The Tulip and the Frog

the tulip and the frog were friends
and felt they’d be until the end

so every morning without fail
for all of spring along his trail

he’d come upon his flower friend
he’d promise once or twice again

“Tulip, I’ll never leave your side
you are my heart, my soul, my pride”

but tulip could not speak a word
nor could her petals be disturbed

she could be only what she was
all flowers obey garden laws

then frog knew love was bitter-sweet
knew some words were not worth repeat

so frog took one more final gaze
and promised her he’d always praise

her beauty, calm and elegance
and most of all her eloquence

and with a note of sadness deep
the frog intoned a magic leap

“It’s good that you are happy now,
love, you deserve that finest crown

I’d like to know you’re always safe
so hold your place as garden’s grace

please don’t forget your old frog friend
who loved and loved until the end”

and then frog had to hop away
to learn to love as quietly


to have it known

last year when I was in
the hospital for that thing
with my


you wouldn’t say it back
and I’ve known since
things had changed deeply in you

a person doesn’t confess love to have it returned
only to have it known
and, love, I’m too honest to
push or pull

I want you around like god, everywhere
all the time, shining
if she’s here at all, she’s like that
and we try to imitate

glints of your light fleck my shadow
my memory is a cosmos of your shining
and I hate any goodbye
but I can only be me to you
a mirror can only tell the truth
you’ll have to step in front of me
for me to see anything


for the days you wake up

for the days you
    wake up feeling buried
I love you
even with your bones exposed
even with your silence
and “can’t say it” words
for the days you
    wake up spinning
I love you
even your centrifuge heart
pulling apart
at our differences
you’re not so far
I’m not so far
we’re not so far