The house is silent
and I feel ashamed.
‘I love him so much’
‘Yeah – I can tell.’
I’ve underestimated myself again
how anxious I am around love
and then –
hatred, blame, conspiracy
though you mate them constantly
though held in tension
slightly dissolved for her – but still seething
in jostled pulp
your love for her.
but anger has fled
as hope and joy arranged her cheeks
and pulled her brow into soft warmth
on hearing you pull up
and looking at you walking in
she smiled like she was fixed.
and she kept her gaze
and she radiated love
and she looked at peace
in your arms
and i hated myself
and i hated myself
and i hated myself
for being a novelty
When I woke up dead
those months when I was another
and mortared brick spilled from my mouth
did I suspect that when I returned
my dreams would fall away?
A man works as he can
and perhaps the gold would love the dragon anyhow
and I can’t hate you
and I’m so glad.
though the house is quiet
and I miss laughter
and that lattice of aether
which carries importance
which may have carried fulfillment
silent and lonely
a balloon filled with warm water
slowly filling up inside my nasal cavity –
a song that now makes me cry
not even breathing.
no soft stirring.
no contented sigh
and feeling safe and warm
Those things tied loosely by demand
but you love as you can
and you’ve been there
and I can’t be angry with you
now that she’s better –
I can’t be angry at love.
It’s not that I have lost –
because there is no game here –
it’s only that I know now
there will never be another November
and that to be important
isn’t a promise
or a wish
or a set of axioms
or the giving of yourself
and listening more.
but… who am I now?
i’m so lonely.
‘God, I love you – I can’t wait to hang out’
‘We love you for your personality’
i can feel the warmth of the words
like a homeless person and a trashcan fire
separated two arms length
by the warmed flesh of others.
and now – right now – why the trembling fatigue of anger?
There is no welcome death – no avenue for fulfillment
the aspirations of youth have crumbled
the relief of being Wanted –
Thought after –
Hoped for –
Depended on –
The barbed fence of love that separates id and ego
reminds me that my fulfillment means pain
and further distance from those i love most.
I’m so jealous. irrationally jealous.
Why you? Why do you deserve this?
how i love you – how i understand your failings –
how i pity
an ambling walk and a breakdown
an unnecessary masculinity
a lack of desire to understand
Why you? You have what I wanted.
what kept me anxious about the possibilities of the future
Why am i still so lonely?
I found the bee not moving.
Her yellow stripes were like a blob of honey
against a white parking space line.
‘It’s winter, after all’, I thought.
I stooped down – an ugly warm ball of grease and flesh
and poked the bee lightly with the end of a car key.
she did not react. She was dying.
‘It is winter, after all.’
But here? on this parking space line? On this liquid spread of minerals
which were squeezed out of a nozzle
to delineate where the machines whose waste choked you in life
may be allowed to rest?
I placed the car key underneath the bee’s head
she grasped weakly and held on
like a leaf caught on a wool sweater.
I walked her to the grass.
I did not know what else to do.
I placed the bee into the grass –
by that bush – just over there.
she grasped a still green frond
and positioned herself to look up at me.
In the distance, I heard the low and cycling drone of an airplane –
within sight-line of the upward-facing bee
that she may meet with one last sense of wonder
and I will drive this car home
and rest in the lonely darkness
Below I wonder who’s fallen in love-
who lies across from, under, alongside
who lies on the floor, considering warmth, stayed and practiced
Why is it that I can’t think my hand into movement?
sigh, hope, movement
The last chord in a thickening love song –
The tone that rings out when you long
as hollow and as cold and as stark
as the moment you realized there would be
when is it, really, that you die?
“I am still right here.”
she said, having taken off her shoes.
After a while, it seemed kind of obvious to him
that she wasn’t being wholly truthful.
It wasn’t on purpose.
“I mean,” he said, with a vernacular as meaningless
as his desire
to write poetry,
“I guess so.”
With that faltering look-
the one that he had grown to hate
for reasons he would never fully understand
she spoke, her voice humid and her mouth a trembling oblique,
He only hoped to be comforted by the warmth of her tears.
He hated the solitude, his own warmth.
Her tears never pressed themselves deep into his shoulder,
never pushed hot breath into his sweater in frustrated shakes.
He began to think that his adolescence never meant anything,
that if it didn’t mean something right now, that it couldn’t at all.
and as he thought about tomorrow,
which hung over him like the rest of his mortality,
He instinctively wondered:
“Have I ever impacted somebody to the point that they’ll think of me fondly?”
In that thought, he stopped breathing for a couple of seconds,
and then went to bed.
This hole in my heart –
A tired emptiness that longs for those things that have never belonged together,
I read messages from loved ones.
I remember a short woman
25% of me or better
but when did those memories start?
The smell of morning beer
to-the-point in a way that spilled tenderness
down the hill, into the pond that probably used to be there
in a time I can’t conceptualize
My questions aren’t hers and won’t be answered
The church she loved will never see my Easter,
though it’s just a 9 hour drive.
I long for the place that I belonged
but does this longing forsake my now?
jelly-colored lights and sleeping ghosts
You were never awkward, though the situation begged it.
It was like I never left.
Where is the spine, now, of the family I never had?
The news mixed together and dried as a thin lacquer.
Lurching out from appreciation
yet stifled from longing, I thought:
“God, I want to play Euchre.”
You were like a proper Christmas –
Warm, full of love, joyful,
thoughtful and earnest,
and I’m going to miss you.
Some old monk,
dead now a long time
but immortal in prose
caused me to pause
You look the same.
The same, perhaps, as I had imagined
now that the sand on the beach has washed away
and been replaced by vaulted roofs, allergies, plum wine,
futons, a girl stifling the urge to skip, a carrot cake muffin.
You look the same in your wedding dress,
nonplussed or unsure how to smile-
fallen into an expression I don’t remember-
but which was probably there the whole time.
And as I sat
surrounded by warmth,
allegories in children’s language,
the inevitable decline of each individual,
the listless desire to feel needed,
I was happy for our death
and for our birth
and for the truth that lives now
and which scoffs at myopy-
a truth living in a silent, warm memory,
draped in the blowing wind on the pier
where my first regret was timidity.
Congratulations. I hope you are well.
As I build my golem,
its ambling praxis divided
like the cracked face
in an old painting
of a woman
too weary for the aching flush of love-
The fear of it never being useful,
never knowing purpose-
does not strike me so keenly
as your eyes set askance as I build.
A ghost lies still spilled on the floor
shining like I had imagined soft breathing-
a light enshrouded by my trembling regret,
pulling my chest to the floor.
Its smile is the imagined warmth
made heavier by truth,
made into purposelessness,
into awkward levity.
There is no promise,
as perhaps a promise requires some merciless constraint-
and things are just what they are,
and surely the nature of man is further want-
but man admonishes a night’s rain,
and flees from it.
and the solemnity I feel in a midnight downpour
doesn’t bring the light
of that poor ghost, spilled on the floor.
Blessed virgin, whose shapeless loathing
has caused striation in her forearms-
giving herself to the faceless lovers
who will live her story without her and within her
what touch is human that does not taste of salt?
what flower blooms without our notice?
the breath of kings which mingles with fresh-slain serfs
made more clear by the biting cold surrounding them
the smell of overbearing soap
the desire for friends at a train station
belonging without requirement
On the second tuesday of a boring september
the lady at the front counter
(the one who gave you your room key)
may have wondered how many of you there are
and how many won’t realize that they have always been you.