6.30.2014

Would I Dare

To be a tree
planted once,
not thrice, not rooted
unsteady across
two oceans;
to be a dandelion
unscattered,
a trail of crumbs
leading only one way?

To learn that
a house is home and
believe it,
or else
set my home inside
your heart, assuming
you will always
stay?
To have never
thought of empty chairs
and wept,

to have never - !

To climb no mountains,
to yearn for nothing and
for nobody
would I?
Would I?

6.28.2014

Thirty-Six Hours

I. Sunrise

Honey gold licked through the back van
windows, stuck warm to our clothes
and ran down our sleep-muddled hair,
took the jitters running indigo and itchy
through our veins and turned them
into light. Soft glowing amber
crowned every head with a horizon
of its own.

Maybe it was a blessing,
maybe the emblem of beginnings, rising
neatly at the inception of our journey
as if a marvelous coincidence designed
to soothe our fears and awaken our souls
with promised joy.
Maybe it was just beautiful.

The road flowed along like a golden river
and the tires rumbled like an old song,
and the sky brightened like an unbidden smile
as we drove on and on.


II. Sunset

There's a map on the screens
where you could watch the night move
across the ocean, you could
watch the night
move.

Somewhere above the sea
we crossed the line that separates the
sun from darkness, we crossed
that elusive
line:

You did not know it yet, but
you were a casual time traveler with
sleep truncated, a casual sleeper
traveling through
time.


III. Sunrise

it was different, five thousand feet
in the air. like the dawn broke on that
flat edge and bled all over it,
deep crimsons and phosphorescent
orange almost too close up
and brightly neon to bear.

"my first african sunrise,"
said the man on my right.
mine too,
though the craters and hills beneath
were not african land nor african sea,
but dense gray cloud -
soaking in the day's birthing blood
till it was all innocent white,
and the sky faint blue again.
belonging to no country but the heavens.

lucky me, on the left side of the plane
as we flew south along the night's borders.
across the aisles they leaned over,
craned and cracked their necks
to taste a little of the new morning.
i drank it all up, mouth wide open
and throat aching.


IV. Sunset

Breathe, finally.
The wind can touch your face
at last, its fingers smelling of smoke
and diesel and somehow pride,
or freedom.

Do not close your eyes.
The evening comes with a welcome
of rain, cool and light as the day
prepares to sleep,
but you - you are not dreaming.
The bus is crowded and your
cramped legs are numb,
but the windows are wide open, so
look out at the dimming sky and
breathe.

You have come so far, so long.
New terrain rattles loud in your sternum,
this old land's way of settling into
your heart, and though
the road seems endless, you know
that rest is near.

You have come so long, so far,
a traveler now with newborn night
sinking into your blood,
as we - the friends, the blessed,
the brothers -
drive on and on.

The Last Moment

Shall accusing eyes
burn your skin away, or
cutting words bleed you dry?
Shall angry hands beat and bruise
until your bones have forgotten
how to heal?

Perhaps, perhaps, and we -
together we would bear it all.

In the end
it is the untying of our wrists,
the image of a back
that will break us both:
ankles in slow motion and
shoulders shrinking steadily,

and a beloved face fixed
on the far side
of a neck that will not turn.

6.27.2014

Eclipse

The human spent her childhood
in the early days of the moon,
holding hands and laughing through
the trees, spinning like young stars

on the ground until the moon awoke
rising to take her place in the sky,
she slipped her growing hands from
the human girl's with faint regret.

So the human wandered into dawn
and met bold, bright, handsome Sol,
bursting with youth and impossibly
charming. They danced and played

for hours, like children just finding
their feet, and for a long while
she neglected twilight, though now
and again she stood and looked

at Luna, all grown up and lovely
and so far away. When Sol found
it was his time to leap into the sky,
the human knew to let him go,

but she tilted her head back and
talked; she would not lose a friend
again. Sol told the girl of all he saw,
the forests, rivers, endless oceans

and one day he sighed, saying
I have found perfection. Lovely,
lovely Luna. How I wish . . .

But the human heard no more

for the sorrow drowning her ears.
That night she wrapped herself in
Luna's silent company, comforted
with the warm memory of laughter.

There were three words curling
on her tongue and she kept her teeth
shut. (Please don't) Sol was
a charmer, she knew, and Luna

could not be long in noticing. One
morning she stayed up to meet him,
and at their hands' first touch
the human's world collapsed,

crumbling and dissolving like
sugar in the sea. The girl cried as
she bid the sun and moon farewell,
teeth still (pleasedon't) shut.

Drawn up on shaking fingers,
she kissed them both before she fell:
Love swallowed the words
she was never meant to say.