You write so
inside of your
mind must be a
I saw you
your most miserable,
pitiful and dirty,
sorrowful and shamed
She pressed her lips to mind.
How many years I must have yearned
for someone’s lips against mind.
Pheromones, newly born, were floating
between us. There was hardly any air.
She kissed me again, reaching that place
that sends messages to toes and fingertips,
then all the way to something like home.
Some music was playing on its own.
Nothing like a woman who knows
to kiss the right thing at the right time,
then kisses the things she’s missed.
How had I ever settled for less?
I was thinking this is intelligence,
this is the wisest tongue
since the Oracle got into a Greek’s ear,
speaking sense. It’s the Good,
defining itself. I was out of my mind.
She was in. We married as soon as we could.
I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.
You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.
Oh plunge me deep in love — put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.
Music by Z. Randall Stroope, sung by University of Miami Frost Chorale
maybe i love you and maybe
there are more important things, like
whether or not my ear fits snugly
in the valley of your collarbones.
whether we drink the same type of tea before saying our first and last
words of the day.
whether you would take a picture of me
with a cute subway stranger without warning me
to watch my purse.
whether you mind if i sing in the shower
and wake the neighbors and
use your towel to dry my hair.
whether or not you would let me blindfold
your sleepy eyes and take you on a tour of the city
that i grew up in, whose streets i breathed long before we met.
maybe you love me and maybe
there are more important things.
i asked you if it was nice to be
and you had shrugged, thinly, inside
that big cave of a body, of a sweater,
of a lonely heart
you smiled, lips thinned, cracked,
and said, ‘it just gets sort of
tiring, after a while.’ and i asked you
why and how
‘because,’ you said, picking at the skin
of your fingers, ‘it just is’ before
taking a breath, glass lungs rattling
inside that cave of a body and your
eyes closed, for so long, red baby
veins pressed against milk skin
i wanted to say, ‘i’m sorry’ for you,
for that big cave of a body