Friday, May 20, 2011

Death in Life's Shadow

I wish, I wish, I live for Life
How strange that death was once my heart's desire
I used to long for nature's axe
For burden (life) to fly in flood or fire

A car, just carried off a bridge
A grown intruder to my brain or breast
The skin upon my wrists is thin
The whole of me--in fact--is built for rest

The spine could snap and free me quick
As cripples lose their braces and can run
The head, the belly, back and chest
Could all have yielded me escape from snow and sun

For that is how I looked at it
The neverending living was for pain
The sin upon my hands was strong
Like sap or tar-- it does not wash with rain

And love was empty, work was vain
The bones around my heart would fracture, creak
I wracked my discontent with work
while thoughts of years on paychecks ground my teeth

But this is why the Life is strange
It's strange like beauty, mead and sex can be
These wonders touch at Truly-Life
At conquered death, at blindness turned "I See"

Child of Smoke

There are so many like her; she is a typeset, etched by the rural places, stamped in replica all over this county and a thousand others below the Belt, along the Mason-Dixon.

She's a skinny, wilty-haired girl with bird ankles that curve around the legs of her chair, like her spine and shoulders curve over the front of her desk. She has a strange shape, this trailer-born, skinny child of smoke--her curves are laid around her love handles and hung on her sagging 16-year-old chest, piling on top of cheap lowrise jeans and under "You Wish" baby T's.

Her arms are thin and unused, except for crossing anemically over her belly or contorting languidly across the desktop. Her eyes hang open, horse-like, and her mouth.

There is a singular idiocy to her phrasing when she speaks, to the little hearts that she dots her (missplaced) i's and ROTFL's with. She learned only to laugh as a child, to laugh and flirt and pout; she hangs on the words of the most worthless boy in the room, for he reminds her of her daddy. She examines her nails with her spare classtime, plans for the movies and the mall, a 20 minute drive from this town.

In a month or so, her belly will show the first signs of the next generation.

Chutes and Ladders

I've known that before, like Keats and Fanny.

That pull, like two magnets in a room,
That tilting like the planets as we sit on the same couch, though in a crowd and with plastic tea-plates and wine cups in our hands

It feels inescapable, as words of delight and instant mind-meeting spill from us like a stream.
We believe immediately--are fooled into believing--that there is no other course, that the track was laid for us and we have only come this far in order to meet in this room and fall together like a line
It is so much without effort tht we make no attempt at the work, the rung-by-rung that might have carried us upward for a little while. The ease was the illusion.

It feels inevitable, like the month of May, and always feels as swift, as much a victim as May is of June.
But it is no victim, and we have no right to cry, for we did not treat it with honesty or question it soundly, with blows around the midsection to test its hollow places.

We simply fell--into love--as if love is a chute and not a ladder.



Kiss me, darling, on the heart
Touch me, always, on the mind
Brush your warmth--your fingerpads
Across my soul, and take your time

For we have years to wait and stop
To S-L-O our double-yous
And while our bodies sleep so still
We can't do everything we choose

Not with our minds, not with our tongues
Not with emotions or with hands
For these are all laid at the feet
Of the Maker of these lands

So wait with me, and while we wait
Let's pass the time with diligence
For there are bricks and stones to lay
And to preserve--there's innocence

Put Godly things into our stores
Let's tuck them up against the fray
For trouble comes, and treasure comes
We'll shore tomorrow up today

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Business Meeting

It is a Holy thing we undertake here,
the act of falling in love

so slowly, like a ceremony or a company merger
it is a dignified thing we do, full of weight (of weight but no worry, of dilligence but all of ease.)

Don't you remember the first business meeting we had, sitting across a polished Starbuck conference table with suppressed smiles? We are hereby called to order.

It is a quiet thing, a thing deliberate and bold and careful, it is devoid of worry because we konw exactly what we must do, and I confess, I know exactly what the end will be. He, that Other, will be glorified.

The anecdotes are the only thing to fill in, and all the rushing sweetness of future flirtation--these are the easy parts, the details that I don't yet know. They are for later, and I lose no more sleep over them than I do over your honor or sincerity:


There is work to do, now; the business of slowly-so-slowly learning love. and when the time comes, I assure you, even now--you will find me signing on the dotted line.