter
By Train
From my sons to me.
Wild Horses
By Jewel
From me to my sons

So many firsts.
We are destined to repeat them
Only some of them
Are worthy of repeating
May Mercy spare us
On some Seconds
a single snap, sparks the lux
crowns us here in the mind
along all moments and pieces of time
they scatter in a constant motion
expanding exquisite for the aftermath

blazing fusion usher’s nightfall
superior fragments kindle astral
answer to the celestial roll call
the regiment reaches star to star
form a cosmos near and far

somersaulting ravenous to brighter
deprivation bends an arrow
strikes a moving target cold
taps light upon your window
the stars surrender one of their own

a beacon seeks an ethereal soul
the desire to pair in the ember glow
subtle turns to tumble mellow
descent mimics slow falling snow
a luminesce weeping fusion

this fallen star aptly reflects
heavens majestic attempt
behold a mortal celestial guide
the existence of divine
glistens in one last flicker

a long look into the sky
never bending a knee
stretches shadows over our eyes
we seldom peek beyond happenstance
holding tight to a wish already spent

a single snap, sparks the lux

— The End —