Quem di diligunt

[16 August 2019]

How long will the words we spoke keep us together? The weight of you
presses against my chest, my side, leaving an impression
on me I can’t easily erase. Days stack up like credit card receipts or grains of rice,
growing into something substantial, but we ate twice as
many for dinner last night. I kiss your shoulder,
your ear, your hair, your back, your feet
hover between the platform and the train, playing snowdrift
against yourself, counting the seconds before you lose faith
in the future being different than the present save
with less freedom. I smell you still, sandalwood and
coffee beans etched into the contours of my chest
and stomach and collarbone and my black jeans
tossed in the corner on top of your yellow sweater or
maroon button-up. I count the things I never
saw. The dark hairs on the back of your hand and the dark hairs on the
back of your neck. Your big, smooth palm in my rough, small one. Fishing
nets on the Jordan. You’ve only just begun to put words
to it. Blood flows and pools. You breathe once, a heavy breath, a sigh weighed
down by peanut butter and whiskey and an intangible ache
to be free. I know how this ends, even if you don’t. And so you turn to
face me, our noses touch, our eyes searching, and we laugh like schoolboys
peering through one-way glass, nervously,
each slowly finding a stranger in the other’s face.


Finding Time Lost

[15 August 2019]

And why say no?
When you look at me like that with
7:52AM eyes, hazy, perplexed, boys
certain of not one thing except the need to
belong. Mornings

were meant to be this way,
or so I’ve been told,
orange juice and cardamom and frostbite.
Dark light, pillow fuzz in your beard,
and the way the sun clings to the

sweaty hair plastered to your forehead.
I’ll take it in stride,
take the fire and the lichen, and smile
till the sun peaks through the top
broken slat of your mini-blinds.
June winters are always untimely,
but I can handle it all except the silence.

Moss creeps up the wall, keeping time
with the sunlight and the leaky faucet
and the 52 bus stop start stop start stop
start something new again,

a philosophy of kinds, of wishes,
of hardwood and softwood and sap
sapping any motivation I had to leave this here,
to pick up the fragments I had collected

and roll them down the street like a wheelbarrow –
trapped in the boughs of your lazy arms,
cradling contentment between bone and best, trading
quiet for greed and the sublime for a deck of cards, growing
fond of the way the floorboards creak and sigh and weave together
Proust and finding time in the strangest places.
I can’t imagine it any other way.

the house of journeys

[14 August 2019]

…and so he wanders
wanders to the house of the sun rising over the waters,
the house of the song of the light that spreads through the leaves
your name stirs in the waters
the house of green and blue and white and new
the house of the city of the child, the city of first and
find and walk,
the ark of dirt and twig and blades of grass,
the rain,
and so he wanders
wanders to the house of the sky,
the house of the cliff by the sea,
the house of the endlessness, the bold,
the house of the lover, the house of the wing, the song of a time,
where time is sold for pleasure,
where eyes stare up at the sky
the house of your name written twice in the afternoon haze,
the house of everything, where gold lies just beneath the surface,
a dream
gold is worth less than a dream,
and so he wanders
wanders to the house of the erudite, the scholar,
to the house of the wise, the known, the heard,
the shepherd and the shepherdess and the sheep,
the house of bread and water and wine,
the ember, where eyes peer on into the darknesses, the fallen leaves,
the house of yellow and orange and red and gold and brown
and purple,
where pleasure is sold for memory and memory is
sold for time
and so he wanders
wanders to the house of the mountain,
the house of the sea,
the house of the constellation of the night of the deepnesses,
the house of the chill and the sound of the quiet,
the house of the lost, of the dark and the white and the blue and the night and the dust and the you
he found there, amid the sound of snowdrifts and silence he found there, where gathered ashes scatter
he found the emptiness, the nothingness, the house of the iron lamppost,
the house of womb of the dawn, he found there
and so he wanders…

13 August

[13 August 2019]

clenched between molar and molar,
ground to pulp to ash to dust,
worn threadbare between pursed lips,
held aloft between two sweaty hands,
perpetually offering the sublime to the not yet
sacrificed, bloody on a bed of horseshoes and cobblestones.

And so,
in the waiting and the wanting we lie,
strung up, strung out, stretched taut, a cadenza
pushing ourselves to the margins of our desires,
filling ourselves to the brim with sandstone and sawdust,
considerate la vostra semenza:
fatti non foste a viver come bruti,
ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza.

My eyes are dim,
wasted from peering too long in the deepnesses between the stars,
seeking a sign on the face of the inscrutable
and holy
waiting patiently for the answer that may never come
som venter
på å bli
noe annet

squandering hair follicles and collagen and muscle,
looking for a time when all things made old made new make sense.

There is something solemn about surrender,
something timeless,
something that fillets solitude and earmarks yearning for a time just down the road
(I caught a glimpse of him once,
standing between the pew and the wall,
asking me to relinquish only that which was never mine
in exchange for a freedom I can never have),
yet still we pacify longing,
placate it,
carve out a sense of self worth selfing between uncommissioned bouts of nostalgia for by-gones long missed,
penitent patterings on pyrite and asphalt and bed sheets for mysteries hid fast behind a darkened veil.

I found him there, and
yo me puse a llorar y tú reías.
Tu desdén era un dios, las quejas mías
momentos y palomas en cadena.

For Hyacinthus

[12 August 2019]

Once around the bend we go,
once again we go
feeling fingers longingly stretched out long past the joints and skin and connective tissues,
moulding meaning from the dust of the earth and the breath of our lungs
pushing deeper and deeper into an abstraction so long idealised we forgot it was once desire;
the sun sets through tangles of ivy at the corner of Fire Street and Coll Net,
silent, serene, lost in the tumble of time stolen and misspent,
(crumpled up and folded in back pockets and pocket squares and chocolate squares
gone through the wash one too many times,
the pen bled from inside to inside to side to outside,
marbled and mumbled and jumbled into a language all its own,
slipped between hands and pressed between lips until it takes on a new life),
the original language lost and transformed into the prima materia of a new age,
an age of motion, of solace, of fire woven in-between the blades of grass that crown your head.

The moon slips from behind his veil, showing his gentler side,
the sign of white sheets and white nights and amber skin
spread lazily across hill and treetop, flame takes flight,
swallowing subtly and sublimating sincerity until they are both subsumed
into the sacred dance of sight somewhere between the
oak and the ash.

Canto III

[23 July 2019]

Let us go to a time
When the night sky rolls out before us like an unfurled scroll
I read line by line,
Buttressed by earth beneath us, enshrined by the maiden above us
With long, dark hair;
The city noises and the cab drivers down by High Street and Clark
Have gone down to bed together and won’t stir till dawn,
High priest of the twilight summer haze.

A time will come when you will look to your left, and I will be there,
And you will look to your right, and I will be there, too:
It is then that we will see and know,
Perhaps for the first time,
The space between this and that,
Between one thing and another,
Between me and you and us,
And you and I will breathe as one
When the pale moon shines bright in one last shout of triumph
And the stars gleam white across the deepness
Like a tent caught in the wind
And chased down by a child with a kite.

Zero, or Mary Magdalene

[22 July 2019]

The sound of wandering footsteps, the footsteps of children,
the place of rain outside of time’s swift blows
(passing without thought between one thing and the next,
unsuspended, untransacted, asking nothing but that it might become something like itself) –
the red of your lips and your blood and the gate against the
white flame of paper (ceremoniously strung between
parallel lines of certainty we had forgotten or lost faith in during a former age)
guiding lost desires back to a state of sempiternal simplicity,
conjured up from a time gone by – an arcane relic of atemporality;
the line grows thin here,
plumbing the deepnesses, wavering the shallows,
unmasking a deep-seated longing to belong somewhere safe
and whole, an icon of fragments, an offering of coffee spoons
shored up into something soft and gentle:
a place of prayer (unsanctioned and sacred),
a breath a breath and a breath,
exposed, shared, shorn, laid bare, unlocked and unguarded
passing hidden and birthing hallowed between two caving chests
while the sea rises and the moon falls and all the lights go out.

Abstraction II

[12 July 2019]

Nothing can ever be just itself. We stretch, we long, we crave to reach that point just beyond ourselves, that point just out of reach, the point of almost discovery, where the ivy clings to the moonlight and your brown stone walls and the plum blossoms in your hands.

A conversation

[10 July 2019]

Remember when you told me that life cannot be made out of ideals?
It was summer. Sweat glistened on your brow but your skin was cool.
You said that life must be lived on the ground, in the dust, in the dirt;
that life can never be more than it is right now, today.
I said I disagreed and left it at that. You walked on in silence.
But now I say more – I say that life is the pursuit of the unreachable:
a series of unattainable hopes and dreams
(chasing after a solitary Point we haven’t yet fully discovered ourselves);
I say that life is lived in ideals and made on the ground,
fashioned in the space between the falls and the failings
and the moments of longing and imperfection, surrendering everything
and banking it all on the next sunrise, while the stars wax and the moon wanes.