Scars

©2021

Something lightly touches my skin in the afternoon
Not sure if it’s an insect, the wind, or your pressence
Telling me it’s okay to feel something.

I don’t really remember anymore what it feels like
If your touch was a momentary brushing of skin on skin
Or if it was the creation of my world anew

As a child, I fell on the stairs leading to the kitchen door
There remains a scar on my chin
Some scars aren’t caused by injuries

Memory is a scar sometimes
Now how to apply the poultice

Cheese

Last updated on September 23rd, 2021 at 04:50 pm

0©2021

I love cheese
I also love the feel of the wind on my back
I am not supposed to have much cheese
I don’t get to feel the wind
Because I stay inside
Where my friends are the television
The computer screen
And the cheese

 

Blocks

©2018
Sitting on the floor
With my blocks
With my own twin towers
A child of innocence
Stacking memories on top of each other
Till they get to be too much
And the towers come tumbling down
Under the weight of my expectations
I crumble as I pick up the remnants
Of what I was back then
The ash and smoke arise
As my dreams waft away
In whispers

Two Televisions

Last updated on July 19th, 2021 at 10:18 am

©2021
There are two screens in front of me
One is blank right now
On the other is a baseball game
I am not sure which brings me more pleasure
On one, my team is on the cusp of a really big play
On the other, I see the reflection of my cluttered life
Waiting to break free of the mess
And score big

I have two tvs so I can split my attention
Between two games, or two shows
Or so I can ignore two things at once
I love my privilege
One of these devices
Has been with me since before I lost my wife
It still gives me a clear picture
Of everything I watch
And everything I lost

Color Correction

©2020

Your face is dark
Not sure if it’s your mood or the lighting
Or my uncertainty in how I want you remembered
I approached this picture like I do my bad habits
Correcting things later, when I should have composed with greater care
We are masters of our art
But sometimes our talents lie
In knowing which pictures not to take

A Still Life

©2020

I brought a bowl of fruit to your room
You chose a fresh green grape
It was small
You could swallow it
You turned to me and said
“I am grateful.”
I asked if you wanted more
You said “Yes, and no.”
And quietly breathed one last breath
Said goodbye to this time and place.
I didn’t think I could finish the fruit,
So late in the night, I returned it to the refrigerator
Where it would stay cold.
And I thought of you.

Sermon Rock

©2020

Robert F. Kennedy lay in the hospital and
I stood on the stones in my back yard
Where I used to preach as a kid and prayed for his recovery
I stood later on my front steps and prayed some more
But my prayers were for naught
And my birthday became the day he took his last breath
I can still smell the honeysuckle plants behind sermon rock
I can still feel the wind on my face as I stood and called the congregation to prayer
Each blade of grass was my holy community
Each thick green leaf on the magnolia tree was the choir
The thick southern air
Was not like the California heat
My young life
Was not like his young death
Our lives never came together
But my dreams were big
His dreams were big
And now all he can do is dream the dream that never ends

Afterburner

Last updated on December 31st, 2019 at 02:50 am

©2019

I am obsessed with flight
With the roar of engines
With the lifting of weight

From the earth
From my heart
From my accounts

Of the wondrous clouds
That I saw
And the Northern Lights

From my window
At 34000 feet on a
Dark winter night

Like what I feel now
Waiting endlessly at the gate
Of a fragile future

Ghost of the Parking Lot

Last updated on July 8th, 2019 at 01:18 pm

 

©2019
I remember what it was like to stand in the middle of
A crowded parking garage and kiss you as if I would never see you again.
I haven’t seen you in 7 years and still I hear the wind in your hair
The sound of my tentative footsteps going up to your room
The sound of my heart like a drum circle, as I marveled at my luck
And then breaking into a million pieces when you disappeared from my life
It’s as if I was a cherry pit spit out
Even if my words were indeed a little moldy, or at least too plentiful
I don’t know how to be quiet–neither my mouth nor my heart
I see your house in my dreams
And wish it were mine.

You might say you were being strangled by my constant attention,
And “I became a ghost so I can breathe again
I need to become light as a feather
I need to become a rainstorm in spring
I need to feel safe as who I am”

And I might say “a rainstorm in spring”…when I was
A child, and it rained, I used to crawl under
My father’s desk and look out the back window
I felt safe watching the rain pour down
Outside the glass that kept the scary world at bay

That’s how I felt when our lips met in the parking lot
And the cars were voyeurs
And for once in my life, after the long night of mourning,
I could breathe