Life is a flinch of the
eye and love is a phantom
hiding in plain sight.
A sculpture of ice,
a thousand crystal droplets
strewn across the sky.
Touched by the tongue of a
a flame becoming the sun,
tonight I need to start a fire
I’m as cold as the midnight moon.
Nights while you sleep
my lips are so close I can
draw your breath in like an
infant at its mother’s breast.
I run my fingers down the curve
of your spine lean in to breathe
your smokey scent.
I have entered that golden part of you
immersed the sea that claimed me in
oceans of fiery sunsets.
When our hearts grow mute we will know
we have drifted too near the sun
art by Karol Bak
I shower and dress, apply makeup as though I am going to work. I barely recognize my own reflection in the mirror but I am wearing my favorite dress and my hair is the color of rusty nails. I ignore your perplexed expression and questions.
Downtown I meld into the chaotic masses, eyes that are infused with the pain of survival. As the morning wears on relentless chatter becomes an undercurrent of whispers that fade with the crowd. Sweat and strong coffee stings my nostrils, clings to skin. Alien faces are etched behind my eyes.
The familiar girl is propped against the graffiti covered wall that turns golden in the sunset. Her head rests against skeletal arms that wrap around her knees. Jarred by a boot she glances upward from her induced euphoria, fumbles in the pocket of torn jeans fishing out a handful of dollars. Glancing around the man slips it beneath his belt and places a small bag into her weedy fingers that loosen, dropping it between her feet. I wonder how she will sleep in the night cold.
Repelled by the scent of urine, even the pigeons keep their distance and the stray dog lifts his feet. I feel those good intentions rising but they remain contained in my hermit mind. Does it count that I thought of her as she isolates to death?
Making my way back I pass that abandoned garden, pick a flower to playfully slip behind your ear. I rely on distractions these days.
You kiss the back of my neck and once again describe your beloved island and how the sun’s glare bounces off the seas surface and life glides beneath the sparkling blue that spreads over the horizon.
From my deserted garden we share an apple that reminds me of an autumn orchard and a love struck boy whose memory compels me to rub my body against you in search of that trigger, that wild place in my mind that is precious only if it is gone.
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
I adored your mock anger when you
chased after 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 his breathing through a half
closed door and know there are
different kinds of love,
wild, ruthless, and unafraid.
art by Rob Hefferan
I feel you in the pouring rain
violent or soft as a summer storm.
A distant star you appear only to fade
into the night from which you came.
Decaying gardenias fill my room with mortality
a treacly specter of memories.
Wounded hearts are slow to heal
I have become indifferent to pain.
We are a wasteland, all poetic breath died with us.
I long for the scent of earth infused with deep roots
the soothing sounds of chimes swaying from the
limb of a live oak, soothing sounds for the twilight hours.
There are days shadows course
through me like a breeze,
pressing deep into my life line and
the air is the scent of a stale satin pillow
where I refuse to lay my head.
I don’t fear those intrepid ghosts,
I embrace and release them with
failed gravity or the force that once
held the cupped hand of my lover.
The sky was alive then with every shade of
blue and the clarity of Windsor eyes
where I longed for space.
Desire is a stranger, a lethal dose,
encountered beneath a sacred mound.
art by Laura Makabresku
Firelight dances through the bistro,
We lean in close and when our eyes meet
the rain storm streaming down the
stain glass window reclaims us.
Swept away through sea caves,
caverns and seal black maelstroms
we ride the darkness,
take only what we need.
Thieve stealing only from ourselves.
In the hushed silence between waves
sighs fill the night as stars come alive
and the breeze is a soft poem.
Nude in the moon light but for drifting
shadows the swirl in your glass keeps
perfect time with far off thunder.
I need to look away from your gun powder eyes
that lethal shot
before the fluttering of a thousand butterflies
I breathe in the circlets of your cigarette and
the honey sweet scent of willing hostages.
As fragile as fireflies we escape to the madness of
our minds where all we have to do is live.