11

breaking the silence

with your words

You know nothing of suffering.

you shift your weight

turning to me

blessing me with the sight

of your marble eyes.

they glisten like the blood of warriors

but I only imagine them red

because your eyes

are the color of aged leather –

fierce and calculating,

warm and rugged,

you have me shaking to my core

and I’m falling, falling

from grace, into

the splendor that is

your eyes.

 

You know nothing of suffering.

And I know nothing of you.

preface to the ending

this is the moment

before the clock strikes

before the cock crows

before the sun sets.

they say beginnings are born

from endings, but I –

I am born from the ashes

when the pain ebbs

when the blood drips

when the marks fade

and fade

and fade

and fad

and fa

and f

and

an

a

an

and

I am born

I am new

I am the end

and the beginning

and I slough the ashes off

and I can feel

so very clearly

what life is

who I am

who I must become

“that’s not all right, man. that’s not all right.”

the air stank of stale tobacco and petrichor

and the rain kept falling, falling.

and he stood there, naked before us

and he wept his salt and blood

because she would have been twenty-six today

if she hadn’t drank so much

and took her Ambien.

she never woke up.

 

you could feel her in the air that night

she was with us

in the drinks we poured

in the breaths we took

and in the rain that

fell

and fell

and fell.

 

 

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10

the dark musky theater was hardly the right backdrop
to set the scene for our hormonal-driven ecstasy
as we found ourselves, quite alone, on the couch reeking
of sweat and mildew. and it was there, in the quiet black
of that theater, that old high school theater,
we didn’t talk at all, we only felt
and kissed and were ourselves, plainly.

three years later, here we are again,
that same theater with the backdrops newly painted.
the couch is gone, replaced by other props like
a wooden cow, Rapunzel’s tower, a basket of fake loaves of bread –
things that mean absolutely nothing to us,
since we had left that life behind.
I haven’t talked to you since then.
you’re looking dapper in your suit and tie
and you smile and give me a stiff hug
and gruffly walk away
as if we had never
kissed at all.

it is not because

it is not because we can lay naked together and just enjoy the heat of the day and the lame movie on the screen. it is not because we have both unwittingly adopted each other’s  idiosyncracies so well that it is almost like we were born that way. it is not because we move in sync to our surroundings. it is not because we sing so loud in the car we drown the rest of the world out. it is not because we miss each other’s skin and bones whenever there is distance between us. it is not because we find each other’s jokes hilarious when no one else finds them funny. it is not because we listen so completely to one another that we never forget a single unimportant thing. it is not because we complete each other. it is not because of any of those things. it is because of all of them, and more, every untold and unknown and forgotten and remembered and heartfelt and sickening. it is because you are me and I am you, and love has everything and nothing to do with it. it is fact and fiction, it is real and imaginary, it is and it is not. we are separate but not. we are us. we are love.

meteor shower over Joshua Tree

we laid side by side on the front of the truck

under the sea of stars

and my head was swimming in the glow

of the moonlight, and unlike in the city

there were thousands, maybe

millions of stars above me

and my head was hurting from thinking

about the other planets and solar systems and galaxies –

about how truly small I was

about how completely alone I was.

 

and it was perfectly silent except

for the howling of the coyotes in the distance

and the hum of the still desert night,

until suddenly the gruff voice beside me said

There!

and a dazzling flash shot across the sky

and then another, and another

and my heart skipped a beat as I saw my first

meteor shower

with my dad beside me

and I realized I wasn’t alone

not then

not ever

not even now

One-Sided Dysfunctional Family Tour

I’m surrounded by brick squares and drunk chicks

And everything is green, I swear,

Just trees everywhere around and

Over there is where I work, and

Over there is where my friend almost

Got raped by a homeless man in

The laundry room, just yesterday, and—

Yes, if you keep walking there are koi fish

That swim in slime and gulp at the air,

Fat with free food from tourists,

And sick of all the constant weddings.

I know—it’s so hot and sticky outside

But that’s okay, I’ve got lotion

So Richard doesn’t get burned…Well

Here’s my room, I love it and

My roommate and I are so alike and—

Yes, yes you can use the restroom,

No one’s here on Fridays anyway.

The bookstore is kind of a walk

But it’s pretty, c’mon I’ll show you—

Yup, there’s the pyramid, and watch out

That plane might get you! I’m kidding…

The airport’s nearby so, um yeah…

You can smoke here, that’s okay

Just as long as there aren’t cops around—

Yes, here’s the food court but the coolest thing is

Over there they usually have vendors but

They leave by the end of the week –

The campus is a ghost town on weekends,

Which is why I usually go home to see

Mom or Greg or whatever, and sometimes

I have time to come see you guys, but—

No, I don’t think they sell diapers on campus.

I don’t know. I guess you could ask.

Anything else you want to show us

before we leave?

Fuck I hope we don’t have a parking ticket. We

should go back now.

I’m starving. Stop that, Michael! You need a cigarette.

I don’t need a fucking cigarette, you do.

‘Please don’t start, Richard is sleeping—‘

You know what? You fucking drive and I’ll

walk the fuck home.

No.

No, there isn’t anything else I need to show you.

Dust

Let us pretend we’re children once again

and with bare feet explore the world anew,

unaware of war or death or pain;

belonging to the Earth’s so lucky few.

We feel the sprinkling rain caress our skin,

the tears of gods and goddesses above

they witness the rebirth of Roman kin –

we now are Mars and Venus, bound by love.

You hold me close as if I’ll float away,

our toes do touch and everything is right;

Forever in your arms now will I stay,

your princess of the dawn, the day, the night.

We fight, we scream, we cry, we kiss, we love –

until the very end we turn to dust.