I looked at her while staring at the painting.
My gaze was into her strokes of blue.
Fine strokes with swirls, such as her tongue
Likely would make upon my stomach.
I looked into her eyes as she sat on hard
Chair looking into mine, curious but scared.
Behind her own brown eyes was a life lived
In hesitation, to meet the others of importance.
I turned again to her paintings and saw sadness,
Low on the wall, she had hung her shadow.
No amount of talking left us with truth.
I dreamt of her sweating in the yard, planting.
And again of her astride my life, hands on my
Chest, heaving herself against my bones.
Madness is waiting for the inevitable.
Go there and stare at it instead. Love insists.
Remember the time you came from over the hillside for dancing.
Fields of lavender and poppies waving fragrant colors
In fitting metaphor for the way your hair fell along
Sleek, strong shoulders onto your ripe breasts.
We sat along the wall eating lemonade ice, the cold crunch
Turning your lips a bit red, and I reached to hold your hand.
All evening the big moon rose, quiet like our hearts, but
Bold, like our heartbeats, rose in a shimmering kind of ice blue.
In small sentences you spoke about the dresses and sandals,
Many colors, but all of light cotton in the summertime heat.
I finally pulled you out and we danced close and slow, the
Smell of jasmine filling your hair and I cried as we parted.
Looking back, I long to tell you how you seemed so large,
Magnificent, as the blue moon had risen and hung there,
With no more care than to watch a slow dance of lovers
Circling the sandy dirt field, wanting so much more of life.
In my room sits a perfectly still bunny.
She shines against the lamp’s dull glow.
Whiskers of blue never twitch, hands of
Grey ceramic fold in a prayer of silence.
The long ears seem to hold her head back,
And she stares at me through lone blue
Eye in her prayerful pious pose, she stares.
Whenever I speak to her she doesn’t nod,
No matter my tone; and my touch yields no
Shrinking, only the cold hardness of
Her smooth head, her fat cheeks, her long
Ears pointed backward in a V.
I stroke her as I speak,
“Listen Ms. Bunny, I don’t think
we can be happy. I am warm and feel
My pains, but you cannot.
You are cold and smooth and I forgot
Long ago, how to still myself in quiet
Prayer and simply hold my head high.
Look though, and I will look also.
Let us fall in love with looking only.
Let us know of our desires to be
Like one another and love instead, this ..
Some days the light goes out in the hall,
Flickering unsteadily like cigarettes on
Windy nights out by the lake – unsteady steadies.
Awkwardly figuring out you were losing faith,
I literally chained smoked my nerves into a
Nicotine haze waiting for the over to be over.
I rise two steps towards the upper corner,
Unsteadily waffling on a two step, step ladder,
Given to me by my dad before he turned yellow
And died. The bulb burns my hand, a yellow sizzle.
How one forgets a lit bulb is acutely hot I don’t
Really know, but I remember why I did not change
It now. I remember why I put up with the flicker
For so long, sighing a sigh each time as though
Somehow the act of changing is really just too much.
To be touched is to be loved.
Underneath the skin lies our
Loudest voice, tingling tepidly
With the hot anticipation of fingers.
What replaces our touch of our touch,
But the warm and gentle touch of
The one who lays against our body
And coos softly the names of evils,
Low in the darkness, hands roam my
Body in touch, but not in love,
Scraping roughly along in something
Feeling like punishment.
Touch was suddenly the rush of hot
Wind on my face, the soulful smell
Of corn liquor, the heavy weight
Normally left to Sunday preaching
To squeeze us in this failed way.
But touch now had its own sermon
On the wrath of God and the impurity
Of thinking about love. Don’t touch.
I knew Elvis.
Six feet tall and gangly.
Didn’t play very well.
Shy. Slow learner.
Kind as the day was long.
Hot summer heat of Memphis
Literally melts the asphalt.
Thick black hair. Sunk eyes.
What is the meaning, anyway.
He knew. We all knew.
Imagine him going by
It fit much better.
But Elvis is the one who died.
I guess I should say,
I knew Aron. Southern.
To the core.
Hound dog and all.
Hard rain falling, black night rolls by under the thunder,
Old woman nodded off two stations ago, stupid little dog,
Tucked under her coat and newspaper for covers, she snores,
While we sit staring into hard rains falling in the black
Night express to Stanford; local from there; stop after stop.
All the way to Groton she stared, and I wanting to sleep
Stared out, electric blue bolts in the sheets and then black.
I felt close to some kind of God, some kind of Deity
Which could create sublime sound in the female flesh
Gyrating a resonant rhythm, lifting with sex and
Waking our pitiful male members in the process.
There was no bar car, the train rolling, heavily,
Pouring rain, down pouring, heavy curtains filling
Passing streets, rushing torrents running, running,
Rushing down to everywhere, like us, like this love.
At last the old woman falls over and dog with her.
You look at me and laugh, reaching for my hand.
Pressing your nose to the dark window as light
Trickles on the horizon in preview to dawn.