The Thing Is

I sometimes browse old snapshots

or read again  a book that you sent me

dedicated in your own hand.

When I miss you most I hold

the keepsake that once

sailed the seas.

I listen to jazz  that we loved

or you reciting poetry.

That is the thing with the dead

they leave behind those memories

kisses on cold figurines

 messages from an obsolete address

 

A Different Kind of Love

There are times when I can see myself

through your eyes.

My pale face so in love

aching for the caress of a flaxen

haired boy racing through rolling fields.

Suddenly serious your adventurous eyes

sent yearning shivers through me.

I longed for your touch anytime and

kissed you opened mouth without

permission.

I adored your mock anger when you

chased me and the awkward way

you looked down at your hands.

Soon Autumn threw its shadow on

sprouting wheat, smooth and wet.

Now, I listen to the soft whisper

of your breathing through a half

closed door and know there are

different kinds of love

wild, ruthless, and unafraid.

Bourbon Street

Late afternoons I sit at the counter of a small diner sipping vanilla coke watching the day turn into night or dollar green but it seems as Gershwin said, not for me. It is dog days and I am hot and tired and mostly luckless, angry too, my new love fading so soon. I dream myself into a hot soak in a fancy clawed foot bath tub sinking my dusty body into lilac scented bubbles. I imagine lying back with closed eyes as the hot water flicks at peony nipples. I am what one might call self-employed these days.
Settling for a motel shower stall I scrub my body that smells of dusty magnolias with rose scented oil until it glimmers like alabaster. Slipping into a black sheath, silver seamed stockings and stiletto heels saved for the occasion, I make my way onto Bourbon Street. At the corner the sounds of a sax carries through the open door of a dimly lit bar, it drifts up the alley over the roof of a brothel falling into gentle ruin. From my booth there I stare through a prism of glass at the Dog Star and blow a kiss to the man in the moon already yawning at the deep purple sky.

Night Music

Winter Song

The sun has lost its domain

snow birds shroud the light

A handful of starlings quiver on

bare branches so  fragile in fixed feathers

they could fit in the palm of a hand.

Suspended  in frozen breath they sing

for the reach of an outstretched hand

clinging to a red-tailed kite floating

above snowy fields of  wildflowers in full bloom.

The Lighthouse

Some days I’m a lone bird wheeling jagged edges

of ancient cliffs above the shallows

of a rough Dover sea.

My  feathers gleam in the beacon of

the lighthouse where gentle swells

pulse against rocky shores  

where in dreams you held me tenderly like 

A treasured pearl.

I have abandoned the lighthouse

that seems to lean closer to the sea

waiting in vain at the tide swept shore.

The beam has ceased its search,

still each time I pass I  tip my  wing.

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Incantations

When all that I want is so far away
and all that is left is solitude,
I chant your name through warm
currents of breath or sharp ice
shadows of entities.
I’ve etched my likeness into the stars
a dreamer in fields of flowers
a bouquet of affection fragile jonquils
pressed against a heart.
Tethered to cloud banks of silvery sleep
we meet in fantasies and the
sweetness of a lover’s suffering.