our nights

were painted by soft breeze

and, at times,

raindrops

under cloudy stars hearts silently synced

to the rise and fall of footsteps.

how many ways to say I miss you.

I’ve tried to count them, but failed

I don’t have your way with numbers

your freckled bridge

the excitement in your fingertips

and flecks of sadness tinged happiness 

in your eyes on me.

warm blue blanket light

gentleness in your eyes

on me

underneath before the miles stretched back out between us.

my shoulders the neck of a guitar,

our legs longly touching

eyes set in late night blue back-lit screens

fingertips resting on communication

of letters

of alphabetical silence

hearts unspokenly reach but as always just out of…

minds go back to touch.

when it was. we smilingly 

loving, at least, we thought.

questioned.

unspeaking the touch

afraid that forming words around our embraces

would dissolve the dreaming between our skins.

soulmate

ask me to run away, soulmate and
I’ll follow you without a pause for breath.
hold out your hand and I’ll kiss it until we
make it to the other side of the moon
where the man therein will call us married and
merry we’d be we with only possibility
know each other inside out and forever already, you
know it I know so I wonder where we’re not and
why. you, my moon man, impossible dream,
fly to me I’ll fly for you, with you I’ll
be me you’ll be you all of me all of
you, just us all two all one, bursting
hand in hand in hand in hand
hands and faces and feet
who’s who we’ll never know, not really

to the boy who wrote a song for me:

I will never grow tired of those notes you wove
straight from your heartstrings with threads of your soul
a melody that warms a smile to my cold face.
the sound of your breath is as much a part of the music
as your fingers against the strings.
your dark shadow silhouetted by the midday window,
against my salt stained cheekbones
the song sweet and soft, passionate and truthful,
movement sewn through
the melody of your once-love for me, and I want only to
hold those hands in my hands: those hands
that sang such a song for me
no one has ever sung such a song for me; no one has
ever loved such a love for me.

the one I knew before you, he told me he would write a 
song for me: he never did, and you know why that was.
the one I knew after you, he had no music at all,
not in his fingers and not in his heart or soul; not
for me. his only art was the clumsy way he
touched my body and made me believe it was a song
he had written for only me. 

you wrote a song about me: you wrote a song out of the
harmonies you felt when you thought of me: of us.
you wrote it with careful fingers: you the maestro, I the muse
remembering every long night, every melodious ache.
I remember the long nights we spent, awake under the stars
and I wonder how many times you looked at me
and felt those notes and crescendos as you watched
my eyes gazing at the sky above us.
how could I have not heard the music playing so loudly
from the sound in your voice and the curve in
your smile? thinking of your smile, I want to thank it
I want to hold it in my hands, I want to never let it
go: I want to never let you go. I want to listen to this song forever.
I will never grow tired of these notes you wove

another poem from the ocean

can love or grief be explained?
or only felt
between sheets
and without them.

toes sinking, under waves
waiting to be covered
always resurfacing
with the cool green salt-slicked sand

watching branches sway in the wind
thinking I am becoming new
but knowing come Sunday I
will be sinking under again.

wind chimes still in the ocean air
the front-porch American flag
asking when we will leave
like others before us

sun-kissed and pink
untroubled shouts over tables
of liquor and feminine hands
(estrogen and beer are our hormones)

no thought of Tomorrow
because Right Now is enough

and wouldn’t it be nice
for it to be that way always?

to edna: a response to sonnet XXX

love is not all
you tell me
but if love is not all
then why when it leaves
do meat and drink
become unappealing,
slumber become fitful
half-sleep, roofs no longer
keep out the rain,
floating spars nowhere
to be seen, only sinking
without the rising.
if love does not fill the
thickened lung and breath
then why when it is gone
the lungs stop, the breath
becomes thin and
hard to find.
if love does not clean blood
or fix broken bones
then why before it left was
everything intact.
this is why men, why I
think of friendship with death
when love leaves
because it is life it is
a reason.
I would sell this leftover love
for peace, for a sound mind
for a cure to a breaking heart
I would trade it for
anything less painful
for food, for practicality-
but I cannot: it is
life. it is a reason.
it is all
that is
left

of me

twenty years

I am from

deep south breeding

from

good ‘ol Baptist preachin’

a respectable home and a

modest upbringing.

 

I am from

years of fear

of men, of God, of

failure: high expectations

for a smart girl, a nice

girl.

 

I am from

spirituality at its deepest

devotion at its strongest

from alienation and nervous

tendencies.

 

I am from

disappointment and heartbreak,

from faulty idealism,

optimistic nihilism

walking time-bomb.

 

I am from

everything-is-fine

but-really-it’s-not

I am from

tears life streaming

down my cheeks;

I feel it.

 

I feel it seeping out

rolling down cheeks, neck

to shirt or ground, the

pages of a book.

 

I have left my tears documented

in every place I go.

 

marking the territory of an

over-full heart.

 

I am from

passion,

from pain

from screaming at God

from staring at the ceiling,

drained,

not waiting

not wanting.

 

I am from

a kind word

long-anticipated embraces

a light of hope hiding

and peeking out from

underneath the door.

 

I am from

worry, from peace

from love and hate

spitting out brown-and-golden curls

and devouring words

eating them as if they are all

that can save me; the only

thing I can trust, I can

cling to.

 

I am from

twenty years of trying

to find where I am from.