I. Miss you
Miss you. How could I not?
Miss you even when I’m asleep.
But you tell me —
Shh. Your immaturity’s showing —
as if it’s a slip or a garter or some leg
(heaven forbid). You see the world
in a way I never could.
It’s like you want me to believe something I can’t.
(God is not Almighty. It is only this.)
(Love is not Eternal. It is only this.)
And the drugstore lights are bright, lighting up your face.
Eyes a shade of brown I tried so hard not to love,
hair that falls across your face. Blink. Blink. There’s
a rubber cage of bouncy balls and
I imagine the bonanza we could have. Like the first
snowball fight of midwinter.
Sure, sure, I’m immature. I know. You don’t
gotta tell me this. But I wish you knew that next to you
I am like a steady flame. You are the crazy one
who skids in vivid lines, dovetails across the sky.
You tell me —
This is a lie —
as if you tell the truth. I tell you
I will not be afraid.
Here’s to us, encompassing all others
who fade away as if they never existed,
two feeble pairs of wings
that beat at each other and in the end
battered each other to the ground.
They missed their expectations.
Who’s to say ours aren’t missing?
Is this the marriage of true hearts,
naysayers locked in a dance that does not end?
Lives that intertwine until neither life can tell
exactly how it would disentangle itself.
Here in the summertime, in still hot August,
is the apotheosis of my fears.
She dances, nimble, from branch to branch
in stagnant summer air,
through trees resplendent with unspent majesty.
You’ve been here before,
you’ve lain beneath the summer sky — You,
with your train of lovers streaming out behind you
like balloons trailing from your fingertips.
You’ve lain amid the smells
of sex and summer glory,
you’ve felt the fading of the light before,
do you feel it now?
Is it here?
Here are my fears.
I tell you
you can fly if you need
and expect you to fly
the moment the words pass between my lips.
Instead you flutter,
remain aquiver outside my window.
In one breath I re-imagine my dismay.
This will give me hope.
You fought these things all your life. Now
they eat me up inside.
I caught you up at night
narrating your lovers’ dreams.
(and you said I knew nothing of jealousy)
Outside in autumn leaves, drowning in
a stream of tears
wild and free.
But now you’re gone, now you’re gone
and no one else, no one else can bear me
upon a sea of notes,
a flood of Chopin.
No one else can go in the dark with me
and walk across the sand
and be young again.
You spoke to me as your voice dying fell
told me I could never tell
the hard truth and hard to say in rhyme
even you couldn’t stop time.
The world took a piece of you,
same peace it gave to me. Now it runs
removes itself and
hides in the shadows like a frightened animal.
No one else can bear the light for me:
You were my fire, my torch, my beating heart, my all in all.
My red balloon on a string, my carnival apple, you were my everything.
Nothing’s left worth fighting now. Who else will be my friend,
who else will love me till the end?
And after you —
after you I can hardly love again.