free verse
May 4, 2011

Enough

I know words for times of crying
I know words fit for embraces
I know words to say when silence is too much
I know words with wrinkled faces
I know words who have swum oceans
I know words whose hands you would not shake
I know words who you would like to kiss
I know words whose music makes men weep

They speak to me in the night
They sound all at once
They drown me in themselves
and I thank them with a silence
that language never knows

I give you words too soft for speaking
I give you words who bruise your arms
I give you words who make you close your eyes
I give you words who leave you hungry
I give you words who know your secrets
I give you words too deep for wonder

Take them
Take them all
Wrap yourself in them to keep you warm
Hold them above you in the rain
and let them carry you when all else fails

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free verse
March 31, 2011

Gifts

I give to you my Sunday afternoons
and the stillness of my 4ams
and my silent awakening at sunrise.
I give to you the wave of my hand
and the sureness of my feet going uphill
and the pausing of my lungs under water.
I give to you the trembling of my faith
and the light of my candle on the altar
and the melody of the hymn whose words I have forgotten.
I give to you the smell of 50 cent lavender soap
and salt water
and the sound of books opening for the first time.
I give to you the earth on my palms
and the warmth of my neck
and the color of my arms in the summer.

Do not be afraid to unwrap them and take them out of their boxes
and to feel the weight of them in your hand.
Do not be afraid to wear them around your neck or keep them in your back pocket
and to hold them between your fingers when you are walking home.
Do not be afraid when the colors have faded
and when the edges have worn down
and when you leave one in the garden and the dog buries it in the corner.
Do not be afraid of the day you forget.
I give them all to you, still.

unmetered ballad
March 12, 2011

Knowing You

Please ignore my symmetry
and my slender supple sinewed hands
and the tiny tingling mystery
I hide in the iris of my eye.

If you knew me you would know also
that I am slow to smile at strangers
and that if left to me, the world would forego
its need for small talk and greeting cards.

Please stop thinking I know things that I do not,
like your middle name and the tattoo on your back
and how we met one summer in the hot
afternoon of your nineteenth birthday party

and how you have danced outside, in all the springs
I have been your friend, when the first rains come.
I have never known those things
because, my friend, I’ve made myself forget.

You know me for my symmetry
and the lilting way I say hello
and for the cultivated mystery
I hide beneath my tripping tongue.

I never asked, and never want, to know you
and the crooked way your eyebrows raise
and your hands that never open unless to
make an offer or wave goodbye.