I said I would quickly forget you
Not recall the agony we both endured (for years)
Not suffer the helplessness of stopping
What cannot be stopped—
But your memory still lingers
You come to me in night dreams
Calling my name
Like you did that last
Howling for me
Breathless though determined
To assure that my last vision of you would be
Engraved eternally upon my mind’s eye;
That when I touched you for the last time
Cold, hard, lifeless
My heart would be rendered
The blissfulness of Sunday morning
The smell of fresh oven-warmed bread rolls
Tepid coffee and dried cereal on the baby’s mouth
The dryer drowning out the sound of the rain and birds
The new neighbors hanging pictures on newly plastered walls
Back in bed the baby sleeps in her mother’s comforting arms, every now and then
A little moan is heard as the baby inside of her womb kicks, reminding her of its presence…
But despite the peaceful setting, the stillness of the wind and the infinite resonating silence
There is an insufferable din of disquiet blaring out like a marching band in my head
I am barely able to endure the constant longing and emptiness
While your voice gives me strength it doesn’t fill the void
It only serves to remind me of how fragile life can be
How each and every moment should be lived
As if it was the last moment of bliss.
I wish I had a shell
Like a turtle
Or a snail
I’d hide from all my woes
Be sheltered from the rain
Kept warm from the frigid wind
Safe from bandits and evil animals
I would take refuge there
Be alone with my thoughts
Thinking of no one
My grandparents lived in a two bedroom apartment
On Maplewood Avenue; a back porch that once was
My mother’s bedroom; where posters of Ricky Nelson hung
Where Cal was found dead one day in its cage
Where uncle Jakey flew down the back stairs
While the MPs ran up the front.
The porch where my childhood lived and died
Where my white clotheshorse giraffe stood
And where I cried looking at my basketball
That some bullies popped with a penknife and tossed
Onto the garage where I mourned it for weeks
Until Kurt Hoffman swept it down with a broom
And gave me a little red chair he said was better
Than any old ball.
We moved to Rosemont Avenue; I was a magician
And a scientist and a bicycle fixer-upper;
I wet my bed, fed my goldfish and wore a
Pink jumpsuit that my grandfather bought for me at
Bonwit Teller that I ripped the knee in the first
Day I wore it to school (where no one laughed at me)
And I swear I didn’t fall down on the back stoop on purpose.
I learned to be a big boy in that apartment on Rosemont;
I changed my brother’s diapers, tended bar at my
Father’s poker parties (and cleaned up the next morning)
And went to Jewel all by myself to buy ice cream and
Kotex for my mother. (I never knew what was inside of that big blue box.).
I finally got my own room again on Washtenaw,
But only until Julie and Jeff’s mom died.
The ceiling caved in from the weight of the snow,
I painted the walls a deep rust color
I listened to George Harrison albums when
Morrie Harris wasn’t blasting Ted Nugent out his window.
I played ball with little Ricky Gross in the back alley,
Watched thunderstorms over the lake, rappelled off the
Roof (got caught once); brought the laundry up though I
Never told anyone I was afraid of going down to the
Today I’m going to see a new apartment
In a place far from where my life began; far from where my
Grandfather would take me on Sunday mornings to look at apartments;
It was like a hobby for him, a pastime, an excuse to go for coffee and pie.
I’ve lived in many places, called many dwellings home though
I’ve never found the one place where I truly feel I’ve
They say home is where the heart is,
Where you lay your hat, that’s where home is;
Where there’s always room for one more,
That’s where home is.
So keep a light burning in the window for me,
I’ll be home just as soon as I’m able to be,
And if I don’t return, well remember me then
And speak well of me every now and again…
I’m a long way from home.
Looking deep inside of my past
For ways to understand my present
To redirect my future;
I don’t recall a single memory
That does not revert my thoughts to you
I’m still waiting though I know you’ll never arrive
To touch my heart and cleave the hatred buried within.
My soul burns inextinguishable flames
Molten lava runs through my veins
Everything I touch melts into nothingness
Longing becomes never ending
Breath diminishes into fear
I am drowning but the flames do not smother
My body ignites time and time again
Charred remains smoldering like embers of hope
Glowing but not illuminating;
I remain ablaze but within the flames
I am frozen
You meant nothing to me.
Loss is merely emptiness disguised as longing
A faceless name, a nameless face
Unique in its power to bring me home
Rare, like a lost memory
Eloquent like a softly spoken soliloquy
Never fading like the autumn sun
Devouring shadows, luminously burning
Everlastingly bright, swallowing moonbeams…
But light is only a distraction
Our souls so easily fooled by the darkness.
Run away with me to nowhere
And we will be found by no one
Hidden deep within the tall grass;
Run away with me to somewhere
Outcasts, driven far from serene shores
Solitude on islands we created in our minds
Endless summers, white linen curtains blowing in the sea breeze
Nothing sacred, nothing impenetrable
Burning embers scar our mortality
Ephemeral moments bind our spirits to the emptiness of time and space
Remembering all that was good, all that will never be lived again
Go, for there are more worlds to create, more lives to live, undaunted, eternal.
You mean everything to me.
I’m watching you sleep
My eyes fixed on your blanket
Which rises and falls with your every breath.
I’m lying in a bed that is not my own
Creaking with every movement
Though I’m not certain if it is the bed
Or my aging frame that is creaking.
Your friend the portly pigeon is standing on the fence
In your lovely garden
Surrounded by green vines and a fruit bearing tree
Whose branches the winter winds have made thin and frail.
The sun is peeking its head over the rooftops
An airy breeze blowing through the shrubs
I’m wondering if the shadows are staring at me.
You will awake to the songs of Magpies
Singing for scraps of bread
Eagerly you will stand in the window
Hoping for a glance of a bird
Flying boldly against the frigid wind
Landing momentarily in your lovely garden
Wishing you a beautiful day.