The Railing, The Ever After

I stood at that pier, once
with neither schedule
nor reason,
looking to the horizon
that didn’t change.
But sometimes faith
does that…

You are the truth that
makes returning to the truth
its own reward.
I believed in you
from the time when
the last thing I thought
I had proof of
was falling apart around me.
I fought for you
through winds and storms
and harsh judgement
because I somehow always
knew you would come.
My heart kept time with
the beating of yours
while I swayed inside
crowded trains
full of stories,
a heavy knapsack of
inanities and
stepping stones
strapped to my back.
I think I saw you once,
somewhere, between
shifting dreams
left of center where
a pointless struggling
dissolved in the sunset.
Or once, I think,
that strange day when
the sky was purple,
I heard your voice
lost in the summer wind.

And I had been so scared
before, when I thought I
had already found you
and let you go.
But that was just
one of those lies that
the destiny who knows better
would have us believe
because that deception was
part of what would
help us recognize
the truth, afterward.

And you don’t think so,
but I don’t miss anything,
least of all the fact that
everything I’ve ever hoped for
is everything you’ve been
wanting to give.

I stood at this pier before.
And I didn’t know what
I was waiting for.
But we do that sometimes.
So when you finally came
I knew in my soul
there was no mistaking.

Six-Lane Catwalk

I stand in the middle
of two-way traffic
in my white dress
a domesticated wild gazelle
unfazed by headlights
moving—
forward,
or back,
depending on
where you’re coming from,
what direction you’re facing,
hanging note tags on
red lines drawn on
smoky air, post-exposure
through a Nikon with
slow shutter speed
by brake lights
sticking Post-Its of
offhanded judgment on
hexagonal bokeh
filtered blinker beams
through cinematographic
apertures
tunnels that lead away
from extinct dreams
and the facets of a soul
that can’t evolve
can’t keep up with the times
this is Millennium City
you got to have direction
you got to have power
or the urban tide will
wash over and consume you
pull you down to the
belly of the beast if
you don’t know how to swim
Eden is no longer so innocent
this is Paradise lost, then
reconstructed
with stunted palms and
rows of pretty, pretty lamps
the old Eve
a new Adam
and twenty thousand serpents
offering twenty thousand
choices
with which to define yourself
and write your next chapter
so many hearts behind me
zipping accelerated
through the blind night
each with his own reasons
and guiding constellations
so many hearts before me
bloody, beating,
open,
so ready to try
so ready to be hurt
but I’ve been hurt too and
I respect that,
respect the secrets,
the sheepshank-knotted past,
the scars and the memories
of bruises,
and me your modern, cunning
courtesan, half concealing,
half unfurling all my
monstrous beauty and
the pieces of my broken
piggy bank where I used to
set aside my frugal innocence,
diamond-hungry Satine
from the Moulin Rouge
high-class prostitute
of the mind,
whore of inspiration,
auctioning my golden time
to the highest bidder,
calling out for a muse in
the middle of this
dangerous six-lane catwalk
in my white dress

Sometimes I’m Beautiful

Some nights the sky
is a solid teal
as if painted on
and the garbled limbs
and barks of trees
against it feel
more real,
like bearers of a consequence
more pressing,
but therein lies
the deception

Some days the clarity
feels deeper than
what it’s supposed to illuminate,
as if ‘speed of light’
implies needing a highway
that goes on and on
for there to not be
some violent collision
resulting in substance and
space in hot pieces,
as if something as complete
as to be able to only
be either present or missing
needs an intermediate material
to probe into
in order to be

Sometimes that hard light,
that depthless dark
merely glaze over
me,
and for a fleeting instant
the excess pounds and fine lines
don’t show, sometimes
the marks of failure and shame
just bounce off the exterior
and I appear as untouched
by the aspect of experience that
scars you for life
and for one illusory moment
I am more beautiful than
I ever give myself credit for

it never lasts,
just a fraction of an angle
within a fluid movement, where
the right shadow finds me
just a sliver of forgiveness
from the searching
scrutiny of age
just a random directionality
of wind on hair, on fabric

but when I do
catch my reflection
bearing that grace
I always wish I could
scrape them off the surface
of the mirror
and bottle them up,
those elusive drops
of my own rarer essence
to save them
until you can see me
to be consumed by you only
and maybe I could trade it for
a bigger likelihood
of your loving me

Falling towards June

I am the map of scents
that calls out to you
from peopled distances,
homing pigeon
the nostalgic sky
the punctual sea

I am your recurring dream
the room with the door
that opens into another room
the karma you can’t escape from
the spool of coiled hope
bottle green
glowing from within

I fall into you
like a garden of meteors
burning up
smashing sacrificially
into your stratosphere
counting on its beauty from
traversing the cosmic hallways
of a thousand light-years
to break into your
complexly assembled defense
if only for an instant,
maybe two
draw a line across the void
an indelible memory
silver knife-thin
to accompany you
when you close your eyes

I fall towards that black hole
powerful vacuum of
a gentleman’s promise
and pile up, refugee-like,
all my 27 birthdays and investments
as supporting pillars under
the loading dock on the pier
where I shall meet you,
in June,
the graceful and magnificent
older sister that April and May
will always secretly nurture
ambitions of becoming,
the way every man envies you
for being the sole object of
this heart’s
freefall evolution
into immortality
the clairvoyant sky
the anachronistic sea

The Insatiable

And I will continue to demand
as much from the world
as I can get away with,
as it will have no choice
but to give it,
and no one else to give it to,
until it gives me you.

Then I will give everything back,
twenty-seven times more beautiful.

Good Man

Do you think maybe you can try to love me with the
strongest of your convictions?

Can you maybe find it in you to want to take care of
me and protect me with your anointed soul?

Can I break into your body and gently pry your heart
open with my hands?

Because I think your beautiful inner light may have
the same shape as the hole I have inside of me…

This Much

I just want to feel that you love me. From time to time. Even just a little. Not too much. And I’ll be OK. I know you have a lot going on right now but if you can spare the love, I promise I have good things to do with it.

The Patient Wait

Until the love that you speak of
breaks free from the confines
of the numbered streets and
traffic-lit intersections
of your disciplined mind
and finally settles within
the recklessness of your heart

Until the distance between us
is quartered like a bird
and torn open like a hungry body
subjected to devastating pleasure

Until you are no longer the dreams
whose colors diffuse in the dawn
no longer the voice stretching
thin and obtuse against the long
and winding uncertainty of night

Until promises obtain closure
by being kept or broken

Until the ink that corrals you
from belonging to these waiting arms
bleaches from the hardened white page
on which your troubles stand

Until there is no longer a need
for words, and we can do away
with their incompleteness
their liability to misunderstanding
and touches can take their place
punctuated by kisses

Until we are blessed
by the sight of a shooting star

Until we can argue about little things
and let our personal trivialities
spill over effortlessly into
each other’s sun-drenched afternoons
and fall asleep under a blanket
of conversation about God’s plans

Until we are allowed make plans
and the womb of dreaming is fertile again

Until you can whisper softly to my fears
loosen the knots of my insecurities
and claim with finality the woman
I have bolstered myself into being

Until I become reborn through caresses
in the language that your hands speak
and your eyes achieve a truce
between beauty and possession

Until the mystery of time falls away
and rebuilds itself within the length
from your telling me you love me
to my believing it beyond reasonable doubt

I will be right here, patiently waiting.