Despite (for Amy G.)

Despite the sunrise, the moon peacefully adrift,
And the matching slow swell of the deep ocean,
All of life is sometimes reduced to the little rituals
Of ends and darkness — burning, breaking, loss
In words and the gestures of a dance as old worlds
Long gone before this little one’s birthstone began.
Our lists are circular as the strings of mementos
Hung ’round our necks, every end returning to start,
Bell tolling like a sentinel at daybreak and nightfall.
Despite all this, despite even death, life swells,
Is warm and green and gold, and keeps its quiet promise.


Waking to the bright light of a new day
After a long night broken by a lost heart
Under a tree that danced with sunshine
I was stunned by waking and the quiet
Of musical spheres as the sweet scent
Of a single golden fruit beckoned to me
I reached out and she came away easy
And free as a wild fox in a forest glade

Hold Back

Evolved to fear and hate everything
Hidden in the dark, lying in wait —
Awake in the night, no moon to break
The seamless shadow that surround us,
We are too easily let loose like cannibal
Wolves by any pretender to the pack.
With only ourselves to devour, endless
Hunger spells our end in whole or part.

Save Me

Looking back to being born in the night
Of still, warm air and too shallow water,
It’s no longer you that I miss, no longer
Your beauty that stirs me, no longer our
Story I want to tell or our past recapture.

I miss the self I left lost in the moments
We scattered like dust motes in a wind
That was always blowing between us,
The self I chose to leave behind with the
Fading memory of a girl high on a wall.

Your heart can break and die and fall to
Pieces like bloody shards of empty glass;
The dark can last a hundred solid years,
Dull as sand and yet like sleight of hand,
Someone new may suddenly dawn for you

And all the rest of your days may be borne

By a weightless river in a full new heart.

Run Out

Run out of words for love,
Its song falls silent when
You go, leaving a stone
That cant’t stomached
But has to be swallowed.

The falling in is a deep
Dive out of the warm light
And into a collapsing well
That thunders into itself
As the water waits below.

Love is hard and strong
As a warrior’s heart, but
It beats and breaks inside
A skin like candy glass
And wishing to hold fire.

Everything’s an illusion,
And I imagine myself in
The ordinary world of senses;
But this feeling like a knife
Is something I can’t let go.

The thought of you fills
And kills me like a drunken
Madness whether warmed
By your presence or chilled
In the absence of everything.


Each candid, careful mention of a lover or dalliance
Opens my mind and closes my heart, falling
Like a shadow of ice, a grinning lictor pointing
To a precipice, sly invitation to sad self-destruction.

This love is deep enough to drown itself, sweet
As poison, and all I have in a world I cannot
Understand, a life I sometimes cannot live,
And a sunlike woman I cannot hope to hold.