First we checked off all those things
That went out the window
Our riposte to necessity
We toyed with the lights of moods
Setting stages we might later act upon
We caught whispers from each other’s ghosts
Silently acknowledging the company we keep
Ways of keeping our edges sharp and steep

Enter the Dragon of Timing
Split tongue steaming in all directions
Under its paralytic breath I lie
Hold me as you would a dream
Upon waking

Summer City Blues

There’s a whole world of you
Out there
In moments you might recall
If the shade feels safe
Not leaning too far to burn
Camera eye moments
Each impromptu ingenue
A darling
Ravish you oh that I would
In worlds where I could fall
On tiny floors, rolled in rugs
Along your kitchen counter as far
As that stretches
I reach up to kiss you
But you’re not there

Going On

I am so dangerously close
Teetering on the edge of several tensions
Toward writing again, expressing
In the only way I can
Such feelings as I cannot describe
Even to myself

The ground rules are the same
And touching remains at bay
A harbor
A sea cousin twinned only
By the desire
Each electric image conveys

I abhor the terms
This social media imparts
When my eyes instruct this soul
On what is clearly missing
Yet there
Completed, in a part of me

I accept, and expect
And give the heavens of my world
For every glimpse into yours
Reflections of a light that fires my imagination
A complete infatuation
Missing only you

There are worlds and then in worlds
There are worlds within worlds
And within me there is
Repeatedly you
As the day becomes light
And the shadows become full
You surface, claim, retain
From the edges in to regain
This, as I recall, competency

I find rooms abandoned
Views obviously constructed
Moments hanging onto curtains
Billowing blousey
White sheer and timeless
And you only
Pulling that fabric, madness into energy
Laying low the expected
The darlings resurrected from nothing
No thing, not ever
Holding you

These the holes then
In my own administration
Incorporated calculating perpetually

That you were ever an abscess
Fallen into or the radiation
That shone through
Is clearly moot
But you as you are so suddenly needed
As this form becomes structure, so come
Before purposeful retreat
Reclaims the ignorance
Of no intimation at all

Gate Keeper

We wrestled in the mud of love
Blind, her to the advantage
Of being from swamp country

She complained she could feel her lips bounce
If I had known the swollen weight of lies
I wouldn’t have listened

We were unremarkable, insouciant
Still staid of execution
But bruised

I buzzed her honey comb in straight lines
She called me from within and spread tales
Lined with warnings not to judge

Little Lights

I remember a time, a place
a face so long ago
I remember words that danced
sheets that pulled chins down
like pages meant only
for us

We danced like words
glittered in light
across the ripples we needed
to express

I remember toppling the clock
After noon’s passing promise
little lights can never replace hands
you said

and you were right

Coffee, typos, and slow mornings

So, yeah… I find it oddly comforting that a small transposition on my name can alter my perspective of identity. My identity. How I think of myself. I was writing to my daughter’s first grade teacher last week, something about the school bucks she earns there and the school store being closed, and I typoed our last name in the subject header without realizing until I had already sent the message. Going through my inbox this morning, I saw the typo again and realized that I didn’t need to send the teacher a correction, she knew. Typos happen. But like those everyday words you look at, sometimes, and they look completely foreign, suddenly my surname looked completely foreign, as though I was not myself but someone named Doyje. And why not Doyje? Turkish, perhaps? North African? Uzbekistan? The I in I, as the saying goes, the you in me. We are all of us, together. Just a reminder, I suppose. No earth shattering time dimensional cracks did I fall into and find myself in an alternate world. No psychic transferrals and suddenly I’m a North African computer programmer stuck in a university library; nor an Irish-English web developer suddenly staring down colorful rugs draping a market stall. I was me. My coffee was black. My morning was slow.

The House of Belonging

They buried them in the corner nearest the gate,
where all the flowers once were.
An experiment at life
I remember tilling the corner,
spilling in the mulch,
transplanting the nursery purchases,
watching and waiting as they took root
and began to grow.

One of those sunshine memories that haunt you for practically ever

There were ripples on a lake, once
Driven by invisible winds
They pushed the big fish deeper,
Little fish
The sun’s rays caught the ripples
Leapt from them
Bounced off others
Thinking all the while that they were the swimmers
Of the lake
And I’d come to watch them, driving
For hours to this small place
Nestled in the hills
Far from home
The longer I watched them dance, the deeper
The fish swam

The shoreline birthed rocks, large
and small
Smooth, and cutting
And beyond them haphazard rows of Pines
Sprouted from beds of fallen needles
Softly growing darker the longer I lingered
Between the water and the land

You can gauge distance by the birds’ piercing
Cries; a thicket of sound; chirp, chatter, screech, squawk
Waves rolling in and out through the trees
In languages they can’t all know
But I know
I know them all
And this is where I’ve come
To hear them gather and then flit
A dwindling cacophony
An intensity preparing for night

The nature of innocence is without fences
Without gates, bordered gardens
Or the after thought of uncoiled hoses
A spade leaning
Where it should not

These are not pets and these are not pests
They live for nothing
But in every way
They are alive
I do not tempt them and they do not
Tempt me
They do
They do

Push Back Time

Oh that it could have been
A curtain, a screen, a cantilevered window frame
Jalosied, casement, or even one of those little ones
In the basement
Lift it pull it throw it up in a dash
Crank it push it prop it open
Let those currents in
All those currents and some of these
Mingle swirl convect this stale heat
Tick tock this clock
Suffer smother