A Letter to Myself

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It’s one of those nights.

 

One where the stars are too still in their orbits,

And I can imagine the scent of your perfume

Lazily wafting its way around the room,

And a love song – French, because those are the kind you liked best –

Is lingering in the air,

A mere whisper

Competing with the sounds of the rain

Tapping its melody upon the windowpane,

And the train hurtling through space and time,

Carrying me far from where I was,

Yet bringing me no closer to where I meant to be,

And the fruits of my youth lay wasted at my feet,

And a kind of melancholy that only visits me when I think of you

 Like a cloak I put upon shoulders so that I can wear your sorrows,

If only so you can dream a dream of peace, tonight,

Has taken hold,

And I burn and yearn to make right my wrongs,

To make my peace with my Gods,

And I sit here, staring into your soul,

So revealed in the brights of the eyes I see reflected back at me,

And I pray for both of our salvations,

And I blink and you are gone;

One of those nights

When I wish I could take wing

And travel back through time to be where you are.

 

 

It’s one of those nights.

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Sorrowfully, I Saw You

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I saw you on the train the other day,

Crying out under the burden

Of someone else’s sorrows,

Or at least I imagined that it was you,

And that you were crying,

And that the sorrows were not your own.

 

I saw you down the hall as well,

Standing in perfect stillness,

Knees bent under the weight

Of our caprice,

Head bowed as if in prayer,

Or at least I pretended it was you,

And maybe even said a prayer of my own

To the Old Gods we used to howl to,

When the moon was full of joy,

And so were we.

I Wanted to Write You Into a Love Poem

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I wanted to write you into a love poem,

But all I can conjure

Is a picture of a girl crying off her mascara

On a stoop in the south of Chicago,

Smeared burgundy lips wrapped around

One

Thin cigarette,

And the man she used to love

Entering the scene upon his exit

From the doorway with it’s crumbling yellow paint,

Pale, now, in the rising moonlight,

Faded from

Two

Decades of wind and rain,

And the gun he’s hiding behind his back –

“Come in,” he says to her –

Voice shaking in the cold December night,

And she says

Three

Words in return,

Breath rising like a halo around her lips,

But it’s lost to the wicked wind,

And he raises his hand and puts

Four

Slim, flattening bullets

Into her, and the

Five

Children they had together

Come running

Just as the church bells ring,

Announcing the arrival of the hour

Six.

Summer Love

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Summer love –

It’s song

Too sweet to bear,

Berries weighing heavily on the bough,

Overripe and golden for the taking;

Behold its forbidden fruit

And you will be helpless but to surrender

To the subtle call of the serpent,

Summersweet

In the heat of the moment,

Savage and bitter

In the fallout.

Pressed Flowers

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I can still see you,

Pressed paper-thin

Between the pages of my life,

Faded and half-forgotten,

Flowers spared the frost

Only to spend the rest of eternity

Fragile and fitting imperfectly

Within the leaves of a former forest.

 

I can still see you,

Softly lit and spirit-like,

Spiraling through the city of my memory,

A brightness dancing across those dim and dismal years,

Skirts lifting as you spin,

The veil of the years that has risen between us

Casting the whole scene in a magic light,

Not quite poetry,

Nor quite perfection,

But something approaching

The one, or the other.

Grey

It was the end of May and
My love was in full bloom,
Lush and vibrant and full
Of musical moments of merriment,
Soft and comfortable and
Shining like the Northern Lights,
Beautiful and brash and
Everything I’d ever wanted.

June was taking a bow as
The curtain came to a close,
And my love grew gentler and
Sweeter, lovelier,
If you will,
But the roses wither, the music dies,
Light fades, and
My love was no more.