double-edged affair

are we close?
are we tight-
is the big red bow
topping off this affair
so very impressive, do you say-

isn’t it grand to walk hand in hand
around Battery Park
to hold your head and hair for you
when the ferry makes you sick
isn’t it something out of this world
to know what I am thinking and
to finish your sentences- ain’t it great

how this double-edged sword nicks us
each time we rub elbows
but we never feel it
having the nerve to be surprised
when blood rolls down our hands
give me another word for how
two hearts feel they beat as one
a snare drum heading up a parade down main street
that they all can see and hear

don’t they talk, don’t they wish us well
already seeing our future
as parents and owner
of acres of whitewashed fence
isn’t it grand
leaning and knowing
it is safe to sleep away the hours
the night turning into daybreak
a thief of all our good sense

in a pile on the sofa
your whiskers against my forehead
Bogey passing the hours
on a continuous loop on the screen
his voice echoing in the high ceiling of your loft
saying “I lived a few weeks while you loved me”
and all the while we eat up time
and no one tells us it will not last

a secret code in the club
we don’t talk about intimacy-
we only talk about puppy love
the stuff that daydreams are made of
and no one tells you
that they see the end coming
except afterward
when you cry in your beer

(that will) leave a mark


he was kind and soft
and said the right words
had a tattoo he said
on his right shoulder
and every other Sunday
he visited his aging granny

I doubted that he could
take on the world
and every time I watched him
drop a name
I got less and less sure
we’d make it past 1st base

we continued down the path
we’d set off onto
fog in places
slip-n-slides on obscure ramps
depositing us
into the mire of expectations

were we not clever
beating the doubters
coming down to fault
stalwart in our apologies
and I forgave him profusely
but I do not miss him, still

No snow

The night is cold
two feet on cement
a sidewalk bereft of snow
rain as if it is April
mind full
as though
it might break my heart
if you say a word

Why, why did you go
You, with
little in your hands
to offer
taking, taking until
I had no more to give
and I, drifting along

hypnotized with how good it felt
to have someone to remember

(easier to) Forgive

If we start adding up our slights
(when we bruised, neglected
and lied to one another)
we will lose sight of the treasures
(love, joy, peace, hope,
and patience)and everytime
we held one another and cried-
If we list them all (spiteful,
lasting, ungenerous boasting)
we will never get to where
we wanted to be (by now)
before we go

Wise up

I knew when I saw you
that it could get bad
and I walked
toward the fire barefoot
little fool
little fool
laughing at the rules
that did not apply to me

And I kept at you
wanting more of you
demanding of you
what a fool
what a fool
little fool

That’s me when I think
I can walk on glass
for 25 years
and not go lame
smoking a pipe
that does not kill
changing my world
with one little pill

Little fool
little fool, still
that’s where it ends
turning a lover into a friend
turning a stranger into family
until no one keeps
it straight

Little fool
when will you pay
for what you ate?

up in silence

the silence has not yet broken
it is upside-down, this notion
that I can read your mind
with eyes closed
my only promise-no harm

lust tangled in my hair
you were there
don’t lie because she says she cares
you were part of all of it
the mess of it
the best of it

and when you are called to confess
don’t be too coy
you know the girls
they like that bad boy stuff
and I, well I just wanted you however
I wanted you at that moment

and whether or not you heard me
whether or not you knelt for me
was all beside the point-
so put on some Winehouse
and cry about those damn strong women

you know the ones who made you feel tall
even down there
down there, you know
where mice are men
and be glad for the passion spent

the time went
the passion spent
the time went too fast
too quickly for someone with
one hand in the air

where up is down
down is up
and all you have
in your little cup
are poison and potion
potion and time
the one who decides
has one chance
in nine

when the wind turns a certain way
I can hear the train
my lips curling up at the corners
eyes bright
wait! where are you going?
I want to go too-
I have been too long slumbering
too many days weeks months years
without being myself
I want to go
and see everything
that I used to see
wondering if everything
has been missing me