Mute

I can write myself
out of any situation

but I can feel myself
going mute under
your hands until

the seismic reaction
to your ministrations
catches me off guard.

You’re a different man
than the sort I’m used to
and I could get used to you.

I can write myself
out of any situation

and then I can feel
the story coming
to life on your skin
straight from my
fingertips and

your muted reaction
makes me want
to tell our story
until every last
drop has been told.
~8/29/16

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Before the Lie

On my way
home last night
I remembered
something
you said
last week
and it made
me smile,

and then
immediately sober

Thinking “that
was before the lie.”

Is that our life now?

The way it was before
and the way it can’t
help but be now.

You have
slammed
that door
in my face

and accused
me of being
the wind

that blew
through our
lives and
knocked
everything
askew.

You say you didn’t.
I say you did.
We rarely
disagree on
anything.

But that was
before the lie.
~8/25/16

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Before the Lie

On way home
last night
I remembered
something
you said
last week
and it made
me smile,

and then
immediately sober

Thinking “that
was before the lie.”

Is that our life now?

The way it was before
and the way it can’t
help but be now.

You have
slammed
that door
in my face

and accused
me of being
the wind

that blew
through our
lives and
knocked
everything
askew.
~8/25/16

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Sandcastle

I imagine some
future child
less inhibited
and more
inquisitive
than most

resting on
my hip as
we go about
our business

who will run
his chubby
little finger
across the
red mark
on my neck

faded now
but still angry
when I picture
it in my mind

a little jagged
because someone
couldn’t sew in
a straight line
after a full
workday plus
standing over
me on the
operating table

and say,
“Dis? What dis?”

And I will be
so happy that
another human
acknowledged it

no matter how
innocently or
unaware of
its meaning

that I will just
shower kisses
down on his
little forehead

and say,
“nothing, sweetheart.
It’s nothing. Let’s go
find your mother.”
~8/8/16

_____

And maybe when he’s older I’ll teach him how to spell titanium and aneurysm and let him feel the bump in my forehead where the screw is a little loose. Happy 14, bionic brain. Let’s try this one more time. If I’ve learned one thing after the past 15 years have gone by, anyone who lives thinking more than one year ahead has looser screws than I do.

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Hold Your Hand

We didn’t share
enough days
on this planet
but we made
the most of them.

And I know
you would
be proud of me
but I would rather
hear you say it
than feel it so
fervently in
my heart.

I would gladly
give up your
memory
if it meant
I could hold
your hand.
~8/8/16

_____

Happy birthday, old man. I know you were worried that I’d need you less the older I got, but damnit if I don’t need you more and more every day. I love you and I miss you and everything means less because you’re not here. I just wanted you to know that.

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Our Place Apart (Remodeled)

“We need curtains…” I muse, eyes scanning the sitting room, brain intent on changes. “And everything else must go!” I shout, bursting with new energy from my chair while you smile into your beard.

“But you hate curtains,” you reply. “And why now?”

“Because I hate nosy neighbors even more. And besides, we’ve got work to do. What better place to start than right here?” I say, distractedly, piling the couch cushions up into the middle of the room, eyes dancing with fire.

“What ARE you doing?”

I look at you pointedly, shaking my head in shame. “A fort, genius. What does it look like?”

I’ve decided, you see, that this sitting room needs another layer of protection. Part of me wishes it weren’t true, and that we could throw the doors open instead of putting an extra set of locks on them, but the time just isn’t right.

You don’t look convinced.  The exhaustion you feel at even the idea of such an undertaking is apparent in every shadow the fire throws onto your face.  A fire you’re currently staring into as if the end of the road is buried somewhere in the ashes.

I cross the room and sit silently beside you, cradling your face in my hands. “Everything is going to be just fine. Close your eyes.” You oblige. “Knowing exactly where you are. Knowing exactly what this place is for.  Understanding, finally, that it was built for just this purpose.”

Taking your hand, I lead you into the fort I’ve constructed, shutting us in with darkness.

Wrapping myself around you in another cocooned layer of protection, I whisper, “Ok. You’re up.”  I can feel your eyebrows raise in question. “It’s time. To bring the light to this place.  Just like you’ve always done.”

“But I don’t know how!” you reply.

And I just smile.  There isn’t anything left to say, and there is nothing left for me to do but wait.  You know what to do, you have always known what to do.  You hold the darkness closer than you have ever held anything or anyone, yet somehow still always at arm’s length.  But “here we are inside it.”

Then, a flicker.

And I know that even though I can’t see it, the fire in the sitting room is dancing.  

~8/4/16

_____

Our Place Apart
Our Place Apart (Again)
Our Place Apart (At Last)
Our Place Apart (Rebuilt)
Our Place Apart (Protected)

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