We are never more rooted
in this big universe than
when our eyes sting and
our heads hang heavy for loss.
When we, a procession of sun
glasses, watch, shifting feet,
as life disappears back into
those thick familiar arms.
Our backs, clothed in black,
savor warmth, unaware that
we are at once joyful and empty,
and crying for ourselves
mirrored in the lowering. How
we know deeply: absence
of something weighs more than
substance, and we fiercely hold on.
Like a king confined
by a future of shackles, i sit in my
big chair and listen, and grieve.
i am burying my brother.
i am burying my child. it matters not,
as i think only of me.
light fades, tightens its grip.
time is my best friend
who accepts such lonely things.
a burning sky dies over me,
sighs over me, extinguishes
like a lit match
blown softly unconscious.
fingers flaming pass out
into wispy smoke, clouds that once burned
hot slowly rust,
i watch them turn pyroclastic dark,
they turn against me –
an encroaching cloak of emptiness. i watch this death
a hungry voyeur. i listen though
nothing, nothing remains
save a sliver of a moon croaking awake, and black silhouettes
of trees and city rowhome skeletons whispering,
you always leave, you always do
but the gold is worth it for one brief hour,
that one small time our eyes got big
and drank colors possible only in dreams.
I buried my brother. And now,
the color of the sky has faded and with it
Time has donned a mystical velvet robe. He
wings me about the room like a mad scientist
whose hands are tied with potions and promises;
we were supposed to be
in a future I created full of greenery
and gold light. We were to be tomorrows and
tomorrows long from now.
His wand swirls round, stirring stars to wake. Another
day is over, and so ends this illusion.
I bury my head in my hands
and cry into soft fabric folds of his gentle gown.
Kiss my hip bones if
you want to know me.
Stubborn mouth, a lack
of venture grounds you.
Hip bones are grave lovers.
If you kiss mine, you’ll
taste certain ash and stars
promised again, so soon.
This cold wind
stings eyes while
pinching cheeks red.
Cold wind like death,
a playful devil,
seems to whisper
“did you really think
you were the one to
But, what if we lived in California,
what if we moved south of here ….
late hour, woozy with memories
that one adam says are ghosts.
how right he is, adams are vapor.
as are bens and jons
and young shadowy men
drinking too much,
driving too fast.
one adam wraps around a tree before i can tell him
anything, how i have a photo of him with birthday cake
poised waiting on his bottom lip for a sugary kiss
my god, we could have been anything by now
if we weren’t spread out across the sky, still waiting
on kisses from little girls like
dew-tipped grass in a morning chilly, ripe.