It is really so simple, she said
Light down the spine,
name and number each bone
make a fantastic inventory.
Use descriptive language when searching for skin, hair
wrap each finger carefully in curls
(the slightest tug will do for now)
Ask short questions pertaining to the weight of winks
Itemize the sighs, bottle, and preserve.
Linger in the kisses a moment too long,
paying close attention to the way the eyes look while closed- just after.
Rest on the slight curve of the hip, apply pressure with fingertips. Make the slightest mark.
Index all of the whispers, separating night from day whispers.
Backlog each moment we speak of love.
Season is fickle.
Words and wild remain un-categorized,
lovely, longing and without requite.
I will paint this, sing it. And forget.
See you each day, (And your graceful peasant eyes)
referring to the record
of our almost (surrender) affair.
One is a bedfellow, soft
One is a tempest
One is drowning
One shakes with late night chemical fever
‘How can you say to me, I am a King?’
Shakespeare asks this-
Every time each finds nirvana they weep for roads untraveled, children unborn, wives taken before time came, days un-lived.
Each time a drop of blue travels South in weathered hands
They call a name: creatress, animal, soul, basilisk.
You sing a song of Satet, as she cleaned that crazy river.
You sing a song of Leto, fading into dim mother light
You sing a song of Artemis, clinging to child face for safties unknown
There are four days to speak of in all of this.
Three are secret, and filled with spilled judgement
One is a birth and a death and a life in between. That day I will speak of-
On each day you said my name as it was the first name you ever spoke.
And on each day I closed my eyes to the Sun which I knew would set.
Hoping it never would.
Miles to Go
Each patch of skin
All the stories that arrive with a touch
Tell all the nasty natal secrets
The preternatural longings, naïve mistakes, wild worldly wisdom
Every inch has a history
They are all named and numbered and filed away
Shoved into memory
Without exception, forever locked
In my bare bones
Most steps I take sing a song of you
And I don’t even know your name.
It happened so slowly, like erosion
Or some other process that wears away
Even the most minute of characteristics
Without so much as a warning
Little by little you became faint as you fell away
It seemed like years before I realized you were missing
Somewhere on the couch you occupied
You spirit gave in to deep gravity
It sank in some half world
Some retreat for the lost
A haven for the iniquitous, the abandoned, the abased
I never saw you again.
So I grew and grew
Became a woman with strong hands and fierce heart
For better or for worse knowing who I am, where I came from
I can even tell the direction of the wind on some days
Some days I think of your crooning voice
Your particular tastes
And how I must have smelled
When, as an infant you sang me to sleep.
Ode to a prince, not yet arrived
Wanting to see your face
Forty years from now
Reminds me that were I not getting old
The requested amount of time would be around sixty
But the part that is the best parts of all of the parts
Is that I will be able to name and number
Your sweet wrinkles
For the planets and worlds
That travel through your miraculous spine
And settle soft on those eyes
That light on me when I speak your name
In a lover’s language
For the rest of all of the days.
With a shake of hips and a lick of promise
He encased her mouth with dark kisses
The dance hall, a ghost town
He could not tell the difference for once
In tequila haze
Were it not for the daisies painting her black locks
He would not have come to
Not have realized
No memory of Lila would have come
He wouldn’t have walked away from the angelo puttana
She would have fit the bill
She would have served a turn, you know.
But he had to step away. Just for a look.
Then off he went into the night alone.
You see, Delilah only wore
The pure purple
Of crocus lilies
In cappeli neri
She smelled of the freshest beets
Dug from tart earth
Knees, knocked, severe and lovely.
She spoke of God and men, and sweet, sweet babies
(The ones who would miss her after the fever)
She dreamed of Afric, Canaan, and tremendous storms.
She spoke his name in her secrets
And called to him each morning to pray
She was sweeter than a mango kissed with the sun-
And her hands were stained with rain.
When the window shade sits just so
you are Suessian in the light.
And I remember all that I saw when we were so quiet-
and I counted your freckles in your sleep.
I lurked over it
light, dark mischief
one hundred miscarriages of justice
loss of things
a lie and a dark secret.
when I opened it
the pages creaked as if only opened
I found a phrase on the second page
in neat printing
the only one in the book.
I pictured her face as I prepared to read it.
“I write my life through action.”