Tuesday, May 21, 2013



At peace with the sadness of my solitude
I sense your presence like the estranged music
of a mood drifting out of a miasmic abyss
that almost overwhelms me as intimately as it did
lifetimes ago when the thorns were still green
on the rose and I wasn’t quite as sure then
as I am now they’ve hardened enough to penetrate
the heart with how immensely someone
can long for the dead like an empty lifeboat
appearing out of the soft glow of the fog
in a blur of moonlight, the fragrance of an apparition
that ferries me back in the undertow
of oceanic emotions like an s.o.s. at a seance
intimate with the prophetic sincerity of your absence.

More springs than I have left to live
I gave up judging the insufficiency of my love
to break the generic grip of death
you so severely desired to die in the arms of.

I see you in the feathered war bonnets
of the new leaves of the trees I’ve forgotten
the names of since I stopped sitting under them alone
too numb to be troubled by the lightning,
too cold to rise above the absolutes
like a thermometer filled with frozen blood.
Land-locked among the ten thousand lakes
of a shattered mirror I held up to my broken nature,
I followed you as far as I could like a train whistle
into the distance where time and silence
are indistinguishable destinations, and then
I sat down like a drunk with a lantern
at the side of the tracks, and I waited, o
it must have been eras for you to come back
before I lifted my head off the rails
of our parallel thresholds and returned
to the spiritual hovel of my homelessness
grateful to touch something solid again
as if all I had to lose was a key to a door
that didn’t recognize me on the inside anymore.

Nor would you any of the death masks I’ve shed
like the eyelids of the white peony of the moon
scattered in diaspora on the waters of life
when I woke like a ghost from a recurring dream
of the way I once imagined you returning
to the surface like the buoyant skull of a moonrise
asking me if I still remembered your face
and could I love you now like a leper colony.

It’s still easier for my heart to make sense of your love
than it is for my mind to attribute a meaning
to your death as you once said it wouldn’t have.
But whenever I grow weary and irritable at
the chronic torment of casting lifelines out to you
that have inadvertently rescued many for your sake
like dolphins cut out of the fishing nets of the constellations,

I bury you in pearls like new moons among the coral
in the lunar gardens of dead seas swaying
to the music of water snakes among the shadows of kelp
beyond the range of the wavelengths of the nightbirds
that haunt my voice like a mindstream whispering its way
through the hidden watersheds of the willows
with stars in their hair as bright as they were in your eyes
when these clouds of unknowing were dispersed
like nebulae breaking into light with every breath
you took in and let go like a woman swimming away from shore
as if we’d all learn to live out of our depths at last.

Diving bells among the shipwrecks that don’t ring
when they mourn. Foghorns that don’t bother to warn
ships in the night there’s no shallow passage
when they encounter each other on the Road of Ghosts
like the lights of Port Angeles across the Georgia Strait,
heavy with a cargo of imported coffins, and the heart,
as always, ballast they’re trying to throw overboard
to lighten the load and rise above the waterline, float
like waterlilies umbilically moored in our starmud
or the Little Dipper of the north star bailing glaciers
like delinquent waterclocks out of a sinking lifeboat.


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