Sailorís Delight, That Nighttime Red
February 21, 2005

Talking to you is like the first stroke of peeling an orange;
a chord heard before recognizing the song; a stone-hearted stoicís
tearful trip to the movies. Unfinished successes:
tiny, tiny.

We peeled and ate, didnít we? We recognized? With relief we cried and cried?

My aches are tiny and embarrassing.
Embarrassment is what aches. Iíd like to have it out with pain,
and cringe again at overuse of the very word.
Iíd like to say that pain appears too often in the sounds of the day:

       the rain
       that sops the tree-lined lane,
       the plain
       of my existenceís bane.

But Iím afraid of language rhymed with pain
and Iíd rather not rush to turn the doorknob yet.
Iíd rather stay to catch my death of Canít,
the illness Shouldnít left to roost.

A Lost Cause
December 12, 2004

There are boys here going bald at twenty,
and girls with buzz cuts who hate the military,
and boys with thick hair that brushes their shoulders,
and girls with thick hair that brushes their shoulders,
and students with frown lines from intellectualism,
and students with frown lines from the world being against them,
and people who might get sent to fight and die or die rather than fight or fight and survive but never talk about it or kill and be killed
right after
the other.

We have only so much time to cry for the causes weíve convinced ourselves are lost.

I wish I could stumble and fall from a tightrope

one hundred feet in the air
and land in the net below
and stay alive.
I wish my most nauseous, horrifying fear could expose itself in a few seconds of feeling like a lost cause.
I wish I could lose my only heart to a gasping crowd,

and get the beats back,

and never feel the same way again.

Leap Year
February 29, 2004

A live one we might lose,
but the dead are permanent.
Ten years, fifteen, forty-five,
and remembrance pounds on.
Itís swollen in pockets of difficult weeks,
hammered into mental calendars
and found in the open
less and less
or more and more
with the aging of pain.

When a person is alive,
he or she can walk out of your life
forever, can refuse to re-enter.
The fading is as real

as the initial refusal to let go.
The lack of footprints leads one to believe
he somehow remains, she didnít mean to,
that a torch should be carried,
a candle lit,
a marching of recollections to trail
the dead in circles, permanent
and despairing and less escapist
than dull warm forgetfulness.

Anticipating a Morning on the Night Before
February 22, 2004

I canít read past first lines sometimes,
I canít wake without the first lines of the day surging through the alarm clock and the light
                           from the window and
when I listen the birds want to fly North
and leave the worms be.                                                     Too much
noise from the radio; gleeful static
signals warm weather; however, one must decide
if happiness is suited best in black and white
with a red bow tie, an itchy neck.

My head to the cool spot on the pillow moves,
my mouth is dry,
I canít wake up without counting lines from previous dreams,
dissecting the dialogue, imagining

nature the way it is when the brain creates dull yellow light
and casts its own shadows.
Surely dreams have shadows, one could not just let the sun
shine straight through.

Glowing bodies creep, fingers flutter, eyes smile.
One can never discern the true pattern of wallpaper,
the true shape and slope of the sky

but morning is the worst time to tell yourself a lie.