i will not measure
or tame or deny
the brilliance of joy
or sadness.

i will let it glow
while i sit inside it
and say,

i am here

. . .

i am here

. . .

i am alive.

what is more gifting than that...
and the presence of your love, my love?



after a truth:

you cried

the tears fell
from your eyes
like droplets
of liquid glass

and i…

i wiped them
with my fingers

cool fingers…
by the heat
of the agony
off your face

warm heart…
by the frost
of the storm
in your soul



another unsent letter…

Dear W.,

You told me your darkest secret. And now you won’t look at me. You’re avoiding me, and it’s disturbing. And it’s surreal. 

I didn’t ask for this confidence. I didn’t know. It was that intimate moment we shared, wasn’t it? It was that thing that happens when two are together in a silence that holds them and binds them with invisible glue. The closer they come, the less they see one another.

You could’ve held your tongue. But you wanted to tell. Needed… to tell. Your secret was too heavy a load to bear. You needed my arms so you could stay afloat. Or was that just a desire for you to share the burden… the blame?

Now we exchange hellos with measured degrees of regulation. I, with a halting smile. You, with a tremor in your hands.

Will I never glimpse my smile in your eyes again? Will your fingers always rattle at the sight of my approach? Will you never acknowledge that I might forget? Maybe? One day?

But, the harder I try to forget, the stronger your confession rings inside my bones.




she said,
do you remember when we . . . ?

i said,
i don't.

she chattered away
about one memory 
and the other,

her voice fluttering
like the wings of
a disoriented moth,

trapped within the
confines of what 
it does not know.

she said,
do you remember when we . . . ?

i said,
i don't.

i thought how sinister
how odd
the feeling of oblivion,

like a blind foot 
misplaced upon
an unyielding crack,

voluntary or not
but obscuring, always 
the sanctity of memory.

but, what delusion!
i tell myself now.

there is no such thing
as oblivion.

there is no such thing
as a seamless seam.

there is no such thing
as sweeping things out
and shutting the door.

there is always a keyhole
a peephole
a crack.



for the alleviation of angst:
take one deep, conscious breath.

it is that simple, yes.

key word to bear in mind:

this is where the difficulty lies.



we came together
one last time with chocolate
cake and breakfast tea beneath
a dripping awning on the big town square
and it took me a stretch to comprehend how
fragile the moments, like looming
mirages, and we, like tiptoes
navigating quicksand



i'll nurse my kiss-bruised lips
with yours



i drove home last night
while humming to the sound of the wind.

some existential elation held me high.

and i stayed inside it
while it lifted me higher,

and swept me along
in invisible indulgence.

and last night,
i slept!

and today i write about that slumber
as if it was an event.

it was.

after countless restless
sleepless nights filled
with reading
with thinking
with writing
with breaking life down
into miniature fragments,

exhaustion drew me
into her arms,

pulled my eyes shut
with pillowed fingers,

and said, sleep.
sleep... and then awaken.

and i slept
and awakened
and understood:

only the awakened
are free.