The ship pulls me east
over the deep blue.
Wind and water whisper…
unintelligible but crystal clear.
As the shore disappears
the tugboat retreats.
Anchors, ropes, docks;
all restraint is gone.
There is just the wind
playing with the waves.
On a small paper
I write to them:
I remember the jungle gym of childhood
Crusted yellow paint and the smell of dirt
Grasping the air, I missed a bar
Complete chaos for seconds
Now my hair is wet, warm and thick
Tears well up, but nobody sees them
The nearest person is too far to hear
When you were close enough, I cried
You carried me to the car
I felt vinyl and rumbling
The light of the ER was hot,
like the needle that numbed me
Six stitches fixed me
Ice cream felt good on my lips
You ate it with me,
but you’re lactose intolerant
I stare into my coffee,
watching the cream swirl
as it dissolves into hot blackness.
My coffee is kinder than your eyes,
cutting through my paper heart,
poking holes in my confidence.
I start to fumble words;
enourmous wooden blocks
made of feelings too heavy for
an infant’s hands.
One turn after another,
I spiral down…
like the cream.
Finally I dissolve,
and fade into who you think I am.
We find the easy way.
Up, down, around, sloshing through the thick -
we untangle, climb and conquer.
Still, pain is mind’s mortality,
crinkling hope like paper -
each fiber breaking cleanly in the fold.
Sing pain again;
of women, drugs and alcohol,
of faint stale dawns.
Your eyes paint me -
a figurine on a step,
My lips steam.
I watch my breath -
quietly swallowed by night.
I stare into the light,
farther along this path,
and wonder if we’ll ever meet.
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
When my love swears that she is made of truth,
I do believe her, though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutor’d youth,
Unlearned in the world’s false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue:
On both sides thus is simple truth supprest.
But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
And wherefore say not I that I am old?
O, love’s best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love loves not to have years told:
Therefore I lie with her, and she with me,
And in our faults by lies we flatter’d be.
- William Shakespeare