Magic flowed a river of printed words meandering across ivory pages passing up through grazing finger tips and pulsing along a bloodstream traveling deep into lungs and then as air molecules flowing upward and out his mouth between full lips. Magic coursed into the space between us as a river delta, pouring water into the sea where I bathed in the warm current of each magic word he read to me.
For My Nephew
You are not my own
Yet I held myself
When I held you.
Stars freckle your sky face
Freckled like your mother
That which I do not share.
Nor do I have
Your turned-up nose.
Your azure eyes
We all have.
Light on a torch
Your mother's eyes
Your grandmother's eyes
Your great-grandmother's eyes
(whose I still see so clearly)
The light she carried from others who said
"Bonjour" and "Au demain"
"Ferme la porte!" and "Je t'aime!"
A Cavern of Mirrors / Origami
Thoughts and images fill my head but don't connect to the words and phrases that would leave my mouth and connect me to you. So I sit, a cavern of mirrors, reflecting my thoughts onto myself, and only myself. My arms fold against my chest and start the forever inward folding, away from you, away from what I want. I look like an asshole when the words elude me. My forged bravery is a sham, and I am now all alone in this room.
I woke up on the right side of the bed this morning
With the sun shining through my eyelids
Before I even knew I was awake
And my ear angled just right
To hear the feather-winged chatter
That I so missed during the months
of wading in drifted snow
(with my head down,
looking for something lost,
though I’d long forgotten what I was searching for)
Today I will meet everyone at their eyes
Though I know
Spring is a fickle lover
For this moment
I am choosing bliss
Spring is late
Lingers into April
No daffodils to be seen
The bus rolls onward
Is dead outside
Somewhere in This Universe
Somewhere in this universe there exists an us
Laughing on the infinite shores of a thousand glittering diamonds
All bronzed skin and limbs under a late summer sun
The Edges of Your Jeans’ Pocket
You stole the shirt
from off my back
when we were seven
(when we were seven)
as we played in the field.
You caught a butterfly
and pushed a pin
through its head,
slowly, wings beating.
Then tacked it to a mat
to peer at under your
Kmart scientist’s special scope
I had said no.
(I had said no).
Dinner called us home at dusk.
I shrugged on my grass-stained shirt
and you crumpled the butterfly
into your jeans’ pocket.
Your fingers leaving mud
that dried like blood
and crusted like pus
on the edge’s of your jeans’ pocket.
On the Shores of Infinite Diamonds
On the shores of infinite diamonds, we were
all bronzed skin and limbs,
under a late summer sun.
Ever gently a rose glow
caressing our eyes, saturated our world,
as light retreated beyond mountains.
On the shores beneath infinite stars, we were
all tender skin, twisted limbs,
surroundings obscured in the dark.
The rain came down on Seoul.
My soul it bathed and seduced.
For a sole wanderer far from home,
Seoul filled my sole soul with youth.
It’s raining today and I don’t want it to be. It’s a cold, dreary January rain and I want nothing more than for it to be snowing. I am deeply craving the quiet that comes with powdery snow, and the even deeper cold that comes with that snow. I am not quite sure why. I have always identified myself as a “summer person.” Despite the fact that I want it to be snowing, the current weather reminded me of this brief poem that I wrote some time ago while reminiscing about living in Korea. I lived there ten years ago.
Summer came early that year in Korea, bringing heat and heaviness to the air. The trademarks of summer that I was used to–blue skies, clear sunshine–were not there. Even on cloudless days, the sun was obscured by haze. It rained a lot in July, and even when the clouds left the sky, the sun was but a blurred glow, having the same effect as viewing a light through a frosted window. In those days I welcomed the rain. For a few years after I returned from Korea, hot and rainy summer days often flooded my mind with memories of my time overseas. All weather talk aside, I loved spending time in Seoul and would go back again in a heartbeat.
Although as I am writing this, it is not hot and humid, and is in fact January, and on top of that I want nothing more than two feet of snow, I still could not resist posting a blurb about summer rain in Seoul.
Red lights through ink black blur.
Through windows, wet ice snow.
Slap-smack Slap-smack Slap-smack.
The windshield wipers’ drummer’s march
Calls ancient newborn eyes
To man the office post.