The Shipwreck Survivors

 I ran aground on someone jagged
who tore my insides out.
With no lighthouse warning,
left listless and wanting
in the middle of the sea.

Do I dare to drink from the ocean
or let the thirst and isolation
consume me?

In the distance I see you,
neither savior nor life-boat
for you are equally, damaged.

barely.
afloat.

Between your battered masts
and my seeping hull.
The ocean rages
to drown us both.

We’re in-congruent shapes;
two ships adrift,
but if you lean in
and I lean against you
we won’t sink.

So man the oars and mind your words:
and promise you won’t fall in love or lie.
But if you must,
do the first and deny the last.
Because the reverse
is sure to kill a boy
where he stands.

Bump it with:

My Last Regret

Had I known that was our last night together, I would’ve held my tongue and just held you.  I would’ve kissed your eyelids and brushed your little bangs from your face.  I would’ve listened to every thing you said, knowing I may never hear your voice again.  I would’ve carried you home in whatever angry state, and I would have put you to bed and watched you sleep.

 In the fading glory of our last morning I would’ve told you how you meant everything to me.  How your brilliance, colors my days, how your smile feeds my soul.  How, when our fingers intertwined it was the only time I ever felt truly whole.  I would’ve told you about our children, that I someday hoped we’d have.  And with their little hands and little faces they’d come running to their Momn’Dad.  I would tell you about the big house, with the big dogs, and the big love.   But you already knew our plans. 

In two and a half minutes, I lost two and a half years and everything that lay ahead. I lost my partner, I lost my best friend.  And I am sorry, to have hurt you.  I am sorry to have broken something most precious to your heart.  In that moment, I myself felt broken, and frustrated and lost.  But never as much as I feel now.  

And in your mind I may be hazy and slightly askew.  Please remember:

I am a boy swimming in the bay, with one inner tube and one snorkel to share
I am a boy, on the long plane ride home, with his girl sleeping on his shoulder
I am a boy eating sandwiches on the beach and drinking champagne
I am a boy cooking breakfast for his sleeping love
I am a boy, learning ukelele with his girl along the ocean bluffs 
I am a boy, your confidant, your analyst, your business builder
I am a boy, talking in a high pitched Chinese voice, “Yooouuu knoooowww theeee ooonnneee”

But most of all, 

I am a boy sitting on the side of the road eating malasadas, waiting for his ride to take him home.

Bump it with:

the Albizia Tree

The Albizia tree grew quickly out of the soft back earth.  Trunk extending, limbs outstretching to the skies ever-growing in search of more skyscape to claim.  And the branches traveled outwards on agendas of their own.  One shucked the seeds from saplings and left them ruined in the cold.  Two were content to hide in the shadows and suck life from the rest, as for the strongest, they procured enough sun and sustenance to feed them all.  

But burdened upon the thickest branches they hung the bodies of the slain: the Fencer, the Boxer opposite the Dealer and the Pirate King; their four bodies left swinging in the wind– the only fruit this fast growing tree would produce.  The great heft of their corpses over the great length of the branches, became the fulcrum to the breaking spine.  With a groaning, straining, snap!   the massive trunk was cracked in twain.

And left standing in the middle was the tender marrow heart of the tree.  A green spear of soft sapling sinew.  The Pirate King dusted himself from the tangle of broken boughs, plucked the green spear and carried her out– to be planted in softer soil anew, where her aspirations for sunlight and her toil would be justly rewarded, and not shared with deadwood.  

Thrift store Jacket

I  scan the aisles of discarded things.  Underpaying homage to bygone days and fashion flings.  Everything I tried was a size too big or a style too old.   Searching scouring, until finally– I found it.  I Rifled through the pockets and ensured the zippers zipped, while trying not to think of the person who wore it before, and the reason their garment was discarded to the thrift store.  And I hate the way you smell, because you smell like someone else.  And every torn seam and frayed sleeve tells of your history without me.  But you keep me warm. And I’ll keep you safe.  Remind myself that I’m the one you’re draped around today.  And soon your pockets are filled with our things and the places we’ve been.  And I’ll never leave home or brave the cold without you again.  

The King of the Mountain

I am the King of the Mountain!

Hard pressed’ and beset
on all sides by usurpers
and conquerors,

I have won the struggle to the top.
So that all may fear me,
so that all may envy
the glittering prize
I have clutched within my fist.

Regardless’ of my milky blind eye,
and my lame leg lost in the pursuit of it.

My entrails spilled’
and lost somewhere among
the thorny bluffs,
but still on I pressed.

My heart slipped from the hollow
cavity of my chest,
so that when I beat upon my breast
plate all the others can hear is my roar–

Victor!  Conqueror!

And from a distance down the steep sides
they can’t see my limp or my scars,
all they see is me and my prize.

I am the King of the Mountain!

I do not sleep alone.
But I have given up all that was of me… t
o sit upon the mountain throne.

I am the King of the Mountain!

I am.

The king.

Of absolutely nothing.

The Quarry

Two soul mates drawn together, but fated for love misaligned.  She was born one week too early’ or him, one week to late, through a cruel twisting of time.  So when she whispered “I love you”  and all he heard was “I’m angry” echoed from the week before.  When he said “you’re the one I come home to”, all she heard was “I hate you” and so they fought.   When he finally mustered his apology– she was already gone.  He was left’ haunted by echoes and shadows yet unable to respond.

 He couldn’t live without her, so he encased himself in stone, vowing to spend the next three hundred and fifty eight days alone.  Within the walls of without her, he withered, wishing to be out there, somewhere with her; whether she understood him or not.  He would  be a gentler lover, speaking adoringly of her, so as the weeks turned, there would be nothing to be misheard.  Not – one – word.  Her name and his love became a prayer on his lips, whispered repeatedly and clutched to his chest like a crucifix– until his last breath left him.  

She had traveled a great distance and burned a good length of life, when her queried heart turned her gaze to look behind.  Finding his old  quartz quarry she wandered inside. And there, she heard him for the first time.  Over and over again, the cavern was filled with the echoes of him.  Her name.  His love.  His life. 

The Pirate King

The Pirate King craves a woman made
of earth and stone, hearth and home.
She reminds him that even the endless seas
are bordered by mountain peeks,
and ultimately’
they do end.

She is his homestead;
the big X on his heart’s map.
She is his guiding north star.
She is hist rusty oar
and the renewed strength in his arms.
She is the wind to push him in the dead calm.
She is the lighthouse to keep him off the razor-rocks,
she is his crow’s perch
and his sandy berth in dangerous tides.

She is the dirt under his nails to remind’
him of the gentleness of her shores,
And at last with land is under his feet,
After traveling the atlas–
He returns eagerly, to her doors
to look in her eyes,
wanting nothing more–
–than her.

Poison

She dosed me with the most vile of drugs, that spread through my heart and lungs as I slept, with her words as soft and beautiful as the day we first met.  Her poison crept into my waking life, wrecking my body turning my eyes vacant and my heart heavy. And my mind, mine mind wandered away from me restlessly searching for the cure to that which slowly killed me by spilling my insides out.  I limped along watching my flesh decay and fall away, leaving a grieving trail of ‘what was’ behind me.   And the poison she slipped me all the while smiling, dropping the vile vial with the label spinning face up shining in the sunlight so I could barely make out those four small letters:

…she gave me “hope”

And it has killed me.

The Black Moth

Shes sawed frantically at the cord,
desperate to free herself
from the beast that dragged her.

A monster that snapped and popped,
un-furrowing like a giant moth
spiraling in the night.
It tugged at her heart
and it jerked at her loins
as it spun and dived;

it kept her restrained and confined,
squeezing her tightly against her will.  

It jackknifed’ through the air
deftly avoiding the branches and snares
she cursed it as she would
a garrote around her throat.

With her little blade,
she gnawed at the cords that bound her.
Finally in a breath a victory–
she cut herself free…

…and she fell.  

As her parachute was left to sail in the wind.
An unburdened kite, all the more lightened.

The Greatest Deception

I spend every night in your bed, my head sleeping inches from your head as we dream.   Every morning I wake up and the first things my eyes see are the speckled ceiling and your sleeping face.  The first taste on my lips are your lips, the first words of my day go into your ears, and the first thing I hear are your words or your moans, whichever I can muster first.   We spend our morning intertwined, our bodies overlapping and intersecting, breakfast may only be twenty feet away but it’s a journey to leave this bed.  We eat and get dressed and I marvel at how lucky I am to have met you.  Reluctantly we leave to earn the wages that allow us to sleep in this bed another day. My waking hours disappear in a blur, full of people less important than the one I woke up with, and the one I return to.  And we hurry home to cook and drink wine and talk about the things we did, each activity less important than the one occurring now.  The hours pass in conversation until eventually sleep overcomes us somehow.  And I fall asleep with you in my arms, with the satisfaction knowing tomorrow I will wake up to more of the same.  

The greatest deception is realizing I’m the only one who feels this way.  That gossips and whispers matter more than anything I’ve said or could ever say.  Anything I’ve done or ever will do can be undone or subdued– by simply being accused.  My life is a lie, a giant stage and me  mere player on the set.  And the moment the script changes, the walls are moved and I am shuffled out again.  The phones don’t ring and the computers don’t type as they are all merely props.  The set shuffles and I am dropped off the edge of the world…