Now

Now is the surrender of a moment:
of lucid amnesia both rooted, free.
It is self without claim–
marrow built in rapture, sorrow.
It is baptism held at breaking:
surface born and drowning.
It is radical indifference, love
in marriage and remission.
Now is the confession yielding,
and its realization all over.

Descent

I wish we could speak
like secrets among trees.
I’d tell you how love
is like a leaf descending,
and how, in falling,
you never seem to fall.
Love is like the Earth,
you’d say, rising to meet us.
We are the drift
and destine to it.
I’d ask how close?
Close enough to witness,
to remark the way
the wind peels
and breath crumbles.
You’d ask how far?
Far enough to see
your lips vacant, wanting
in that breathless tune:
masking words beneath
your blinking eyes, waiting
to taste the same.

Eclipse

I remember how it felt
to be eclipsed:
that place apart,
of no division.
Where reflections were unframed portraits,
tuned to a love both dimension and body.
To arrive was to be overtaken:
to bleed a moment in feeling
beyond your fallen self.
To be swept, unformed
like a mess of clouds,
and arrive nowhere again.
It is here that I know you still.
That place of parting roads
that sings your voice.
Here, I become that
which must be taken.
I live within it,
rising and joining.
We are not that
which we were before.
And with that fatal
breath of longing,
we depart.

Flight Feathers

They left us without wings,
expecting us to swim.
We were not the ocean,
though we were short-feathered.
We belonged to one sky
and not imitation.
We were marked for plumage:
body of a veiled cloud.
It was our blue birthright
to once brush its canvas,
and nest where we could dream.
When it was time to step,
being last, not seeing
where the others had flown,
the wind would not hold me.
I’d dreamed it red and full,
though all I found was sleep.

The Rose

For “No Spirit”

Thinking back on a rose
I gave you as novelty
to a love I’d known
only through flowers,
I wonder
had it withered
in my hand?
If not there,
when did the petals
fall like omens:
was Eden
more a nightmare then?
Was it the hearts
of others that bent
ours closer, or
some parting dream
that convinced us
of our mutual insecurity?

I know now that love
is not a flower.
Love is a shadow
in passing: a sparse moment
rarely noticed, barely kept.
It is not the past;
there is only love
for the past, for
what refuses to be changed.
Love is the moment changing
like the movement of the sun.
Had I known then,
I’d have dropped the flower,
and watched the orbit
of your heart instead.
Only then could I have danced
with shadows: seen roses
in your eyes.
But all is gone to memory now–
no room left to dream.

The Letter

For fear of feeling
sentimental, I burnt the letter
before the undressing.
It was not made for splitting:
seams holding body,
the vessel holding.

Her heart
was a rose or the thorns,
or maybe the blood
dripping like a wax seal
onto the page:

the inked initials phantoms,
two corners bent,
the fold already half undone
as if catching breath.

I did not wish to be opened:
words still have eyes,
and we still eyes
to receive them.

In leaving, you could not leave;
you could not bury ashes
and become them–to reveal them,
and so reveal me.

Home is now a phoenix
reborn only in embers:
what is uncovered
is only burnt again.

Meaning

We are fallen flags,
surrendered by outgrown colors
like convicted eyes grown heavy
with their past.
And yet, we remain:
painted by our shadows,
the toll of convulsion
too much for that open sky.
In the dust, all boots
step evenly beyond us:
nothing is holy laying
cross, dragging through the mud.
We are but fabric now.