For Brian

Writ­ten in 1999

you still live there cupped in the mind’s hand
like a warm dark place I crouch in when the
hunger is too great a sweet crisp scent that
imbues me rolls down my throat into me
a sug­ar rush to meaning’s vac­u­ous
with­draw­al and I dwell there my body
trem­bles with the life of you the charm­ing
over­bite the sweet dim­pled skin the soft
intel­lec­tu­al stom­ach the wit and sick rare
warmth that radi­at­ed crooked-grinned and
brown-sparkled into me and me burst­ing
and gig­gling sex­less petals open­ing
invit­ing my only virtue then my sweet­ness
my total devo­tion to every morsel that
graced my thirsty lips every touch vis­cous
and play­ful every moment in that house
that smell old and musty but so deli­cious­ly
you-smelled years lat­er Max howl­ing on
your bed and me inhal­ing the scent of your
shirt regard­ing your pic­tures of man­hood
estranged and des­per­ate to have known you
to have had you taste of me ripened to have
had those last emp­ty ashen moments (fate­less
and cru­el) annulled by some­thing rich­er
nev­er­the­less I am con­tent to have your life
eter­nal and light-rid­den pock­et­ed safe­ly
a sweet balm a self­ish trib­ute to childhood’s
suc­cu­lence a dark reminder to drink of oth­ers’
cups open and brave and swal­low­ing whole

Wiser

what­ev­er doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
they say.
I don’t feel strong.
if I were the best ver­sion of myself
I’d be grate­ful for you
your mem­o­ries arc­ing dark­ly, cold­ly
between these pieces I gath­er and fum­ble
and arrange in ugly pat­terns.

but what would I give up
to be hope­ful?
to be open?
to be whole?

the fre­net­ic dance par­ties
in your liv­ing room
laugh­ing
spin­ning
into a heav­ing pile on the floor.

the late nights of
pon­tif­i­ca­tions and gui­tar solos
weav­ing in between wafts of smoke
pry­ing myself wide-open
bare.

play­ing pin­ball
at the bus sta­tion
soft­ly ripe
my fin­gers dig­ging play­ful­ly
under the gap in your pants.

cack­ling at your dark jokes
gasp­ing at your bloody sto­ries
glee­ful­ly, vapid­ly
play­ing “boy’s games”
just to be near you.

some­times I get it.
the things you give up
the bits that burn, die, and fall off.
you evolve into some­thing else.
niether bet­ter nor worse.
just wis­er.

but what would I give to have her back?
to unbite that apple?
to gleam with pos­si­bil­i­ty?
to believe in the pos­si­bil­i­ty of oth­ers?
I might pry those moments out
throw them into the abyss.
I might be will­ing
to nev­er have met you at all.

She crouches

She crouch­es
hun­gry to devour
destroy
to entan­gle a body’s length
depth
thighs trem­bling
weep­ing.
She whim­pers
muf­fled
dark leaks encir­cling
my strained por­trait.
She waits
fin­gers for a chink in the armor.
She whis­pers
“Do you miss me?”
her breath as sweet as death.
I do.

life is rife with it…

life is rife with it — the lit­tle anguish­es the sparks of plea­sure the swaths of bore­dom that roll in and out and over you till you close your eyes in hopes that the spin­ning will stop…and you weigh them cease­less­ly those quick­ly-flee­ing lit­tle pieces squirm­ing in your fin­gers in hopes that the good out­weighs the bad and you squint at them in hopes that the bad can be trans­formed if you turn it this way or that or hold it up to the light…and you try to peer ahead and arm your­self accord­ing­ly but still the slings come and still it stings…and you won­der if things will ever be bet­ter if the quips of wis­dom will sink down deep and man­i­fest them­selves as action and bright­ness but I fear it won’t get that much bet­ter two steps for­ward one step back and then anoth­er