Daddy'd come home with roses almost every day.
“I love you, Honey,” he’d always say.
Onto Momma’s lips, then, he’d plant a kiss,
share with her his day, how she was missed.
Daddy was always so nice, kissing and sweet- talking her;
Momma said I was lucky to have such a father.
Daddy believed roses were the blossom of his love.
“Your Momma should be kept happy;
she’s a gift bestowed from above.”
One wrong word-- he’d apologize for hours
and next day bring home a dozen extra flowers.
And they were always the prettiest kind
from some expensive place,
always going in our most splendid vase.
Eventually, wrong words increased, flowers became so few.
Arguments would start and sometimes last an hour or two.
And then, they’d always fight, always yell—
telling each other to go to Hell.
Sadly, one night Daddy got so mad—
filled with so much rage—
that he let all of his anger out of the cage.
His fist was like a hammer against her face;
his love for her had been misplaced.
He bought Momma roses the very next day.
“I’m so sorry, my angel,” I heard him say.
“I’ll never do it again; I promise you that.”
But my Daddy was a lying rat.
Each time he hit her it would always be worse.
“Oh, I fell again,” Momma would tell the nurse.
Daddy loved Momma—he told me he did.
And that I wouldn’t understand
because I was just a kid.
And I couldn’t comprehend
why I saw not another rose
or why Daddy always gave Momma
another bloody nose.
Now the only roses I see
are the ones on Momma’s grave.
Daddy got too mad one night
and her life couldn’t be saved.
... and they did not get over it
A sickening sea of seditious sychophants surge
at the steps of Congress. Stupidity
reaching critical mass, they breach barriers
--in typical white fashion--to lay claim to that
which does not belong to them. These
preachers of “just get over it”
whom can not, in fact, just get over it,
swarm like hungry locust hallowed halls of democracy,
looking to not leave left a single morsel
of law and decency, proud to be followers
of law and order. Gunfire rings louder than their efforts
to make their voices heard in ways voting did not.
They stare at a women bleeding out at their feet,
one of them, dumbfounded
that a blue life would do this.
Is it wrong:
that I laugh that she gave her life for a silly red hat
that I think the flag should be fed more of their blood?
Oh, to be a bear—
to eat and eat and eat, gorging yourself
on the fat of the land, until unrecognizable
in your own corpulence;
to just close your eyes and disappear,
a tumultuous season passing by as you dream.
It seems so unfair.
I could commit gluttony at dinner
yet, come morning, awaken
empty and needing.
How much time must transpire
between opening my eyes and closing them again
to be considered a new nap? Or have I succeeded
at one big sleep with brief intermissions
of disappointing wakefulness?
Some say it takes ten thousand hours
to practice a skill into mastery. I am
a student of the ursine arts. All I care
to do these days is hone this craft, still unable
to drift away for whole seasons.
A day or two may pass away, but I awaken
faced with all the reasons
I want to disappear. I close my eyes again.
Oh, to be a bear.
And how does a bear know
when the season is over,
when it is safe to open eyes once again?
How will I?
My Lover is Away
“A man will leave his father and his mother and he must stick to his wife and they must become one flesh.” A burning plagued my side and in her I found the reason why. Each morning as I stared at her picture, I thanked Him; and every night just the same. A complement, sculpted by the hand of God himself, it seemed, just for me—everything I needed, everything I never knew I wanted. Before I even truly knew her and was trying to pawn off my heart to someone else, it already ran away, leaping into her arms. It’s true what I've heard some men say: “The most precious possession that ever comes to a man in this world is a woman's heart”
I don’t believe in fate, yet it still feels that I was born to love her. Every event that has ever happened in my life, everything molded me into a character for her heart and only hers. She was never a trial, it was never a struggle coming to love her; simply natural, like day giving way to night. Not before long, we experienced a bonding of mind and heart, a grafting of two souls that not even the most skilled of surgeons could replicate. Although no one is perfect, there is nothing about her I would change. For centuries love has been captured in song, verse, canvas, and stone; I believe it is she and I that all these artists have been alluding to. After all, she is already the archetype, the ultimate beauty that these very artists could only dream of capturing. She is my reason for leaving behind father and mother, even myself and every previous course of action if so necessary. Without her, there is only a little bit of me left.
Yet here we are, distanced, paying the price for our untimely love. A shooting star streaked across the sky and I wished upon it. But I guess it does make a difference who you are because she’s still not here beside me. When not compared to her, this vision really is as magnificent as she said it would be. Thus, even after a failed wish, I watch the sky because I know the Universe is something that she finds intriguing. And maybe we’ll be gazing at the same star so, in some way, we’ll be nestled up there together—aflame like a blue dwarf with our love, instead of so distant like Pluto and the Sun. She is my world and now that she’s gone my heart has little left to stand on.
“Remember me when you get into your Kingdom,” pleaded an evildoer hung alongside Jesus. And it is this Kingdom which gives so many the strength to live and endure. But my heart keeps beating, white cells keep fighting, I keep persevering for her. The future will bring her to me again, I know it will. When I’m bent over like a tree beaten by the wind with not many years left of my life, she’ll still be a cherished rose garnishing my frayed limbs. A fragrant flower of exquisite color, such beauty it causes the heart to rejoice, so delicate and graceful yet mighty in power so as to keep life in these aged veins. Never in all my years will I live for anyone other than her; never in all my years will my love for her wane. “Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”—she is my Paradise. She is worth the wait.
What I learned about forever
is how the thought of it comforts people,
this idea of something good enduring for so long.
She made promises of our love in such
Have you ever felt as if you were created
with a purpose to love only one specific someone?
And, finally, when you find them...
it’s like waking up from a dream into dream
except you’ve been awake the whole time.
Is this soul mates? Is this finding your other half?
Is it nothing more than dumb luck?
Because some search for this and come up empty.
How could I be so lucky?
And sometimes you still doubt reality
so you pinch yourself and rub your eyes
like you’re trying to polish glass.
But she’s there, every day she is is still there.
You couldn’t be any closer if you were sewn
at the hip; and would that even be
such a bad thing? Don’t two souls
in such love always want to be one?
But, then, one day you wake up
from the dream that was never really a dream
because you were never asleep but somehow
you missed it.
One less “I love you” turned to two turned to three
turned to all of them.
And sometimes things move so gradually
that you can’t even percieve the change.
You don’t talk anymore and you don’t
know why or when it started, just that silence
has never been so loud or the empty space
between your arms so heavy to carry.
You feel it growing inside you--
this sadness, this misery, this confusion.
It grows like a cancer
unless it feels like that’s all you’re made of
until you’re fraying at the seams.
And in your head is an endless loop on repeat:
her, making a promise over and over.
And you’re pretty sure promises
are supposed to be kept, it is a sacred thing;
isn’t that the very nature of a promise?
But what do I know?
I am just a plaything. A doll.
A raggedy teddy bear.
I am learning, though.
What I learned about forever
is that it comes sooner than you’d expect.
Love in a Time of Coronavirus
Death dons a new face
and the whole world hides behind a mask,
has quarantined itself indoors;
yet, each morning brings new mourning
as statistics continue to worsen.
The odds are in our favor
but every day I still read story
of those lost to this virus,
those whose odds were not favorable.
Sure, my chance of survival is high but what if
I’ve made a mistake,
my preventative measures not cautious enough?
Any day now, it could be my name in the paper,
just another number lost in the statistics.
I obsessively look out the window
keeping watch for an enemy impossible to see.
Like this old house, my body groans and creaks;
every new noise has me panicked
about an unwanted visitor.
There is always a thermometer in my mouth now,
the constant smell of bleach on every surface.
I have not felt my lover’s touch in months.
We promised to let nothing come between us—
all it’s taken is 125 nanometers.
There is a killer on the loose
600 times smaller than the diameter of a strand of hair,
her hair that used to be everywhere.
Her smell in my clothes, in my sheets,
the subtle reminders of her frequent presence
washed away with disinfectant.
We must stand apart now
to improve the odds we can live a long life
together when this is all over.
This is the happiest love I’ve ever known
and I stay awake at night worried
that I won’t make it long enough to hold her again,
that I’ll wake up in a lonely hospital room,
machines keeping me alive.
I stay awake at night worried
that all the bleach, all the Lysol,
all the masks the in world, all the distance
won’t make a difference.
I stay awake at night worried
that I will be prematurely plucked from this life
and never get the chance to love her
for as long or as much as she deserves.