First time asleep

the first time i slept with him,
that sleep unafraid, mouth open,
not worried about drool or how my
cheeks fold and stack unattractive, i
felt like i had stepped out of
my skin, unzipped, truly naked
for the first time, thinking you’ve
never seen me before until now, you’ve
never realized how i would
lie awake waiting until your breath
cascaded slower, until your own
mouth fell aside, your soft snore my
signal: all clear to close your eyes.

single in the summer

You, girl, are preoccupied
with the way heat from an afternoon sidewalk
steams your bare thighs. You let
thunder bang around in the empty
cavity of your day-dreamin mind.

Forget what they sold you.

Love is not a hot dress, a polished spoon,
a bleak expectation, 

It is a moment you’ll never own;
a long-awaited rain slipping into dirt,
or how you can silently lean
into a Miles Davis’ horn 
sounding a single humid and final note.

To Her, Love Wayne

when you dance, my heart beats so that I can
barely hear the guitar ripping
through the amplifier, damaging, loud,
and when you look at me and smile,
it seems I’m not alone in this bar but with my lover
who is like me great,

and when you speak
we talk of books, of Ayn Rand, and the meaning of
reading and understanding
that great swirling world just outside the door of this bar,
that can seem so pale sometimes.
I made you that stone blue necklace because it reminded me of
your eyes
and when you wore it right then, while you danced,
I knew it was love.

I traveled every Sunday night for you.
I waited to talk to you, patient.
I bought you beers, and for your sister,
thinking you noticed me, my smile, my love,
I dreamt of you
in my arms, only mine
mine mine mine,
I wanted The Fountainhead to give to you
like in those shaking dreams,
dreams where you and I stood on the summit
and consumed each other
and the pale pale world.

I ignored their laughter, those musicians with long hair,
long past their days of true rock and roll–
who are they to judge me,
they can’t move on from 1979,
from mediocre covers of uninspired music.
I professed my love after four months of longing,
of knowing you and me,
me and her,
meant to be, like a happily ever after…

you smiled
and looked away and around,
around, around, around,
desperate for?
for what?
someone to save you from the embarrassment–

I hear them laughing, and i can’t sleep anymore, and
I hear you saying, “you’re nice, but”
and I can’t dream anymore.
I will be patient. I will wait for you.
you will come crawling on bloody knees to me
back home like the exile who has
gone so far away punished
hurt,
lonely,
near death,
and is forgiven and asked to come home.

reaching an end

“it’s just…
you never understand”
she sighing
ever so gently
in that woman’s way of
acceptance.

he says
“God! then help me try”
speech
draped curtains of
exasperation,
face lined
mouth opening wide
on the last word

“just help me try”
under breath, pleading…

door clicks shut
giving up.