He Is Afraid of Dying
It is more what he does not say.
Perhaps you know him too well.
Perhaps you wish
you knew him in ways
you may never know him.
In the meantime,
serve him cherries you pitted
last July, frozen and dark,
their juice a torch song for summer.
Offer him slender volumes of poems,
write invisible notes in the margins
about the sound the moon makes
when it rises in you. Offer him
your moon, your hands, your years
that wait ahead like unpoured cups of tea.
We do not know. We do not know
and what we do not know
curls up beside us and kisses the words
that try to perch on our lips
before it blows them away.
Do we ever know what to say
to each other? Now. Heat the water.
Take down the cups.
Serve him the tiny silver-edged leaves.
do i want to let this ecstasy take me? oh yes, but it freaks out the conservative old woman who also lives here she has a lot of pull too her place secured by what she thinks she knows let’s change the furniture i say or better yet throw it all away oh posh she says this old stuff cost good money and i like to sit on this stinking cushion i look at her wrinkles and feel sorry for her let her keep her old stuff but part of me likes a pillow on the floor and the freedom of having nothing to carry.
Winter is a time for death.
do you think death is a bad thing?
For too long I have not walked
in the clear cool air, have not felt
the burn of the lungs as they breathe
in the terrible oxygen. Clumsy mutiny
of toes in the boots. White stiffening
of pinkies, reluctant thumbs. For too long
I have forgotten how this, too,
is heaven, this bleakness of branch
and stubborn rimming of snow that rhymes
every surface with white. Bless
this beauty that brings with it ache
and the opening in which we know
at last that we cannot do it alone.
I don’t want to escape to a more comfortable place.
More and more I just want
to be more human.
sometimes while i am looking at
some other mirror i discover
some quirky self i have become–you make
me laugh i say with your
fears and hypercondriac ways
and i kiss your lips in my mirror
taking a moment to feast at
your banquet table you entice
me to that obsurd dance you
do when you can’t contain yourself
what a boogaloo lover you turned out to be
you push me in ways i never
dreamed such a crazy lover
bending trees to your breeze
wanderng lands for kicks and dreams
don’t leave me ever again i hear myself saying
ha! leave me? how could i leave and where
would you go the sky,
breath, or stars they spin in my eyes
and i your smallest laughing cell
Here and there,
that’s what I want—
one foot in the snow field
one foot in the bamboo forest
and both hands in your two hands.