06/17/17

The Limited Perks

 
 
 
on the rooftop on Dearborn
with the sun setting slowly behind us
and all the light coming through the awnings
and lattice-work
the wooden deck aswirl with color
unidentifiable shapes, like they all are,
pink and green and blue
yellow
we say hellos and collect drinks
we stand at the table, invited but separated
trying to enjoy the limited perks of the Press

“Obviously, I want you to go with me.”
I won’t/can’t/mustn’t accept
the tour offered alone
that’d be too easy
I’m too wander-prone,
which you know, and like me anyway
which I don’t understand

as the other side of the party
turns to dancing and 90s music
my heart is, like they say, on my sleeve

coming out at the wrist

my propped up posture holding an empty can
with both hands in the center of the table
you knew right where to touch to
stop the bleeding

“I’m sorry you’re going through this.”

which is a lot

it’s a lot to say, I mean
like a salve made of syllables for me
saying forged from listening

my small word:
“thanks”
but in fact:
what a lucky friend I am to have a friend
like you
only, it didn’t come out that way
 
 
 

03/9/17

P & S

 
 
 
occasional empty cabs
splash their way through the streets
the weary red, yellow, green
patrolmen are drooping from their posts

the bars have closed
no sign of the sun

at a diner, I sit down,
ask for a menu,
give it back without opening it,

just coffee, please

sure thing, sweetie

it’s warm,
I notice I can hear the viscosity
of the liquid as she pours it from the pot,
a universal skill I’d recently been informed of
us humans can hear temperature
we can hear all kinds of things, the Stirring
of dreams, the silence of god, the cabs outside

sugar?

no thank you. did you know we can hear temperature?

I’ve never heard that before; rain’s cold, huh?

yeah; better in here

she puts her hands into her apron pockets and pulls
out a pack of cigarettes
I nod,

go for it

be right back in

she puts on a green windbreaker with field hockey patches
on the arms, heads for the door
I watch her walk out
I’m alone
I spin the bottles of salt and pepper around
a few times, fidgeting
they have nine holes on top each
P & S
P.S. I can’t sleep thinking about you
P.S. have you heard about the rain here?
P.S. do you think it’s all going to be okay?
P.S. the coffee is shit, but there’s no sign of the sun
P.S. write back, I’m at: 72 sw rd. apt A3 — not home
P.S. the ocean’s too far, I’ve been putting the bottled letters in the storm drain instead, are you getting them?

a rush of cold air through the door

you okay, sweetie, how’s the coffee?

yeah, I’m good; it’s good, thank you
 
 
 

02/25/17

inside your roots

 
 
For my friend Elizabeth.
 
 
 
I remember sitting on the floor
in Orlando with you
playing cards
your sister nearby
our dreamer friends in a circle

you had sung that day
I’ve tried, I can’t remember the song,
but I do remember thinking
how much you sounded like hope
“like hope” is bad language in a poem
don’t use abstract concepts when you
should use an image
you sounded like the future
there I go again with bad language
for the third time you sounded like
a tree squeezing out green leaves
from somewhere deep inside your roots
like it was easy to sing
like you were made for it

and I know
dreams change

it’s been a few years since,
I think, you believed in a future
as a singer
but you still seem green
pushing out what’s inside
like Jesus and hope,
and in the end,
what’s that but music?
 
 
 

02/18/17

I want your details

 
 
 
my hands, filled with bones,
can write love letters
or goodbyes
they can grab a day
by the lapels
and shove it into the corner
and kiss it on
the mouth
my ears have held
the whispered truth:
“I love your voice.”
and on a good day I
know exactly what to say
I’ve known when to touch
and go
I get lost driving a car
but I can tell you the
directions
of how to dig deep
beneath the skin, down to
the bones where I live
welcome
here now, spill
your details on the floor
let’s sort through
the old photos
I want your details