Some reach, some stretch, some
long for a terminus, an end, a when
when all things make sense, all the loose
threads of the story we weave come together
into something larger and more beautiful
than we could ever had imagined – a fresco
of feelings, a mosaic of moments stitched
together and splayed out across the web
of the night sky. I feel that way, too, sometimes,
nights when I look in the mirror and think to
myself has anything changed? Asking the
same questions. Getting the same answer:
silence. My hair grew. So I cut it.
5 November 2019
I heard it, once. Heard it in the way
the dark arcs across the horizon and
the way the wind blows through the
pine needles on the shoreline at dusk.
I saw it, once. Mapped in the spaces between
the stars. I wrote your name in the snow
on the hillside. I saw your constellation in
the lines on the palm of my hand.
I tasted it, once. Tasted the gold
and the sunlight and the moonlight
and the starlight mulled like wine
and dripped down my throat like honey.
I smelled it, once. Smelled the sap
and the resin and the amber. Lemon
and hickory. Sage and cedar. Chestnut
and sea salt and mahogany.
I felt it, once. Twice. Once
was never going to be enough.
4 November 2019
I watch you sink into the earth, toe first.
The roots wrap around your feet and your legs and climb up your thighs and your stomach and your chest and down your arms and cradle your head.
Here, we can remember.
Here, we can forget,
Organic vision in all dignity, in all its clarity just before it reaches hindsight.
The winter violet blooms and the last of the autumn grass curls around your toes.
31 October 2019
against my windowpane and
gathers on my driveway
30 October 2019
And so time goes on,
Listless, restless –
Searchlight beams from cargo ships
Or commuter trains amid the falling snow
Fade deep into the night
29 October 2019
Memories are built up and worn down,
Stacked together and blown apart,
Sifted into layers or into dust
Like so many waves of sand or sandstone.
Mystery is found and lost. I lost myself here once,
Searching the dark places between the stars.
Meaning is made under the illusion that
Time is not eternal. Let the dead bury their dead.
I saw the truth, held in the palm
Of your stretched-out hand
Wavering in the distance like a mirage
Under the setting desert sun.
28 October 2019
Distant, on the horizon,
When I find you,
Will I want you?
When I catch you,
Will I be me?
[24 October 2019]
The earth is within us. We come from Dust;
We return to dust. And ash.
The clam shells and the pearls,
The reefs and the waves,
The florid lines of the grass on the edge of Chesapeake Bay
Mingled together and held aloft and set aflame,
A lone light quayside hill after dark.
Hills, levelled; memories, stolen
(I found them, once, but let them go
In chase of something better at the time);
Covered in concrete and plaster
And coasted in plastic and a thin pane of glass
(A eulogy and elegy in one)
Is all that saves us from finally seeing
For the first time.
[23 October 2019]
Perhaps I will find it there, at the borders,
At the crossing, at the place where we give up
And give back? Here is where the rivers split,
And here is where they meet. We freeze.
We melt. We fill up and pour out.
Now is the age of time’s ark –
A covenant of memories sealed shut by
Red gates and white paper, locked away
Past all point of recollection.
If you came this way, coming the way you come,
Would I find you? Would I know to look for you?
Would I follow you, or would I be consigned
(Or consign myself) to states of sempiternal transience
Cast on the altar of desire in the name of piety?
Neither is imaginable, but neither is unimaginable;
Neither is a desirable state.
The rivers are parched.
The roots dig down deep.
Somewhere in the springtime, I heard you call my name.
[22 October 2019]
And the fire has dwindled down to gently smouldering embers.
He lies back on the dark suede couch in a nest of cardboard boxes and bubble wrap, everything he owns in front of him, spilling out of boxes and forming little piles here and there across the living room.
A car drives by. Light in the window. Tyres crunching lightly on gravel in the dead of night before fading into the distance.
He sees the coffee table: chopsticks and grains of rice, a pizza box, paper plates and used napkins. Two wineglasses with half a pour for each left in the bottle of red.
The sound of the watch on the chair across the room tick tick ticks, a staccato syncopation carving space between the rhythmic breaths beside him.
He reaches out to pour a glass. He stirs behind him in his sleep. He lies back down.
Tick tick tick.
The clouds part, and, for a brief moment, the moon peers in between quiet curtains and basement windowpanes before slipping back behind the curtains and clouds, light playing briefly on wineglass and a plastic fork and the gold on his finger.
An arm reaches out and wraps around him and pulls him closer.
Eyes closed, breathing in sights and sounds and memories and new smells and familiar smells.
Tick tick tick.