Facing It ≠ Putting Your Heart In It

I don’t know why
but in the place of poetry
only sleep
the weight of covers
the dull ache of the body
asking mutely for escape
a cheat for freedom
deep dark soldier
…..ashamed
the fight all gone
……….just before battle
just before truth
just before the tolling
…..of the bells where
destiny will separate
the loved
……….from
…..the merely
……………vain lovers
and I will not stay awake
to count the hours
and weep on my knees
because I’ve seen
what brokenness looks like
and have marched
to the bugle call
…..with
……….sorry
held in my fist
…..and
……….why
burning on my tongue
and I’ve had my share,

so I pass
and let the glass of wine be
handed right down the line

Taboo

My regrets and my reason
are night and day
and on late afternoons
when the shadows are longest
the bright smile relaxes
while laments lurk their way
back to the surface
and they can sit down together
to talk about forgiveness
without shouting or tears
or pride or persuasion.
I tell myself in a weary voice
I need to try to forgive myself
for all that I’ve done.

I’ve walked the no man’s land
between the consequences
of irreversible actions
and the unapologetic hopefulness
that is intrinsic to the soul.
At dusk like clockwork
one rears its head
while the other lays down its arms.

And in that strip of time
each day
I unburden myself quietly.
I am a ghost,
blame and prayer flow through me.
It’s going to take a while.

Red Sky Morning

It’s not only some
random rain waiting to fall
but the end of summer
once borrowed and being returned
that stole into the room
through the blinds at dawn
while I lay in bed, eyes wide open
and red from crying
and ears deaf to the
desperate ringing of the phone
with you on the other end
lonely and worried
from my silence,
your fears so close to my heart
beating silently as if ashamed

of that love so complete
that I’d woken up in the middle
of the night not knowing
what to do with,
feeling all at once terrified
and confused and unworthy

and inadequate, what with
the gaping holes in my character
that are too late to start
patching up, now that I
should soon be busying my hands
on building a home and
raising the children we’ll be
bringing into this world

so is this the woman
you will bind to your side
for life, with so many issues
unresolved and mishandled,
her wounds deeply inflicted
and only superficially healed?

I turn my back on you like a fool,
too proud to let you see me
rubbing salve on my scars.
But please, do not abandon me,
lest this red sky morning rob me
of all else that I have left,
when you are the tourniquet
holding together the parts
of me still working

and this could work
I’ll use your courage
to strengthen my own
as soon as I find it
here in the dark, where I
listen for lessons in the pain
and wait for lost love
to make its way home
walking in the rain.

The Line Beyond Which The Unknown Begins

His forever chose me
cruises steadfastly across
the ocean of my insecurities
from island to island,
carrying precious cargo
and passengers to whom
beauty is promised

I’ve never been afraid
of forever
I’ve always handled it
the same way I used
lesser words in my sentences

but for the first time
I docked in Paradise and
saw forever’s light scattered
on the waves as they
caressed the hull of the ship
that is determined
not to leave this foreign harbor
without me

a love so true
it made the sky and the sea
after its own image
and the soft sand pliant
to our idle fingers’ touch

he knows I’ll sail
to the ends of the earth with him
and we will build our own
piece of Heaven, boulder by boulder
kiss by kiss,
promise by promise

but there’s a hell that I carry,
that I hide deep inside of me

and it scares me
to bind him to permanence
on my side, because
I’ve hurt so many
in the past,
and it might catch up on us
someday, the side of me that
can’t be taught how to be gentle,
and comes up with creative lies
and the cruelest ways
to treat those
I trust the most
and by that time we might just
be too far out at sea
for him to turn back
and give me up

and if I may be as honest
as this blue,
the thought of walking
this shore alone, with the breeze
the sole witness to my tears
does not even frighten me
as much as anything
I might do to hurt his heart,
but
I will go through it,
sail off into the sunset
and embrace the forever
that he offers
in hopes that
I might pull it off and
be everything he needs

I’ll give up the sun in my sky
to be everything he needs

Through Hellfire and Brimstone

I’ve never seen you
scared before
you’ve always sheltered me
always been the stalwart warrior
standing between all that is
rude and malevolent in the world
and me

today your fears hung quivering
in the late morning air
damp with raw words
echoed back and forth
through a hall of mirrors
from generations of hatred
and still stinging from
slaps upon the face
from the hands of those
who would judge us as many times
as they have to
to break us apart
and you asked me
what do we do now
do I plan on giving up on you

you voice was steady
your eyes were cool
but I heard the hushed weeping
of a thousand deaths
from inside the silence
within your pauses

because, let’s face it
this war will take casualties
and how long
have we known each other?
and isn’t blood thicker than water?

but I’ve never lived until I loved you
I’ve never known myself until I met you

they can chain me
to this bed of nails all my life
but I have touched the clouds with you
and through blood and salty tears
I’ll free myself and walk
this hot earth on my wounded feet
to find you again

but I will not lose you
I will not live without you

don’t you know
I am the perfect half of you
you are my pillar of strength
and every stone on your heart
weighs on mine
everything you fear, I fear
when you’re weak, I’m weak
when you doubt, I doubt too

so tell me you won’t, again
through hellfire and brimstone
we’ll be together
I’ll turn my back on all of them
as long as you can promise
you won’t let me
let go of you

I Fall Apart

And if sometimes, I fall apart
know that my tears
have more meaning,
more substance,
more story behind them
than the most bewitching smiles
of the other women that you know
and my moments of madness
are my way to disguise
my deepest, darkest nightmares
as convenient inanities
and sometimes I act like a child
because few would credit
exactly how old I am
and you’d think I missed something
but my intuition and discernment
never sleep,
and details only slip my attention
when I decide it.

But when I act like I need you,
I really do.