POETRY

SIXTY

Years is such a short time

Though I see it in your face

Those gentle scars

In stories recounted, unrecounted

How did it feel to give birth to life

Through the stomach of your hopes

Drained forever, the body you loved

Those violent scars

Or did love lift you

From the earth below

They pulled me out

And dropped me

From some terrible height

Onto you

And even before

I was with you then

A little hand

Interlocked into your sisters

Little hand

Interlocked

Walking down the dusty road

And tell me again

Of your fathers departure from grace

The long trips by bus

The men you met in college

And the only one

That won your heart forever

I know that man

He said to me:

No Brighter Light

No Gift more Gifted

Spring Queen

Mother of Enduring Patience

I am sorry for the wrinkles

I am sorry for those hands

That can never be smoothed

Those lovely scars

I’ll never earn

Except that

You have shown me

What it means to die every day

Has also helped me see

Better now

After some time has elapsed

That you have chosen

The better way

Flesh and Blood

Forgive also

those places 

within yourself

just as it is

with others

you hate

or love the most

though I know 

having flesh

and blood 

this action

is hardest 

to do

would also

change

everything

In This Life

There is no place to stay

for too long

before

moving on

I cannot wait

and yet

I must remain

in this life

just passing through

After All

after all the silence

i just need to know

that you exist

 

if so, 

put your hand 

over your heart

and trace your lips

in the shape of my name

Greeting

I was greeted this morning by death

In the forms of youth

and dreams unfulfilled -

 

an intensity of feelings at first,

dissipating slowly

into the numbing

of routine and pleasantries

 

and this harsh desert sun

that burns through the core,

bearing the heat

like a crown of thorns

 

the color of blood stained 

dirt, I tread heavily upon

reminds me that 

I’ve been here before 

 

And at some point

exhaustion,

provoking this apology

I must humbly offer:

 

I am sorry to the world 

that I cannot start again.

All of life is bubbling up all around me,

and I,

I am nowhere to be found


26, 33

The seasons turn over

like leaves and bud again.

I was content to pass 

from the earth

and hear my steps echo 

against cobblestone streets

Or at the very least, 

I wanted to give up.

All the while,

the burning question remained,

I cried out in a loud voice:

“Do you care, 

do you love me still?”

Seven years pass -

gold leaves and green buds

just outside the cobblestone streets

I hear a gentle voice say back:

“Do you care, 

do you love me still?”

 

Dream Without Dreaming

I am 

an exploration

coming to its end

but never ending

Maybe there is this place

between places

where I can settle

without settling

and dream

without dreaming

VEIL

When, 

after having followed 

the path

for as long as I could

That path that was thin

and full of jagged pieces 

full of promise

and yet no promise at all

And having diverted

to larger shortcuts

to avoid these pains 

of loneliness

and the uncertainty of futures

Staggering along

the veil of earthly shadows 

and into a certain clearing,

I turned around to face 

my ghostly body,

cut and bleeding, 

not as a scorn 

not as a shame

but as a tribute, 

speaking in 

as confident of a voice 

that I have ever

spoken before,

I said to myself:

We have such

a short time

before 

we have

such a long time 

Whenever you 

want to give up

remember that

the path 

that has caused you

much sorrow

Is the same path

that causes you

much joy 

And all the scars 

that bear witness 

to the madness

are the same wounds

now becoming

entries of light 

And all

that was tattered

and broken, (I said, 

with a promise that bore a smile) 

becomes lovely once again

Shimmer

deep faded, fall like seasons

tipped on scales

as tall as justice

can something willing

make it happen?

ripe with vengeance

(the vindication

holding freedoms

captive)

or serving penance

gentle as mercy

flows like water

turns to vapor

time goldens

fires faster

rips and curls, smolders

bright and newer, better

than has been

-something beginning-

not was, is now, returns

as a shimmer 

(Time market)

1

A time ago, a necessary drama,

girls giggling, gold skin like autumn

(forgotten memory)

Something about the places

we had not yet been

or the places we should’ve gone, linger

(passing car)

an opportunity in the morning

the warmth in my guts, tingling

the warmth in my heart, glowing

here, at the very limits of myself

far more dangerous

than I ever imagined.

 

2

By the windows of time market

in the corner, by the giggling girls

I can still hear their laughter echo

through the canyon walls of my mind

(forgotten memory)

Something is slipping through the cracks

as they drilled me into the ground

and then asked condescendingly

“What’s wrong with you? What’s the matter?”

(a young couple talks over breakfast)

They said that making me better

meant the destruction

of all that I’ve worked to build

(forgotten memory)

In the corner, the girls are laughing

with invincible joy.

 

3

It feels good to write this down,

to see ink meet paper,

to see light in the room.

I actually think I might make it

when I hear the girls laughing.

Have you too been tainted?

Virgin hands holding the hot coupling.

Have you too died?

The world welcomes you

on that cold ground

eyes full of hope and wonder

(I pause to look behind me)

 

4

I start again.

The sound of laughing girls,

their skin untouched by the needle,

their skin pressed by the needle.

I did not know until then

how much it would affect me

ink on skin, and the giggles

that fell out of them so easily

the sun at my back

as they sit in front of me

talking face to face

able to face the drama

and still overcome.

 

5

It takes more effort to laugh now than it ever did.

In the back of the car

(forgotten memory)

the red line on the pavement

that denotes the places I cannot go

but have.

To the places that make me

more human

and the freedom

to reach the end of myself

and laugh.

(I nod my head in agreement)

 

6

It’s all a loss in the end

whether or not

the girls are laughing

But for this moment

I celebrate its victory

Over time and death.

(I stand up from my seat)

I really don’t want to leave this corner

by the windows of time market

next to the giggling girls,

but I also know I can’t stay.

 

Coal Mine Canyon

Last glow in

a dying day,

shifting feet

stir noises in

quiet spaces.

Immersed in 

small shades

of a half moon,

sacred I

whisper in

humbled voices:

-thank you-

for one more 

dying day.

The Best Is Yet To Come

I know what it is to lose something dear,

to have loved and cherished a thing

and still not call it my own.

I know what it is to suffer, if only for a little bit,

to suffer for want of something and never obtain it,

or worse yet, obtain it, and then suffer its insufficiency.

I know what it is to long for a place and never get there

Or worst yet, get there, and feel my loneliness still.

I know what it is to achieve a goal, to wear the gold medal,

to miss the podium entirely.

 

I've become an expert in the patterns of myself;

Of habit and vice, of routine and slumber.

For every high, its low. For every gain, its loss.

And even though

I am passing away from this earth

It is a freedom to be found out for the imposter I am;

to be found wanting for more,

to be exposed for sadness deep within,

And at the very end of it all

still believe the best is yet to come.

Reyes

Stands shadows on corners 

Of capricious concrete

Shifting slowly-

Wet whirls of feet swirling

.

Motives of unconscious spoken

Mingled with moments

Of swift caution

Fulfilled in graceful tumbling

.

This inner singing 

A songbirds calling

And this precious longing

For proprioception

 

Sacrifice

standing atop

the pyramids

of an ancient people

that once breathed

and thrived

and felt once

how I feel today,

 

and wondering 

if they too

thought about 

what it might be like

to look back 

at themselves

and hope that

the future

was bright

 

sacrificing 

their own child-

ish desires

for better ones.

 

why do we

return to dust,

and love fuller now

only knowing

that all we have

is today

Becoming

You may find

that the depths 

existing inside of you

are both beautiful 

and burdensome.

Full of magic

and mystery,

just beyond

the reach of words.

.

The destruction

of yourself

will be 

an oil painting

almost tangible.

A mix of colors

never drying

and always being

worked out.

.

Be patient, my love.

.

I know it’s

a cross to carry,

But to me,

it looks as if

you’re becoming

something 

quite divine.

Drawn

Do not be alarmed

If in your journey

you feel a bit of loneliness -

What an honor to know

A little bit more

of yourself

Washing

I keep washing 

this truth over me

before it melts

And then 

applying it again:

 

I don't need to pretend 

to be more

(or less)

than who I really am

 

But that’s just so hard

to do