Sunday, October 27, 2013

Old Poems ReFound

Two toothbrushes sit in a mason jar
on the bathroom counter. One falls,
pulled by gravity, head first into the other.
Their bristled bodies rest
against each other

and I do not understand
how such rigid objects can wrap themselves
around each other so softly-

I am longing for your nearness and wonder,
as I search my own flourescent reflection
in the bathroom mirror,

how is it that the insides of our pink lips can
lean into each other like this-
when our jaws are set against
a single, small word?

November 6, 2010

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Poem for Memorization

“In the evening we shall be examined on love.”
-St. John of the Cross

 And it won’t be multiple choice,
though some of us would prefer it that way.
Neither will it be essay, which tempts us to run on
when we should be sticking to the point, if not together.
In the evening there shall be implications
our fear will change to complications. No cheating,
we’ll be told, and we’ll try to figure out the cost of being true
to ourselves. In the evening when the sky has turned
that certain blue, blue of exam books, blue of no more
daily evasions, we shall climb the hill as the light empties
and park our tired bodies on a bench above the city
and try to fill in the blanks. And we won’t be tested
like defendants on trial, cross-examined
till one of us breaks down, guilty as charged. No,
in the evening, after the day has refused to testify,
we shall be examined on love like students
who don’t even recall signing up for the course
and now must take their orals, forced to speak for once
from the heart and not off the top of their heads.
And when the evening is over and it’s late,
the student body asleep, even the great teachers
retired for the night, we shall stay up
and run back over the questions, each in our own way:
what’s true, what’s false, what unknown quantity
will balance the equation, what it would mean years from now
to look back and know
we did not fail.

Thomas Centolella, Lights and Mysteries, Port Townsend, WA: Cooper Canyon Press, 1995, p. 114

Summer Farming Art

Friday, August 16, 2013

Poem of Thanksgiving

How lovely and strange
to wake up to a man
in my bed this morning.
What bodies can do in the dark
can be displaced in the light
But not here, not now.
I am enveloped in a stupor of comfort
and the humble realization
that I understand so very little
about myself, yet
I increasingly know
the prayer of gratitude
the beauty of being seen
the courage of stepping into the river of love
when it bends towards you.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hot Nights

Hot nights make me think of you
wrestling in bed to find no sleep, but lips and hips
and foreign familiarness that fits.
On hot nights I smell your smell
in the crook of your neck when we are
ninety-nine and never dying
but when we do, it is from so much loving,
drinking deep pleasure,
dining on the hours of this precious life.
Hot nights soothe me
into the restless slumber of a small child
forehead wet with sweat, face pressed against hand, lips
pursed in angelic anesthesia of not knowing what cannot be.
Hot nights do not fall heavy often,
until recently, suddenly-
I am wholly unable to resist the heartbreaking heat.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

For Florentino: Saint of Desperate Lovers

 “My heart has more rooms than a whorehouse.”
                                -Florentino Ariza, Love in the Time of Cholera

And in each chamber is a lover
that I do not want or do not need
but cannot extract and sometimes
these phantoms of passion and history that never
truly belonged to me bring condolences
and more frequently a searing nostalgia that provokes
old men to throw themselves from old bridges
so that my heart, like the old wrinkled matron of the house
who no longer takes money in exchange for the offering
of her body, resigns herself to everything the way it is
and lays awake at night with a prayer of thanksgiving on her lips
for the good fortune of too much loving.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

i you, ee cummings, do love

Somewhere I Have Never Traveled
e. e. cummings

somewhere I have never traveled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which I cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though I have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, I and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(I do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands