breathing room

In the deep-throated darkness,
he makes his way forward,
hands pressing firmly along the walls.
‘Get out of my head,’ he whispers
to her image lingering eerily close to his temples;

the space dense enough as is.

Pride

I’m one of those people
who smiles when they mean to cry.

There’s a grace to it,

the way a handprint dissolves
into tiny beaded capillaries
and eventually disappears
without a sound or trace…

and you tell yourself you’ve won.

for David

It’s been over a decade
since we spread Grandpa’s ashes.
That was the first death.

When it’s hospital beds and oxygen tubes all over again,
your body is only 23 years old,
and no one knows what to do
except grip your withering hand
and beg you to come back, as if you have the choice.

Maybe you do.

It’s awkward how we gather outside your room,
night after night, trying to share the grief, but mostly
wondering at the physicality of losing you;
your father’s posture is the first to go.

Months later, after you’re gone,
they’ll want to know how it happened.
People get curious about these things.

I’ll look up and slightly right,
where that night we found you after the accident
suspends in my mind like a tragic painting.

It may be an uncomfortable silence,
but they can wait, and they will,
while I gently slide that picture aside
to reveal all the glorious ones before it,

stirred newly by their vibrant strokes,
those impressions you left behind,
the wealth of art you gave me,

which I will describe with an almost ethereal duty,
like a committed docent

who loves the artist for his textures and colors,
and is grateful that he lived.

this one…

… is about sitting on a Los Angeles balcony, chill Sunday morning, surrounded by rooftops and power lines, sipping blonde coffee, one bleary-eyed neighbor stumbling out his front door with a leashed boxer … he glances up and nods, secretly obsessing over lack of time; no one yet knows that he will be discovered dead in his apartment from a drug overdose. A train sounds nearby … lint settled below the dryer vent stirs in the slight breeze … the black and white cat from two doors down traipses by on three legs … the looming sun bleaches the walkway below like a gateway to heaven.

kamikaze lovers

Of all the ways we destroyed each other,
agreeing to try again was my favorite.

The heady possibilities only lasted hours
(as long as the make-up sex, more or less),

but for that time, that ecstatic play at devotion,
we were victims only to the clock behind our heads,

its ticking barely audible.

Hollywood

She kneels on Watusi legs,
limbering her mouth for activity,

a vapid mistress to the Vogue cemeteries
where woman bleat like cowards,

spread and unfathomably thin,
until they vanish.

Haiku series

The alarm will sound.
The choice…should I slumber on
or be awakened?

With no place to go,
it is her thoughts that wander.
She travels lightly.

He hates his routine
but hates more the idea
of confronting change.

I pretend to smile.
But like a dog baring teeth,
I just seem afraid.

When shit goes straight south,
I have no clue where to find
the worthwhile lessons.

The rain’s coming down
with an unforgiving force.
Will you let me in?

Filled with potential,
it’s my own fluctuations
that embarrass me.

You want beautiful
then bemoan how ugly she is
when her mouth opens.

Wherever I am,
your image is staring back.
You are my window.

He preaches God’s word
then strips down to leopard skin,
and prowls for night life.

As your face grows pale,
You repeat, “I can do this”
over…and over.

Each day at this hour,
the sun is an angry boss
casting long shadows.

Hey Stranger. Search me.
You never know what you’ll find.
There’s magic in that.

Slinky dresses may
repair a broken ego.
Naked always wins.

You’ll swear ‘forever’
then insist on betrayal,
mirth’s ruthless vacuum.

When the walls become
more important than the view,
we miss the sunrise.

I know, despite fear,
that one foot front the other
is how I’ll get there.

The ground we once held
burns like wildfire beneath us
where new grass can grow.

You are missed, my friend.

I lost you. I don’t know how it happened, and I am not sure how to get you back. My days are harder now that you are gone. Quieter – in that ’empty quiet’ kind of way. This is the worst kind of ending, abrupt and unexpected, where everything reminds me of you… even the song on the radio…right…now. I have been through this before. Haven’t we all? That agonizing heartbreak period when you swear not to put yourself through such disappointment again. Yet, here we are. I never expected us to end up apart.

If you’re with someone else tonight and all of sudden miss my touch… please come home. This time, things will be different. I won’t demand that you entertain my every whim without appreciating how valuable you are. No more abandoning you when you feel rundown and need me most… you’ve never done that to me. Darling, you have been some of the best company I’ve had in years. This time around, I promise to give you only the best of what I have.

The thing is, I think anyone would agree that we have worked well together these last few years. We’ve traveled the world extensively without one moment of tension- that is so rare! Your willingness to back me up, no matter where we were or what the situation may have been, staggers me. I know you probably felt disregarded when I got busy, or when friends came around… please know that at the end of the night, it was always you.

Just because I couldn’t hold onto you forever doesn’t change how you have shaped me. I still remember that rainy night in Florida when I held you, tears spilling from my face onto yours, while you quietly sang me an acoustic version of Griffin House’s “Only Love Remains”. Only the two of us could hear, and in that private moment, I realized with unshakeable certainty that as long as you were around, I’d be okay.

I know that my blog is relatively new and my readership is painfully limited at this time, so you may never know how much I loved you. I suppose I write this more for me than for you.

Nevertheless, if somehow, in some way, my message finds you, please know that I would do great things to have you close to me now.

Moment of silence for you, my beloved iPod. Though I may find another down the road, you could never truly be replaced.