Thursday, July 15, 2021

Brooklyn



I am as white as the moon

Really, I glow

Like alpen snow 

or a toasted marshmallow center 

Like the highlight of a pearl

or a sunshine filled sail

I was told to stay pure

Learned to be stark

Worked to be brilliant 

Grown to be harsh

Centuries of aggression 

White washing might as right 


She 

could easily 

eliminate me

but Instead she chooses to

illuminate me

Her shoulders are as strong as any man

from a genetic history of

sugar cane harvest 

cotton picking

and Brooklyn brownstones 

Even though her life has been 

as rough as 

hurricane winds 

to butterfly wings


She 

remains 

as sweet as

puppy kisses and birthday wishes

Sweeter than the sugar 

from whence she came

She is as soft as top soil 

to those freshly planted fields of cane

Rich and warm 

like burnished mahogany 

Full and deep 

like Nat King Coles

Stardust Melody


I am as white as the moon 

She could easily 

eliminate me

instead she chooses to 

illuminate me

And now I know 

we don't have to spend 

our restless nights

alone


Gold


This life will wack you on the head 

like a spoon to an egg 

and your yolk will run 

out of all the cracks


Even as you scramble 

to put yourself back together again 

Sticky gold is everywhere 

and your shell is irreparable


Gather up the venom and violence 

that you have been given 

and turn it into violets and virtue 

because you are an alchemist


What magic sleeps under your tongue? 

Be a philanthropist 

The gold you make of yourself  

is the gift you give to us 

Bear


It’s amazing how 

a giant bear

can sleep inside for years

More silent than 

a tiny mouse

you never knew 

was there


Trained

by circus men 

lion tamers

and gypsy violins

A chain around her neck

and a tasseled red cap 

upon her head


All the years of being trapped

living in captivity

Her docile calm proclivity 

obedient passivity 

was just sophisticated 

well maintained 

stockholm syndrome 


Treats of candied apples

are fine and dandy 

Applause for tricks are trade

but sooner than later 

love will fade

with one too many jerks

upon the chain


Nature made those claws and teeth

They were not meant for your parade

If she can’t roam 

and find a home 

all on her own

Her spine will stand up straight and tall

And her paws will reach out and snap yours


A roar will drown out all your screams

standing on two legs

Her shadow will block out the sun

and when shes done 

those claws and teeth

will become

a wreathe around your neck 


Skeleton


I remember once

I was obsessed with painting trees

but only in the winter

When they were bare and naked

stripped of all their leaves 

Only their skeletons remained

Nothing to hide

Light from the sky shining through


I would almost drive off the road

Looking for them

Looking for the special ones

that spoke to me

I would make myself dizzy

and you would offer to drive

Suggesting that maybe I should not look 

unless I was a passenger


Later as our time was coming to an end

you would often ask me

why I couldn’t see the beauty of nature

As you marveled at falling golden leaves

and frozen waterfalls

and rolling hills of green

that we would drive through 

We blinked at each other

from our prospective seats

Silent and dumbfounded 

by the windshields of misunderstanding 

that were pressed against our foreheads


I wear my heart on my sleeve

You said

Why can’t you give me all of yours

I sighed as I wrapped my arms 

around your shoulders

Feeling your hair against my cheek

I looked out the window 

at the leaves falling off the trees 

and you leaned against my skeleton 



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Key 


I remember when I gave you my key

Mi casa su casa, I said

Every night 

I would come home

walk past the bedroom door 

and pause

Turn my head 

catch my heart

and soldier on

one combat boot

in front of the other 

And then, one day

you gave me back my key


It landed in my hand

right next to my heart

From then on

I was the only one responsible for it

No one could come in

to my house 

unless I opened the door

Fate became a decision 

in an instant

It probably always was

I have not made a decision 

without keyhole precision 

ever since



Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Swim

A calcified valve

is what years without tears

will make


I look down at my own toes

and notice that they are

slowly turning to stone


I know that sand 

running through your veins

will wear away all the rough edges


We share jokes

that can only be heard 

in the dark


The same dark 

makes the living feel frozen

and I am just a snowflake 


Walk this life

between vapor and ice

swim for as long as you can

Friday, February 5, 2021

Bury the Hatchet

Snow tires rest on my head

Holes in my socks 

from sweeping the floor

No roads are open today 


Labor is for the outside 

Shoveling the path

Knitting a sweater

Frying an egg


The words are right there 

just floating in the air

like big, slow, soft flakes

that melt on your tongue


Poetry is for the inside

Bury the hatchet 

Find the biggest hill you can climb

Close your eyes and throw your hands up

Sunday, November 22, 2020