Confessions

I try to tell you
without warning
tulips
in a Sèvres vase
between us
your face full of care
but you don’t say why
stirring tea
endlessly

If I were brave
you would hear all of it
this plan
concocted in a
twelve-year-old’s
window
(looking out)
what will it take?
glass showering

Our fingers
forming a web
between us
(you lift your hand
to brush hair
off my forehead)
and I shiver
with the notion
of one hundred nights

I trample you
and you ask for more
(assumptions,
predictions)
and this storm
of peach schnapps
the tip of your tongue
lazy and saying
come on

Each day
a new destination
to reach
that sunset with you
still seeing me
armed-
I draw you
into every waking hour
(the way I see you)

Perhaps in time
my solitude
could be interrupted
by your own
sunlight
from somewhere deep
(do you suppose)
it could be you
in the long run

Passion and politics

Raindrops are lost to clods of dirt
stirred by your footfall
you- so much taller than I
I thought they were your tears
falling over my head

I wish you had been sober
when you said you wanted me
I wish you had been kinder
when you got sober

You voted badly-I know it
you hammered me with your politics
you didn’t know shit
about foreign policy

You still could have stayed-
you could untie my knots
and did not tell me, while
I was trying to get at your heart

You said you hated the Beatles
but I still would have stayed
when you smashed my vintage ABBA record-
I walked out and you panicked

I miss you staring into my eyes
til I had to look down
I miss staring at your lap
til you blushed

It is raining again
the clods of dirt
stirred up by your footfall
I still listen for

Seven two five

Hello

She thought she was in love
and anyone watching knew
she was in love with falling
the relentless dropping
pull of gravity, from
some other planet, slower
every moment of each time
her eyes stealing his every look
trying to find out his thoughts
he never spoke aloud

Every flower in a vase, every
face full of glowing news
words slipping one after another
from his lips, and she knew
even then they were tawdry, cheaper
than a dime store beaded choker
even while she felt a bigger feel
than she had ever felt before
or after the day he did not show up
with his sudden pang of morals

our circle is unbroken

you come and you come
you roll over and go
your sharp sword shoved back
into your pants
your heart
the color of my garden
once red
black on the edges of winter

in the falling
and lingering
and aligning
and clinging
I missed the part of you
still a boy
ignoring
that you handled me
like a toy

sweet spring puppy love
I slurped it up
the whole pie until
it was all over my face
I ate up the gentle way
you said baby
please baby

and now you smile
your shoes under my bed
and you come and you come
and then
you go

The hair on your chest

No one told you
when you were half naked
pressed up against the wall
touched until you were brand new

No one told you
when you were drowning in love
and falling through promises
cherished beyond breath

They never told you
that day when eternity was vowed
and she touched your chest softly
and felt your head explode when you came

That some day
she wouldn’t want to touch your hair
anymore. That someday he would not want
to hear your voice except to answer him

Does she know you have
gray hair on your chest
Did he look into your eyes and see
that you are still twenty-five inside

They never tell the truth
about what happens after.
Don’t be bitter-don’t be cold
but they really should have told us

intermezzo

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 contented
I felt more or less alone, without
the comfortable stroke of fingers
down my 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

Running

Wrapped in brown paper
they sent me off
and away-
I could not see
when I flew over
your house
waving
or the ocean
or the park

It was too dark
but I smelled you there
you call it nonsense
voodoo
a trick-
baby-
like animals
I could sense you
anywhere

Even out of sight
of those wild
eyes of yours
hypnotizing me
into slumber for
years
not seeing anyone
but you-
was that
trick or treat

Always me on top
you managed to tie me
to you- even with
your ankles shackled
my demands
usurped
by your terms-
anarchy

An uprising
of the most personal
and nothing
could keep me from you
giving up sustenance
maybe my life
until I cut loose
running

What was to be done
about that double bond-
I ran you
you ran
circles about me
separated only
by flesh ripping
hearts breaking

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

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

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