Late Night Drive

I half expected to see you waiting,
time undone, the body mistaken.
I drove away in the late hours
just to see if I could find you.
I thought I heard your name
folding over in the grey stone.
It was no voice but my own,
and the silence of your lips.
If I could just drive
far enough to find you,
the sun might meet us both
in the place we would cross.
It would be day again:
the whole world below us
like a dream we both shared
to make each other laugh.
I would draw you near,
but I could never draw
you near enough to fill
that distance between my heart
and the pedal pressed
so far against the floor
as to disappear, driving
on a moonlit highway–
roads stretching on forever.

Occupatio

I’m not saying that I’m asleep:
the days all feel a little dreamless.
When was it last I was awake–
sunlight breaking from my eyes?
I will not begin to wonder
at the way I have not felt
at home, or the thought
that love awaited leaving
when I wished it the most.
No– I will not consider
the chance I have lost
a companion in myself.
Never could I be
so lonely as to imagine
erasing it all.
no:no–
there is nothing
I could never say
to make it fade:
to fade along with it.

Morning Shower

One foot testing the water,
I stand unbalanced between
myself: the covered and the naked–
the space between silence
and an outward shell.

This water has touched skin before:
liquid time–eyes of the past.
It falls and rises: steam marking
mirror, water striking skin.

The heart beneath feels light
enough to be dissolved.
I shower with my clothes on today:
spongy armor, temporal cloth.

I never know how much I leave
behind; the water drowns away
so much with so little trace–
and each time just a little less,

until the distance between
barriers has been ground so far
as to be the same: no guard
between sorrow and body,
body and time.

The mirror is no help at the end
of it all: animated now by shadows–
a rosy kind of nothingness
more reflection than the glass.

In the gray, self-departed mist,
it is peaceful–no one to know
or remember: steamed out of existence,
so close to death as to be in love.

Friendship

I wish I could dream myself a part in all the unrealized promises we inscribed into the air with our fingers. It must be a trick of the heart to believe we can filter through history so easily. It’s all about misjudging distance and time. It’s convincing ourselves the present moment is anything other than the present. It’s pretending like our two scripts are naturally part of the same narrative.

Friendship, present tense, the kind of wind that pushes the sail instead of whispers, is so often the distance between your fingertips and mine: and only sometimes as far as both our ropes will lasso–judging that both of us are willing to hold on. The future is a quilt. The future is the moments we weave together in the present to arrive in a mutually interconnected space.

The end of any college semester is both a relief and heart breaking. High school was easy. Everyone you know is close: the faces familiar. This is not true of the University. I have not maintained a meaningful, day-to-day relationship with anyone outside of my classes, and once the classes are over so goes the relationship. I think people are more comfortable using my mind than knowing it.

Going out for coffee once every 2 months and “catching up” is not friendship. That doesn’t mean that I don’t still admire and love the people that I meet and know; however, how does one actually catch up? How do you rewrite your past to include someone who was never there? How can you take seriously the proposition of someone listening to you when the second you walk out the door they’ve already forgotten you because literally you are a fraction of a fraction of their daily existence?

The end of the semester is always daunting because it feels like while I’m progressing, I’m also resetting. It’s funny how coming out of high school I actually bought into the idea that college would be “the best four years of my life.” I think the better phrase is actually “the next four years of my life.”

You go at life alone and hold to those who follow close behind. Apparently, I’m not much to hold to. Here’s to hoping that will change.

Amnesia

It’s better you hold the knife:
delicate wound, touch of an artist.
I want to forget you– rather,
remember myself in pieces.
Scattered into flesh,
the body becomes a map
all rearranged.
Do not retrace
what you dismembered:
the memory is best left
confused, the sorrow
all forgotten.
In falling apart,
the pathway is unclear:
the motion of love
without a face–
your heart buried
recreating my own.

Loneliness and Love

You don’t go out looking for loneliness. It finds you: alone. It sings to you in dark colors and paints itself upon your shoulders—dares you to fall in love.

Love.

The first memory I have of you I remember as a dream. We are parallel shadows. We haven’t seen each other yet. Our eyes refuse to see until they do. Your body glances first: postures itself in the space my feet have yet to touch. None of this is true. I was just walking. You introduced yourself. I was caught between steps. You reminded me I was awake.

I first fell in love with your words: the language of your soul. We knew each other by listening. The act of speaking was translation: soul into dialect, dialect into self. I could hear my voice in your voice. You would tell me stories about the people you’d met, and how conversation was the messenger of life. You would always leave the last words unspoken. A story for another day.

Life is the interim of unrealized goodbyes. We hold to each other by a lingering string of suspense and continuity: that wish to know, to experience more. In other words, I never know how to tell you goodbye; the sadness I feel at leaving.

What I know now is that loving you is retreat. What I know now is that the more I find I love you, the more I see you fade. What I know now is that you do not love me. I know by the way you say goodbye. I know by the way your eyes trail away with the rhythm of my voice. I know by the way you talk to me about love and heartbreak: distant and past tense.

Something is lost in translation between us. The words stop short at transforming. Loving you is loving loneliness. The wish of words to come but only empty pages.

Bull riding

Listen, cowboy–
the way the dust expires
from the spurs of your boots.
It foreshadows you:
holding to that rope,
spiral of two worlds.
In those first seconds,
born again, emerging
from the unlatched iron
womb, it’s easy to imagine
it could last forever.
It will not last.
Your arm can only reach
for heaven so long
before it falters.
You feel it now:
the balance slipping–
body folding prone,
hand bravely aloft.
I wish I could tell you
to keep holding, but
the faceless crowd drowns
out my broken voice.
It is you there, alone:
eight-count bell
rising to its crisis.
Like us all,
you will be thrown.
Floating, falling
we will not know:
spirit in a pirouette,
returning to the dust.