In the heart is a forest.
In the forest lives a beast.
A great grey mane,
a wild white tooth,
my beast has a mouth that will mangle the truth.
In the heart is a forest.
In the forest, a tree.
A great green head,
a wild wide branch,
my tree has a bird no snare can catch.
In the heart is a beast.
In the beast is a growl.
A great deep bark,
a wild death groan,
my beast makes noises when I sleep alone.
In the heart is a bird.
In the bird is a song.
A sweet night song,
in the wild, cool air.
My bird sings a song nobody can hear.
In the heart is a tree,
at the tree lies the beast.
The great sharp claw,
the wild yellow eye.
The beast guards the bird and the bird will not fly.
I can still feel your hands on my skin.
The electric crackle through my core
leaves a distraction like the scent of ozone
after lightning strikes twice.
I can hear your voice
like a bell that’s already been rung.
The note lingers in the air.
I don’t know where I’m headed.
I’m the captain of a ship with no mast.
My sails are filled with dreams,
but there’s nothing to hold them up
and I know there’s a storm brewing.
I can taste the rain
in the ai
and on your tongue.
The warning bell is ringing.
There are clouds on the horizon.
This may be the hurricane
that sweeps me away.
This could be the shipwreck
that lands me in a New World.
So bring on your lightning, your electric hands.
I’ll navigate the cliffs, drenched
in a monsoon of kisses.
Sound the bell until my bones start ringing.
I’ll sail into the black clouds, singing.
I want you.
This wanting is an ember
I grip between my thighs,
a slow heat, creeping
sneaking upward, gripping my lungs, my heart
until I cannot breathe and so
It is a quiet current
beneath the surface of a deep river
carrying strange secrets
inviting me to dip my fingers
beneath the surface.
Inviting me to drown.
This wanting is
a dark and wondrous thunderhead
building tall and silent, embracing the dry hills.
Waiting for a lightning strike,
the first drop of rain,
like kisses on my skin.
It has been decades since my last confession.
I am afraid to hold you close,
afraid I’ll fan the coals
and burn us both to the ground.
I dare not speak
for fear the gates will break
and you and I will be swept away
on that mighty river.
I watch the horizon with worried eyes,
waiting for the forest fire.
Waiting for the flood.
In my hands, my blood composes songs of you
until my fingertips want to cry.
The melody is so perfect
because it is unsung.
It rushes through my core,
whispering your name.
I want you.
This one is for the lovers.
This is for chocolates on the pillow
and roses on the sheets.
This is for lovers of my lovers
and the lovers of me.
This one is for the forests.
This is for mist in the branches
and rain on the leaves.
This is for sunshine on my lovers
and the sunshine on me.
This one is for the streets.
This is for avenues where we arrive,
and roads where we leave.
This is a city for my lovers
and a city for me.
My heart sings for my lovers.
It sings moss on cobbled sidewalks
and the rainclouds match the beat.
This is a song for my lovers’ hearts
who sing back to me.
I plant gardens for my lovers.
I grow romance in the springtime
and in autumn, gather seeds.
This is a place for my lovers’ hearts
to grow wild and free.
I’ll make beds for my lovers.
We’ll burrow under afghans
and kiss under sheets.
I am dreaming with my lovers
and they’re dreaming with me.
It is the heart of winter.
The snow is falling but the grass is green.
My heart has been ailing.
I have come down with a bad case of the aches.
I am afraid to show her this congestion.
Afraid to be seen in this state,
coughing up my insecurities, sniffling,
afraid I’ll sneeze and spray her with something disgusting.
My hair is a bird’s nest, untameable.
My voice is hesitant and rusty.
I am weak. I am recovering.
I sip her poetry, her letters, like a tonic.
They are Alka-Seltzer fizzing in my chest.
I can see sunshine when I close my eyes.
My breath comes easier now.
Climb out of bed, heart. It’s a new day.
You can hear the birds in the backyard singing.
The sun’s peering in the window
and she’s smiling at you.
Throw back the covers, heart.
You are not too sick to go outside
and a little fresh air would do you good.
The snow is falling, but the grass is green.
The world is cold, but the birds still sing.
I have tucked you away
with foods I don’t like to eat
and restaurants with bad service.
the cold mass of linguine
molded to the bottom of the Tupperware,
no longer individual
noodles, the sauce congealed;
no microwave in the world
can make this good again.
the apathetic waiter
who leaves my glass totally empty,
and who forgets
to bring the side dish;
and comes in halfway through my dinner
reeking of smoke.
You nearly break the plates when you plunk them down.
I know life must be disappointing for you.
You don’t have to make it disappointing for me.
So you’re in that cobwebby corner now,
staring out from dusty windows
with what you imagine is a sad and forlorn expression
and as we wander by you
(my musings and I),
one says “Let’s go in, I’ve heard about this place,”
and I can say,
“No, I had a bad time there once.
I’m not going back.”
For the few days I knew of you,
you were the smell of blossoms in the air.
The promise of a tomorrow stretching beyond my own.
You were to be a fine man,
a strong woman.
A miracle where I had not thought to find one.
But life has not finished being cruel to me yet.
Now I carry an emptiness
a vastness of cold space stretching deep and wide
lifeless planets and cold suns
where once there was you.
I bleed and I cry,
and nothing changes.
I would give you a burial at sea,
burn a pyre,
plant a bed of roses over your grave;
but I have nothing to bury,
nothing to burn.
No way to say how much I loved you
in those few days.
No way to tell how much I wanted you,
how much I miss you now.