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


Each year I am lead back
to this tree
that gave birth to me
I crouch under its branches
and tend the embers of a long ago fire
I have worked so stubbornly to keep alive
The spark is imperceptible
but my eye of knowing
knows what it knows, what can't be
spoken, but only wished for-
I fan forgotten flames
and stir cold hard ash with unshakable fixation

Years peal away and life calls
me to crawl out
from the den of the brooding tree
and stop trying
to breathe breath back into a body blue
and rigid, whether right or wrong,
there is no one to blame- only blind longing-
has kept me tethered to the same spot
year after year, turning over the same
stones and asking the same questions
desperate and hungry
Until, at last, a new question plays at the edge
of my mind: Do I have the courage
to let the fire extinguish fully and finally
and, after so long,
sit in cold, hard darkness?