I whispered a prayer down her spine.
Spoke my future into her skin,
Read how our story would unfold across her gentle contour
With the the vision in my fingertips.
Because I know I’ll end up loving her too much.
Even if we’re still an ellipsis that’s about as almost
As the space between her barely parted lips
Whenever we get close enough to want
One of us to ditch inhibitions,
I just bare a certainty.
Similar to the way she seems to want to
Bare her soul to the risk of something
Worth every future measure of time.
Sand’s grains will caress the glass,
Seconds will slip into the comfort of oblivion,
And calendars will wilt under the submission
Of a clock’s firm hands.
But I know that in the end,
It’ll still feel like the first time……..
Right where the present and the most maddening longing for the past meets,
You’ll hear the faint sound of Miss Holiday’s sadness.
Billie’s blues melting with the shades of mine to pour into my ears
And drench this weary mind in a serenade that gives me the best comfort these days.
But see it’s these days that are peppered with replicas of smiles
And salted with the same stuff that’s laid in my cuts for far too long.
These days that drag slow like Pops’ cigarette whenever he stressed over everything,
And dragged slow like my own soul across the living room floor of what a home used to be.
See back in the back then, there was the opposite.
Pockets full of promises were the currency I used to buy my way into happiness,
I broke the bank for those that I loved.
But when the value of my promise lost out to the rising trend of it being broken,
The only fair exchange that I could have left with was emptying my pockets
And getting used to nothing in return.
Nothing would ever return.
No promise of what once was would ever return.
Just like Pops’ presence.
And even though he left wishing to pay full penance,
The sentence that he served left me with the hollow independence of filling his shoes.
20 years old, young dude.
Who breathed life and exhaled confidence.
Saved the butterflies in my stomach for days that flowers for Mom
Needed accompanying beauty,
And the flap of a monarch’s wings bled the shades of what I was scared to face.
Like what am I supposed to do with these new shoes that I can’t even fit yet
And how can I follow in Pop’s footsteps when the laces laced barely secure my future,
Let alone any semblance of forward progress with this awkward gait.
Terrified that the full story I’ll tell only depletes the currency in my wishing well to get better.
See it was around this time I took my writing serious.
Screamed bloody murder into the ink and let it trickle into my next opus.
And though hopeless it can sometimes seem, the comfort of the blank screen,
Or whatever else my fire tongue laid flame to,
Scorched memories into permanence.
I learned that the frustration Mom’s showed can double as the letters I use
To try and constantly re-write what situation we’re right now.
Mom I’m sorry.
Though the hollow words echo the fact that I’m apologizing on behalf of my fatherless wisdom.
And I’m writing on behalf of trying to figure out just what it is I need to navigate us through.
I’d love for it to be okay.
And I’d love for love to seem okay.
And I’d love for the chance to erase the thieves’ fingerprints left on my heart,
And love the way I used to when it barely knew how to beat it into existence.
I guess a mother who knew how to spell it
Yet still can’t stomach the syllables to say it,
Can mess with a dude a little.
I found out the hard way how real things get,
When you’re left alone with a blank expanse
As it begs for me to pull the trigger and solve its dilemma of emptiness;
By spilling the ink and secrets running through these veins.
I’ve killed myself countless times over these poems.
Attempted to murder some memories that stick to my ribs
And cling to my eyelids to remind me that sleeping is no better than being awake,
So having to face whatever I’ve got going on
Is the only way I can make nightmares go away.
Though as much as I want to dream my problems into submission,
And ease the thoughts into ink blots and keystrokes,
There’s no better conclusion than speaking prayers into humble ears,
And having a conversation with the few who show their bravery in their care,
And being brave enough myself to admit
That though this chest is San Quentin,
And my mind is Rikers,
I can pardon my own sins by setting whatever’s inside free.
Speak my hurt into freedom.
Enough bleeding of this wound,
It needs healing……..
Well darling you’ve spoiled it for the rest.
Clavicle dreams and mischievous schemes
Like when we’d sneak away for the day
And rendezvous on the horizon that blurrs
The line between your light
And the sea salt kisses that only quench
Your want after a few tries of them.
I’d buried secrets within your bones and
Treasured their whereabouts just as much as their content.
You whispering their exact location into my ear
Gave me that certain tickle that
Causes shoulders to twitch upwards
As if puppet strings were attached to them
From your lips.
And if joy was equipped to share itself with me today
In its arsenal would be the part where you
Impart the wisdom of your heart to teach
How the way we move with synchronicity
Is a form of art.
You’ve got a brush stroke smile
And I an acrylic soul.
The canvas we’re creating on is just whatever.
I couldn’t even explain it.
Art’s up for interpretation and as far as I’m concerned,
What I feel for you is an impressionist expressing their self
In a romantic era where masterpieces were determined
Once the artist died.
So I guarantee that if I were long gone from this existence,
The value of us will only get better in time……..
I listen to you like your whispers tasted like ‘right here’
And hold you like your skin was sweating impatience.
Eyes locked, what’s once dry, now not,
I spill honesty on your canvas and paint a scene
Showing how much I’ve missed you.
Tension, split into, I mold into one what moments before was two.
Collarbones and chins
Show how they can connect, too.
Just know, I’d let you.
I can rush into conclusions but wouldn’t want to confuse
The rules of engagement with games
Of passive aggressive.
Permissive I’d rather be, lather me in your reality.
I’d have to be suffering from a malady of wanting you
Oh so madly.
Timid hearts now beat like sunshine in June.
I’d love to drink your life’s memory and
Quench my curiosity for you.
Blend me into the thoughts that brew in your head,
As you try and figure out if your whispers
Laced my ears in ‘right here’
And if your skin sweat as much impatience as mine.
This dance of indecision,
Trance of what we both want given,
Can sometimes be enough to bide the time……..
One county, two and a half gallons of unleaded, 84 miles, and the empty space where promises and apologies were supposed to be,
Were what separated us both.
I tried to shorten that distance by wrangling the stars at night and speaking them into phone lines,
Just so you could see that how much they missed kissing the universe still wasn’t as much as I missed you.
But somehow you missed the point and I missed what we once were
And the point of stars being suspended in the night sky are to help light paths when the way gets dark.
We ultimately got lost.
I saw a pedestal the other day.
Simple, every day columns that glorified the mundane existence of house plants and crystal.
And it reminded me that the necessity of trying to put something somewhere
For the sake of saving space,
Is the same principle that made you put us on one
Knowing in the back of your mind, you’d never have room for us in the end.
And it didn’t matter that we came to, were in, or arrived at it,
Because the point was that that end became ours and the roads we took to it
Looked awfully a lot like the 84 miles and empty promises that kept us separated.
Time flies and memories crawl.
The direction either one travels are never the same.
We can pardon ourselves for being stuck at some point,
But how much can I forgive myself
For carrying the load that weighs down my memories’ crawl into a halt?……..
Summer Soft, Spring Kissed
Summer soft, Spring kissed love.
Hints of Fall and Winter dripping down her smile.
"I’d have you year ‘round."
Is what I told her.
Generous with my compliments
Like oceans massaging foam
Into each crevice of the sand’s grains.
I, heavily affectionate like that.
Her, heavenly sent with the scent of
God’s favorite galaxy
Living in her collarbones.
Her tongue was Da Vinci.
And I hung every one of our kisses in a frame.
Masterpiece would be appropriate.
Syllables would try and procreate,
But the birth of my words could never
Grow into the best way to describe
My want for her.
This was Summer soft, Spring kissed love.
And we, lazy upon each other,
Letting morning drop anchor
Until her chin melted into my neck
Like foam to sand.
Any level of tide I’d welcome
To harbor this woman’s touch.
Any level of her,
I’ve already spoiled myself much……..
You’re a tough one, skin thicker than most.
Probably because you’ve lost something that matters
One too many times.
Determined not to let another get out,
As much as you’d rather not let the pain in.
Now thinking that what’s left inside,
Though not especially special to others,
Is the sweetest of sweet that is misunderstood by them……..
I think I’ve been struck with the notion that calendars were of no use to me.
Because whether it’s February, April or the very first anniversary
That I know I’d want to have with you,
The urgency I currently nurture into a fervor is my desire
To get to know you better on an on-going basis.
We can steal as many glances as we want,
Until I get a little excited and decide to borrow one instead.
Because it will get returned.
Eyes locked like the lips of those saying goodbye,
Yet have ‘hello’ already chambered in their throat eager to welcome
Them back with the same kiss.
I want you, miss.
As politely and as pushy one can be, mixed into one desire
To balance both on the tip of my tongue
Like the high-wire act of wearing my heart on my sleeve is.
See I’ve caught a glimpse of loving you
And the view was as glorious as first glance,
Yet hard to fully judge like your first impression.
Now pardon the audacity of what I want my future to look like,
But the confidence of me wanting a good woman,
Is far different from the arrogance of me ever thinking I deserve you.
I am a firm believer that if you have a desire, let it be true.
Because sometimes that truth will have you
Tracing my last steps with you on Google Maps,
Trying to relive our most recent moments in an effort to
Prove that this isn’t the thirst that’s triggering things.
And that memory that gravitates to my mind
Hopes to catch your orbit sometime.
Because if you do remember,
Then the battle of winning you over is half won.
With the other half setting up shop in the spot
That your ripe smile occupies,
Waiting for the grasp of my bravery to pick it
As my favorite fruitage of effort and action.
You gave me me an impression that’s stood to be long-lasting
And is now halfway to indelible……..
Basic fundamentals of its craft state that a true marksman
Pays attention to the detail of their camouflage.
One day she was dressed in passive.
The following day, disguised in aggressive.
And for the next few weeks,
Cloaked herself in a manner that made it look like
She genuinely had an interest.
Know your enemy, they say.
So one question lead to another,
And my favorite colors lead to my proudest moments
And what I craved for at the moment
Contributed to her reconnaissance as much as
My favorite song gave away the exact location
To my vantage point.
I saw as much as she wanted me to see.
But by the time I realized that the walls I let down some
Were in direct line of sight to the crosshairs
She had painted across my chest,
The ruckus caused by the ricochet of bullet
Within my innermost was almost as big a mess
As the exit wound at the bottom of my ribcage.
I tiptoed the line between novelty subject
And the feeling the shiny new toy gets
When “shiny” and “new” leave a child’s vocabulary.
Line of sight clear as the skies we pray to,
Hoping for love to shoot us straight through
The broad side of our logic.
Shot and wounded can be synonymous.
Just like victim and target……..
cold coffee/hot tea
It’s seasons ago,
Winters blistered their cold past flushed cheeks.
Springs bled into Summers like late night tea into me.
And Fall was the excuse for us to fade in and out of
The feeling that was as close as yesterday.
This was the goodbye that I’ve heard so much about,
Yet never cared to get into.
Your sweater’s scent told me it’ll be alright,
But the way it hung limp on my chair
Told me otherwise.
I haven’t sipped on coffee ever since.
That’s a lie by the way.
Call it even.
But yours claimed more scars
Than the years we gave.
And darling the footsteps in your voice
Were traveling farther from me.
Steps that I started to see
As early as when the tremble in my forgiveness
No longer shook for the reason of we.
The steadiness gone,
Who was I to keep holding tight?
That’s why the tea I sip on tonight
Suits me better than the coffee that kept you up,
And woke you up to this goodbye.
One that we’ve all read so much about.
I guess we’ve all got to try it some time.
Darling we’ve practiced it enough times
To make it perfect for me to leave behind……..
Water On Mars (She Is)
There’s a gorgeous in her hello;
Each syllable held by the same wonder
That keeps the universe in motion.
She is water on Mars,
A rover’s whole existence justified
When it discovered her.
Down to Earth,
With men cheering on her presence,
As if she were the very dreams
That kissed their rem state into submission the night before.
And nights like these that have me up,
I’d rather converse with her
To try and solve her sweet mathematics.
Pulsars gossip over which galaxy
Birthed the constellation suspended beneath her eyelids.
The milkiest way to her,
I’d swim upstream to meet it’s downpour.
I promise she’s binary,
Equal parts nebula and man’s vivid imagination.
If the heavens claim what’s above,
I’d seek permission to pluck her from it.
Don’t care if from here, I plummet.
Feels like falling when my honesty meets her trust,
With no other explanation to define the union
Other than it was already mapped out above
Like the Orion’s belt draped around her collarbones.
I breathe easy knowing there’s plenty left in her unknown.
Plenty left to make known.
As her stars shine bright to light a path that takes me home……..
fatherfigure (still writing)
You know as little kids we’d think the world of them.
So much so that our smiles became the equator that encircled their very being,
And the latitude that charted the course for our budding attitudes
Was mapped by the same steady hand
That shook years ago when he first cradled you into your first lullaby.
Not because he didn’t know what to do with you,
But more so the fact that he now knew what to do with himself.
See these are real life sentinels that spoke of conquests of their past and drew the blueprints of our future.
Scholars that taught us lessons learned within the pages of experience’s textbooks
And made us study for the never ending pop quiz life is.
We’d cover our ears at the trumpet procession we thought their entrance into rooms accompanied,
Stared wide eyed at the superhero feats they’d accomplish with strength generated not from superhuman ability,
But from the realization that responsibility now included more than just themselves.
Father is his name and Dad on other occasions.
Pops whenever you called for him
And daddy to the sisters and daughters of the world.
Yet fast forward to today where I’m sitting here,
Letting the ticking wall clock shank the silence of this room,
Reminding me that the lessons I was taught to be a boy
Were now years removed from the missing sequel of navigating the minefield that growing up a man is.
Lord knows I’ve stepped with the result of injury plenty times,
And as I lay with the lessons of learning to watch my step,
I’m reminded that the red I see spill from my failures are of the same shade
That my broken heart spilled when he left.
See reminders of such make me realize that I forgive her for her infidelity
Because my misguided love probably held on too tight,
Knowing that things that mattered in my life tended to dip out the backdoor.
I’m reminded that love wasn’t infidelity, yet the strength to live through it was.
And maybe my future can lie with another one’s so that we can write our own story with bedsheets tracing the cursive that our fluency in each other produces.
And maybe I will live to enter rooms with fanfare louder that what my father’s once was.
And maybe I can superhero my way into her heart to convince her
That my father’s faults are not cookie cutters,
And that I’ll be good enough to show her that the story I’ve written out
To be my own man,
Is the one that will have her eager to turn each page, yet linger over my every sentence all in one breath.
Paragraphs that would introduce her lips to infinity,
Language that would speak a rhythm into her hips,
And the endless combinations of 26 letters to show her why
The transition of my story into ours is the plot twist that makes the most sense.
And maybe I will stand taller at the end of the day,
Knowing I didn’t step on the feelings of those I loved most
To make myself feel higher in the lowest points of my life.
I am not him.
See my goal is to flip those maybes into something more sure than
His shadow disappearing when things got dark.
I am writing still.
Because the chapters I’ve already finished are always ended with the perfect segue into another.
Because even though my present consultant in experiencing things for myself
Is all I can turn to,
Knowing the past presence of what once was
Makes less sense……..
Ode To Collarbone (a haiku)
The root of your dreams,
It rests on this tempting spot
Called your collarbone.
"Sweetest thing I’ve ever known, was like a kiss on the collar bone."
And word, yeah, really that’s true.
But did I ever tell you about the time that I traced those lyrics
Across the small of her back
Using the coincidence of us vibin’ to it’s beat?
Track was on point though, the groove was heavy.
So much so that it’s load that was placed on her
Gave me reason to massage poetry into her shoulder blades
And have her back arching to recite the lines in cursive.
Body language was what I read,
What I learned, though, had me fluent in her.
I could repeat the song in an endless cycle of “Don’t stop,”
Because my human imperfection acquiesced to greed
Once I knew that she was my priority to please.
Lights low, the mind goes on to vibe slow
In a rhythmic vibration to soothe life’s flow.
Sweetest thing I ever did know.
Believe me, this human condition is what I revel in.
Like minds developing into the obvious revelation
That we both have