screaming kettle

come to me you stolen moments
those pseudonymous pleasures
walk the night with me for the day
as lovely as it was, hung very chill
your touches and glances, never
will I forget how they sank to bone
even when I was content
I felt more or less alone, without
the comfortable stroke of fingers
down my naked thigh, their magic
part of me at the cellular level
your lips in my ear calling me ‘petal’
ignoring the screaming kettle
intermittently making me sigh


Ballad of me and Rachel


She held the handle of the hairbrush
provocatively, and
I wondered what was about to happen
what was going to happen
when she took the steps across the room
to reach me
or my feet, frozen to the floor
would make their way to her–

I didn’t know her very well
but she knew me
She knew every spot on my body
that made me stay
every spot on my body
she knew where to touch
to get her way, every time

She said, ‘I like this neighborhood
I want to stay
to find a little place where I can paint
a little place to paint and say
I’ve been somewhere
and I belong somewhere
where someone loves me.’

Love, did she say love?
my mind and body confused
she wanted to stay and I wanted that too
but the word got in the way
four letters got in the way
but not that day, that day
we went everywhere she wished
without leaving my place

Years later I think of her fondly
I remember her soft hair
I remember how her hair lay over my chest
but I couldn’t say
we went every where she wished,that day
but four letters got in the way
and I couldn’t say why
but I wasn’t ready to say, ‘stay’.

eaten up

the days have nibbled at time
until there are so few
that I wonder what will become of me
of this life strewn about
the shelves full of longing
the appetites stowed away
in kitchen cabinets

what is to be done with
unfulfilled expectations
eating up the real dreams
too many to mention
too few to expect
a world to notice

so I look to you to be my beacon
you will hold my secrets
gathered and trimmed
stacked neatly with lavender
your smile falling on the brown paper
my cologne seeped into each memory

some tossed out for a future
that will not recognize their worth
but will leave with me
held close to my bosom
some released to the wind
hoping that it will be kind

this life of mine
relegated to boxes
un-openable to anyone
but to those
who will understand


double-edged affair

are we close?
are we tight–
is the big red bow
topping off this affair
so very impressive, do you say–
here in this hideaway
so many rules smeared across the walls
with lipstick

so long as we tell no one
we can carry on, feelings in rusty tins
atop the cupboards
so long as we don’t want more
than status quo, more the the offered

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 owners
of acres of whitewashed fence
because they do not know

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