will you let it go

sometimes I write about myself
in third person
so you will never guess
that it is me
that I went through the fire
and came out charred and worn

it is best that you do not know
how often you come to mind
how well I know you
and talk about you to others
it is best you think
about someone else

don’t take this away from me
this safety of darkness
don’t lose the sense of wonder
they beat out of you, in the days
when you were just at the surface
gasping for air-

here and now

the birds brought comfort to my window
as if they knew what I had done
(I used to think I was nice)
my empathy unrivaled-peerless

I must have lit myself on fire
signaling to the others (that we)
were finished. Showing up
day after day, like vultures

I do not lie baby. And
I will miss you (painfully)
This circle of regret
broken up here-now

now while we can get out
now that we can run

making your brain my home

we are committed now to this journey through each others’ minds-
we took the steps and there is no backwards, no backward steps
at least until we reach the end, we’ll see it through to the end
of knowing you, stealing your thoughts until I understand your miseries-
feeling you snake through my head at times tickles, sometimes squeezes hard
in those spots where it is narrow, where I booby-trapped the entrance
every tragedy covered in shame and pushing out the light-
could you just feel your way around, feel your way about the place
so that I might have comfort and warmth where you find
Antarctica, so I could have piles of skins and a blanket of care
your wild passions and tanks against the battlements of a weary mind
and I walk-a-bout your head because you let me, and make it my home
for a little while, make it feel like home until I know you so well
I will conveniently forget where the doors are, forgetting
the front door and also the back

to drown

this room echoes
last night’s chatter
and the birds’ calls
before the sun rises
echo and repeat
each line so polite
so cutting in its precision

you called me friend
but you have left me here
to drown. Please do not
call me mate, I might
lose my grip on the buoy
all that is between here
and landfall, all I want

is a friend who is truthful
and to give in return

and birdsong


Extraordinary kindness

approached today
in the midst of clouds and clamour
by my mother(gone since 1997)’s best friend
from long ago

my age now what her age was then
yet I am always a child, the
age of her own daughter
grown, and a grandma now

speaking to me as an equal
saying – let’s be friends like
your mother and I, I believe
we have something in common

melting the cynicism in my center
floating to the surface like dross
her soft voice saying, yes
it’s going to be alright now

forgive me

so much went by
since we last spoke
I cannot put a number on it
I barely remember the date still
it would make me (choke)

I get quiet when I am afraid
I cough and I stammer
give me your hand (when you can
afford it)
when needed please share
a screwdriver or hammer

one never knows quite
what a friend will need, might
hand them an apple when they are full up
or a towel when they need a bucket
it’s freeing-surely you see

how we give and we ask, when
we sorely need
I need to be quiet, I need
[a place to hide]
please, if you can bear it
hide me