Trying To Describe Your Face

It’s not as if I had the words
to describe your face. And anyway
spring was far too obvious
and the air was thick with chords.
I sliced my hand open and I didn’t
even know it, so I used it
to my advantage and sucked my wrist
with my lips. If there was a taste
it didn’t remind me of you,
which is probably for the best
since I wasn’t thinking of you,
I was only trying to describe
your face. But as I said I didn’t
have the words, so the endeavor failed.
I started again. And there you have it.
That was when you walked in.
That’s where we left off. Hence,
the blank page. I was just about
to put the pen away for trying
when you suddenly appeared.

The Genius of the She

She spent years piercing castles
with an empty stare.
She stared at sand waiting
for a conduit to water.
She conducted stars to celebrate
a steady silent symphony.
She understudied characters
to resist learning her lines.
She left her past in dusty books
lined along broken down shelves.
She shared rust as a matter of course
turning a slow spoon on a dime.
She spun dreams in fitful sleep
as sheep straddled an imaginary fence.
She supposed it was hours before
the dawn came to wake her with fingers.
She imagined something was saying
her name because her ears could ring.
She stayed in one place as long as possible
since she remained a single step from everywhere.

You Showed Me

As for me I’ve been up
too late again, trying
to draw your attention away
from the lateness of the hour
with my icicle dandelion breath
disgruntled by the weather
which is still up for debate
although I haven’t been operational
since you put this splinter
in my eye and called it graceful
there were some unhurried gestures
that are worthy of your face
some undeniable leaf changing
color into bud not unlike the last
time you showed me that eyes
can meet without metaphor
that strands of hair separate
to demonstrate the attraction
here is the shatter in my breast
please make it a window again.

What I Want

I stayed with my hands
at my sides while you offered
a cold shoulder which didn’t
inhibit anyone’s thirst
although that was your
readymade handi-wipe whip
which didn’t serve the guests
their apportioned amount
of roadside swerving to avoid
the insects splayed across the wind
shield although it was my habit
of mind to offer freight trains
of disgust for the sake
of underhanded compliments
upbraided over the counter
into your willing hands your
co-opted smile resting on
the cold shoulders you offered
as a replacement for whatever
you guessed might be what I wanted.

To The Ground

Underneath the grass
there is a voice I’ve heard
whisper only occasionally
but long enough to notice
that among the twigs
and stones, roots and branches,
lies an altogether undisturbed
reality unknown to us,
a bridge to a certain recognition
that we are not alone,
that our utterances take shape
in the form of frail bodies
huddled together in the cold dark
of what cannot be seen,
what cannot be touched with human eyes,
but penetrates our existence
with a force that reckons us
to banish the grace from sight,
to only know the turning curve of the earth
when we can see ourselves among the dirt.

At This Hour Of Day

No one walks this stretch
of pavement, at least not
this hour of day. You can tell
by the uninterrupted shadows
that even if the street
were populated with citizens,
it would be difficult to make
them out. But as I said,
no one walks here. It’s almost
an unwritten rule, although
I am inclined to believe
a conspiracy is transpiring
and if only I knew what everyone
else knew, I’d know better
than to be walking on the pavement
at this hour of day. I’ll walk
faster, but that won’t make
a difference, it only gives the shadows
more of a chance to reclaim what is
rightfully theirs. As if I were there.

Was It Then

Before we begin let me just.
If you give me a moment I could.
Let’s turn to the thing we said.
No it was after that.
Yes, really. Was there only.
We had it for a second there.
I wasn’t going to. Oh I see.
Yes there might have been.
You mean you haven’t seen.
Oh it was long ago.
No it was after that.
You mean to tell me.
It escaped my frame of reference.
And I wanted to say.
Is this coming to a question.
How do you know. That’s right.
You’ve said that already.
Yes. We’ve established that.
No it was after that.
What do you mean.

I’d Prefer It If You’d Said The Opposite Thing

Who are you? When did you get
here? Were you here last week?
Did you sign in? Are you English?
Did I piss you off last week?
Because I was told I pissed some
people off last week. Didn’t I
explain this to you yet?
I didn’t? What time is it?
You mean I have to do this again?
Where’s that piece of paper?
You mean you don’t have it either?
That’s a snafu on my part.
Where were we? You just walked in.
Who are you? Alright. We have
a number of options. And I have
to tell you, they’re not all pleasant.
What did you say? Are you the one
I pissed off last week? Okay,
I’m sorry. I can’t be all sweetness
and light. Okay. Here’s the deal.

Get to the Other Side

I could have kept going.
But there were other cycles
in the sequence. And my strength
has always been invested
in the perpetual alarm of
crosseyed nosehairs, some
irrepressible, and some just
ready to be trimmed. If you let
them grow, before you know it
you’d be overrun with temptations
accounting for the harsh sound
of obsolete vinyl, and the birth
pangs of skateboard existentialists.
They said if you have to choose
to cross the street, it’s already too late.
There was something I wanted to mistake,
but that’s no deliberate anachronism,
more like the feeling you get when
you realize that everything is made of holes
and we can’t even get acquainted with them.

The Quiet One

I never said I didn’t have
a hero. Only that I am overly
qualified for the mass hysteria
surrounding the unveiling
of bridges or birthday cakes.
I tend to be the quiet one
in the back, wearing a falsetto
or a drumset for a necktie.
And there are other butters
to be bageled, too. For instance,
if x signifies the distance
a train has to travel to get to
point y, then how many licks
does it take to get to the center
of what can only be described
as a circumference gone haywire?
I’m past the perfunctory nature
of digressions passing for clarity.
That’s my hand waving, so you’ll
forgive me for not shaking yours.