Hard Needle

paths crossed
and his hope,
with the strength of gravity,
takes hold
and the axis of the planet
tilts toward permanence—
a solstice of union
eyes locking
as if true north,
and every magnet
on this rocky globe
swings hard needle
to her power

Exhaling

Letting go is as hard as it sounds—
like forgoing oxygen,
or choosing to fall backwards
into the arms of your classmates,
at summer camp,
before your sixth grade year.

Pausing to exhale into the cloudless sky
and trusting not to look—
except at the vapor trail
left by a far-flung plane.

The catch is as beautiful
as those interlaced arms, somehow
so much stronger than you’d imagined.

And what amazement waits
when you give yourself over—

forgetting, even, the greed of breath.

Gravity Hope

Gravity
 
Butterflies of hope feather their wings against my stomach,
and I am somehow twelve years old again,
thinking of the girl with long hair and eyes like a doe’s,
who sits in my home room class.

Long hours are wrapped up in love:
long hours flying fast, together,
before long hours apart—
when the moons of our existence
orbit in opposition

and the immovable mass of this planet
holds us from one another.
Long hours of nervous anticipation which
I seem far too old to still encounter.

The miracle of this hope is that
it has come to me again.
Like a schoolboy I am powerless
in its presence, only shaking

my head in wonder,
swinging in this orbit,
incredulous that the path of my life
might splash into yours.

Hoping.
 
 
 

Photograph thanks to Simona T., 6eternity9

Warning Sign (by Coldplay)


 
A warning sign
I missed the good part, then I realized
I started looking, and the bubble burst
I started looking for excuses

Come on in
I’ve gotta tell you what a state I’m in
I’ve gotta tell you in my loudest tones
That I started looking for a warning sign

When the truth is,
I miss you
Yeah, the truth is,
that I miss you so

A warning sign
It came back to haunt me, and I realized
That you were an island, and I passed you by
And you were an island to discover

Come on in
I’ve gotta tell you what a state I’m in
I’ve gotta tell you in my loudest tones
That I started looking for a warning sign

When the truth is,
I miss you
Yeah, the truth is,
that I miss you so
And I’m tired—I should not have let you go

So I crawl back into your open arms
Yes, I crawl back into your open arms
And I crawl back into your open arms
Yes, I crawl back into your open arms

Hungover (by Kesha)


 
Another sun is rising,
Another long walk back home (back home)
There’s just so many faces,
But no one I need to know (need to know)

In the dark I can fight it, I fake ’til I’m numb
But in the bright light,
I taste you on my tongue

Now the party’s over
And everybody’s gone
I’m left here with myself and I wonder what went wrong
And now my heart is broken
Like the bottles on the floor
Does it really matter?
Or am I just hung over you?
Or am I just hungover?

Even my dirty laundry
Everything just smells like you (like you)
And now my head is throbbing
Every song is out of tune
Just like you

In the dark I can fight it ’til it disappears
But in the daylight
I taste you in my tears

And now the party’s over,
And everybody’s gone
I’m left here with myself and I wonder what went wrong
And now my heart is broken
Like the bottles on the floor
Does it really matter?
Or am I just hung over you?

Now I’ve got myself looking like a mess
Standing alone here at the end trying to pretend but no,
I put up my fight
But this is it this time (this time)
’cause I’m here at the end, trying to pretend
I’m here at the end, trying to pretend

And now the party’s over,
And everybody’s gone
I’m left here with myself and I wonder what went wrong
And now my heart is broken
Like the bottles on the floor
Does it really matter?
Or am I just hung over you?
Or am I just hungover?

Flight

A lone bird perched
atop a tree,
blue sky and melting snow.

His whole world the view.
Nothing but promise and purchase.
There must be something more.

Geese pick at ground—
paths tread by people
to and from their business.

Not heaven, but they make it
close, the pair of them.
Trying not to miss

what they cannot see:
The exchange of breath,
soft lips so close

it’s as if souls
share the same body,
and together set winged upon the air.

I fly to you.

Birthdays

Yours just came
and mine comes tomorrow.

Oh the love we bear
and which is borne for us—

friends, parents, lovers,
daughters and sons.

38 years of life
teach the black and white

of pain and love—
hands extended,

despite the loneliness.
Determination against

the terrible bleakness.
I love you

more than all the stars
in this night sky.

Snow

I carve our names into snow,
the oldest of things—
two names next to each other.

Birds flit from feeder to tree,
and back again, surviving,
as are we both.

Across the skies you tell me
you love me, still, always.
I know you tell me this.

It is love which pains and sustains.
Love which draws me
into the throat of life.

The only thing worth living for.
Two pair of initials, carved
beneath the frozen sky.

Waiting

690 days or an hour—
and we’re all screwed up, I want to say,
when he tells me you are.

Screwed up waiting, watching
the clouds swallow the sky,
huge and immovable.

Waiting, remembering
a hundred high-fives counted off
in the hallway, coffee cups and

letters from my students.
Boxed in a closet for fear
of remembering, waiting.

There’s something about this life
that won’t let go, and neither will I.
Not for an hour, not even 690 days.

This Cold Night

The ducks and geese stay
in the same spot, frozen over
in the middle of the night.

A salutary honk here and there,
under the shade of apartments
and the bold, hunter constellation,

sheltered against the cold in fours
and fives. Teaming against the night—
watching me on the shore.

They don’t go anywhere, and no one
picks them up, dear Holden, to save them.
They simply hunker, somehow shiverless.

Maybe it’s the duck next to them,
the concept I always missed,
or maybe it’s the broad swath of cold

darkness against which they wait.
Maybe it’s the connection to each other,
which saves them against the change.