Marginal Notes

The lightness of your skin lifts
me without feathers into an atmospheric
coma, sifting flour through my fingers,
looking for gold in a placer on the southern
bank of an oxbow. Blankly I stare

into the infinite depth between your
freckles, the green in your eyes sprouting
from fertile soils, not hyberbolizing
into the grand and methodical void where
we used to swim on summer's nights,

letting the moon paint our bodies white
as we lifted off our shirts and let goosebumps
illustrate our arms and legs as our clothing fell
limply to the black beneath us. And we, shadows
in film negatives, dived into the cold and drowned

for an hour. I would look at you looking at me and up
into the stars we would fall, dancing like a paperback
in your hands at night in the half-light
my parent's living room. You would sit there, eyes
traversing the terrain with precaution, lips
mouthing the words written in pencilled margins.

Your legs would droop over the arm
of the chair, as if morning had missed the last train
and would arrive late. But morning, we both knew,
would never come again. So I stared

into the chasms and cravasses of your skin,
and let the wind lift me, with the lightness
of your skin and without a jacket
in the evening air, to the peak of Vesuvius,
where I would sit and watch the sun rise
for eternity, as around me orange tongues
would lick the air and warm me.


Together We Cry

As misunderstanding stood up and walked
out of the room, his eyes met mine
as if to say follow, follow and i'll dive
into your soul, to that sacred secret place
beneath the tightrope, beneath the falling
clouds, and together we'll wander through
shards of glass like a cemetery and feel
the blood rush to the tips of our fingers
and spill out at impossible angles,
like the look in your eyes right now.

He painted the colors of the skies at sunset
as he walked past, blowing away thousands of years
of dust, uncovering the leaf tattooed on the sandstone
shoulder of the Earth. He could have painted
the moon and the stars and lifted me effortlessly
into that submission of the leaves to autumn,
that submission that causes decay and resurgence
to a life unknown the day before, the year before, my
life before the flood. And he tangled his fingers
in my long hair with his eyes, that forgiven
sin of Adam the morning after his first kiss,
his first taste of the empty pond and the decrepit
barn where his father taught him to milk
their ayrshire, singing not a word not
a word not a word - his father would stand there
crying crucify and climb into the loft. Adam
gently squeezed the utters, not knowing

when to stop or when the next day would come,
unwanted and uncolored by the cold air
on his cheeks. I stood there and wept,
knowing that misunderstanding had left
the room to us, strangers of twenty years.
I looked across the room at the slowly burning
fire, the heat gently burping the stew, patting
gently and singing rockabye baby. His head
in his hands and the bottle at his feet, half full
in the evening light, he wandered through
that distant land of enthusiastic love, now memorialized
in the photo album under the bed, collecting dust.

Now, as winds clap their hands against the windows
in pungent delight, as the orchestral touch
of his hands against my shivering body inspires
eminence, as my mouth opens and closes, surrounding
the earth and heavens in ephemeral night, I
wrap him around me, his every inch of skin against
mine, a tapestry hanging on the wall above our bed.


In Autumns, Gently Weeping

If every winter they called
my name, my lips chapped
beneath noon-bright midnight
skies that dance an interpretive
odyssey, I would hold her
hand in mine, crying. She would

look across the snowfield, singing
of the Seer's tower in whispers like leaves
turning red and falling, then
like day to night, drying into
memory carried on the wind.

Her hand would grow cold in mine,
and together we, turning toward the end
like the sun in November,
would let the snow blind us
in its infinite wisdom and grace, letting
ourselves die.

Five years ago, she called me from my room
with a voice like steam rising from my cup
of tea. I didn't move or breathe. She
called again, and steam fogged
on my glasses. My lungs hesitated,
and I let go of the highest branch, falling
into blood-stained grass, the heifer,
still warm, beside me, steam rising
from the red cavity in its side, as grey
drizzled down, its eyes drifting
from black to that empty white
that filled my mind after saying
goodbye to my best friend
as he, quiet, slept in his final bed.


Pre-Apocalyptic Stress Disorder

And then you tell me, "Boy,
we can do much more together." And I
open the window into the violent

dance, multi-faceted arrangements
of sound and combustion, calling
from a world not ours and not falling;

and I feel the scream, the shyness
in the window, as you slide your arms
under my shirt and embrace.