Friday, January 22, 2016


I’m So Glad You Came

Today I am blind
looking into white infinity.
Just six days ago
a dutiful doctor with
square, squat teeth told me
it was nary time.
When I laughed at that
he said, “It’s okay to be afraid.
We all are.”
For many years I had insomnia,
waking up in pitch dark,
the house a foreign land with
no hint of where to grab or hold onto,
and now the sheer nearness
of the end
is very much like that.
I hear the door open--
click and sweep and close--
but nothing more because
they’re afraid I’m already dead.
Even blind,
even teetering on the ledge
with burning toenails,
I tap on my hospital mattress,
“Please sit.  There’s room right here next to me. 
I’m so glad you came.” 

Too Many Men

There are too many men
inside me
trying to escape,
each one too slow or clumsy,
cowardly perhaps.
They like it here,
hiding in the chaos and bramble,
playing Hide N Seek,
Tug of War,
Russian Roulette.
Now that I’ve grown a beard people
tell me I look like Jesus or Lincoln.
Who I am is never who I am.
I don’t know the difference authenticity
and an orange that’s been bit into.
Am I saying too much?
Does this scare you like I thought it would?
Now let me tell you the worst thing:
I never loved you, not like that.
Instead I was too weak to walk away,
too many different people inside my head
saying, Marry her.  Marry her.  She’s as good
as you’ll ever get.

Jetsam and Flotsam

I sit on a sidewalk
listening to the rain,
how it sounds like
chicks pecking on the pavement
as a thousand cabs slog by,
sloshing a filthy rainbow
of water over me.
We’ve taken cabs
up and down this same street,
over the Brooklyn Bridge
to Bryant Park.
You said, “The rain is nothing to fear,”
even as the floods came,
boats no longer moored,
boards like broken bones,
the essence of what was once us
nothing more now than
jetsam and flotsam
wafting away with the rising tide.

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