I have left you every place
You could not come with me…
Your initial gravely carved
Upon a tree along the trail
Or in the park
Or written with a purple Sharpie
( Must be purple )
Your color, gracing restroom stalls
All the highway rest stop stalls
Along the Eastern Seaboard.
Solemnly I wore your scent
( Sweet Pea )
And slipped shadowlike along museum walls.
It lingered there behind me
Something of your essence
As I wandered ancient Egypt
So that you might see it all
Through my own eyes.
At the ocean in this
Life of breath and bone
You never saw me
Draw your sign in the sand…
( Just peace )
And how I searched for shells, sea stars,
The husks of long-gone crabs
And tenuous sand dollars.
All that loot that
Currency of mourning.
I gathered it for you.
With face and flesh you did not walk with me…
And still I left you every place,
The places you were meant to be.
I BREATHE DUST TONIGHT
I am not okay.
I breathe in the space that is long and shuddering as dust
Feeling all the space between too heavy.
I can be sad now, easily… tonight.
Digging up the reasons why there is a vast open plain
That stands between me and that distance point defined by you.
It doesn’t matter that you made me smile…
Tonight I can be sad because dust fills the air;
It’s all that I can breathe; it’s all I know.
Meanwhile distant sounds,
Highway sounds abound and I know the way…
I know the road to go.
There is asphalt and the whine of tires,
White lines trace the need, the path to you
While I’m struggling with this space.
My fingers dig into cool earth to find a passage
Dark and way down deep; while dust
Becomes dirt inside the moist
Earth. I breathe it in again.
Did I mention I am not okay?
I can feel this filling me; the weight of scooped earth,
This space is a burden, pulling at every bone,
While darkness promises storm and shadow,
Beside my weak efforts… to breathe… air…
It is all that I think of -- close the space between us --
Just breathe air again.
Dust is far too heavy a burden in a space like this.
Sshh… just tonight… I breathe dust in the space that matters.
at the end the snows were deep they blew in drifts
settling in peaks around our homes our lives
we wondered at the possibility
of snow reaching rooftops
entombing us for days or weeks
nobody entering or leaving no sign of life
except the one we know inside these walls
encased in white.
virgin snow settles in silence
an alien landscape disturbed
by brave wandering feet
bound up tight in wool and leather.
I watch the tracks break through the crust
they lead away from shelter
past the iron rails and warning signs
to the vastness of an open field
that leads down to the tree line
with the water just beyond.
I know what lies there
limbs hanging heavy with snow,
small tree trunks laid over
forming bridges or barricades
winter’s bones exposed
a ghost is making tracks
breaking surface gently
headed east on down the road.
I watched her go I felt her breath
my skin half prickled with the nearness
once more aware of winter’s bones
your name comes easily…
I am not haunted while I grieve
and everything is covered up in white.
I COUNT EVERY BREATH
Some things are so beautiful I believe
they should belong to you.
My breath catches
I can stop counting now
I release it all to you
notes of music
skies & stars
(cast quietly in night or azure).
Everything of beauty belongs to you.
And you belong to me
of spirits – kindred.
But you never can belong “to” --
there can be no possessing
of all that is you.
Everything of beauty belongs to no one.
Beauty is free.
And now I count every breath with peace
Inhale one two…