-82- To the Lady from a PoetDarling,
Its been so lonely since you moved across the country.
The sky is yellow here, but its blue where you are, rich and breathing.
Everything feels dead here, just heat rising from asphalt
in little visible waves. All that was green and beautiful
left with you for California. The ocean is so murky.
It only looks blue from far away. Summers just a season
when I cant see you squint against the sun, or
wipe the glistening sweat from your forehead, or
down a whole, tall glass of lemonade. The air never moves
when I dont think of you. I can feel your breath in the wind.
Its pulsing like your heart.
-67- Tiptoeing Over the PianoYou were the boy
with the storm clouds in his eyes.
You were the light
at the end of the darkest tunnel.
And the sea, it isn't far off,
and soon, real soon, we'll feel the wind through our hair,
listen to the waves, crashing down and down and down.
Whispering what I'm singing: I.
You were the moon
with the inky shadow on its back.
You were the ocean
ever changing, ever swaying blue.
And the sky, it isn't too spacious,
just the dome of a planetarium holding in all our thoughts,
listen to the stars, smiling down on us warmly,
Singing what I'm feeling: Love.
You were the bird
with its tough-as-nails singing voice.
You were the song
that I felt in my every shaking bone.
And the wind, it isn't my breath,
it's the goosebumps I get when I'm here with you,
listen to the breeze, carrying the leaves,
Feeling what I'm seeing: You.
-52- bluethe piano plays, tunes
waltzing with my heart, a solemn
dance to the death,
to the morning.
and i lie in my bed, in my palace,
all alone; not a prince in this kingdom
could save me. not a lighthouse
on any shore could find me.
sing me a lullaby, send me to sleep,
hold me tight, my dreams to keep.
the camera snaps, a Janus-faced
lover, in one ear,
out the other. i missed the smell
of the sea when i stayed in L.A.
and i sing in my studio, in my tower,
suffocating; there is no happier
clam than me. show me your
lovely pearls, mr oyster.
atop a silver diamond moon and string,
the sound of the sky as I sing.
-14- EveningVesper is the light, kissing you to sleep,
the stars waking up and serenading by your window.
In the summer, he is your warm, contented sigh,
a tired breath on the salty breeze.
He is the sun on the water, like a million amethysts.
Cry out all your tears, whisper your fear to the sky;
he will hold them all in his heart.
Feel the suns set, that quickly fading warmth,
when he lets you go.
And he smiles:
and I will come again.
-31- Cactus FlowerDreams are fleeting, but well chase them
into the Valley, yours and mine
I love yous are my passing kisses;
listen to my heartbeat.
Whatever was before, its all
on a different road. Maybe Ill cut my hair,
maybe Ill swim in the ocean.
I wish my words were as beautiful as you.
Youre as lovely as the morning.
You smelled like a boy, no
like a man,
sweat and worry and emotion,
strength and stillness that boys dont have.
I smelled like a girl, like new pollen,
Im replacing sorrow with flower petals,
falling lightly and lingering Spring.
The seeds you sowed in my breast are waking up.
In my heart, something was born in the melted snow.
Never, ever forget me as I am
in full bloom.
what color I am. Pink like caressing your cheek,
yellow like the sun on your shoulders,
white like your angel.
if Im poisonous too.
-25- 1000 Nights of RainThat night the darkness covered Sickleberry Street like a black ocean: deep, thick, and suffocating. Rain poured down in an endless tempest, loud as the thunder that ripped through the sky.
And in her bed, Lucy Crane sat, wishing she wasnt. She hated the rain and she hated the dark and, frankly, she felt that there was far too much of both. She wasnt quite sure why she had been jolted from her slumber, but she hardly had time to wonder.
Whats wrong? asked a distant, metallic voice, emulating the sensation of ice on raw nerves. Scared, are you?
Lucy bit her lip. No, she said firmly and kicked her comforter off. And, she continued, suddenly realizing that the voice she heard was a new one, Who are you?
A cold cackle slithered up her spine. You know that already, mi amor, the thing said. Lucys brown ruffled,
-47- My Maiden on the SeashoreShe sat in her own stillness, a part of something
that neither I, nor anyone else, could see. There,
on the bridge, I saw her warm breath mingle in the air,
dancing atop the falling snow. I listened to her
sing Finnish folk songs every day for a long, long time.
I didnt think she ever saw me, not until I realized
she had eyes all over.
One day, I asked her name.
Oh, came the reply, always the exact same words.
Thats Anne, the Bowens youngest daughter. Shes
a little always a pause here weird in the head.
Talks to ghosts and all that. Always there on that bridge.
I listened to them sing like canaries, everyone who tried
to tell me what she saw, though they too could not see.
Then, the blizzards came. The days grew shorter until,
eventually, They were gone altogether. Then,
she was gone too.
It was one grey morning, a sign of the spring,
-96- Oyster Shell.
I met her by chance, the way you find a five dollar bill when youre looking for spare change. Wings protruded from her shoulder blades, a little matted, a little dusty, but white as an angels, beautiful. And as the world turned around her, I could feel her stillness. A kind of quiet sorrow warmed her like a thick winter coat, even though it was the middle of autumn.
My first gift to her was a smile, and a tip. For the pretty cashier, I said. She smiled, half mechanically, half embarrassed, half angelic, and said, Thanks. Her smile haunted my dreams for a week after that, a welcome phantom in my attic.
The thing I remember most was his smell. It was sweet, but bitter, sitting atop the thin wall between tea and coffee. He was so close that his scent infected the air around me, enveloping me like a beautiful, cancerous cigarette smoke. I think he must have come