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.

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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.

Starlight

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Every mirror

Reflects the ghost of you,

Staring back at me through narrowed eyes,

Beseeching me to follow you down –

Wide is the road, or so it has been said –

Down into Hell,

Down into oblivion and abandon,

Down into the darkest depths

Of my heart and my soul,

Upon which the sun

Is always setting

And whose waters

I am forever failing to tread.

 

The glassy surface of the lake

Shows a different side of you, though,

Wide-eyed and radiant –

Exactly as you were,

When the world was young,

And so were we.

 

I will drown, either way;

Tis a fitting end,

Says that part of me

That burnt up, and was burnt down,

By the starlight

I found, shining, in the blinding brightness

That didn’t strike me

Until after I’d gazed into your eyes

For the last time

In a lifetime.

The Voyage

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Distant and void,

Frigid and alone,

Far from where they started,

Yet no closer to where they’re meant to be,

Are two lonely little spacecraft

Tasked with filling the silent spaces between the stars

With the riotous song of the human dream,

Themselves dreaming of an ending,

A point in space and time

When they can rest,

And where they can find themselves spinning

Around some distant star unlike our own

On a collision course,

A billion years from now,

When humanity is but a ghost,

Echoing, lonely and lost,

Around the epicenter of a stage called Earth,

On which their song was sung,

Upon which their battles were lost and won,

From whose green and blue depths

 They launched two small voyagers

Just to say,

“We were here.”

Summer’s Ending Soon

Summer is what summer has always been.

It’s that moment in July

When you realize,

“Summer’s ending soon,”

And there is not a thing you can do

To stop the turning of the Earth,

Or the motions of the planets,

Or the revolution of the stars in their orbits

Around some distant galactic hub

Which I have and will never see,

Yet am assured by the most veritable authorities

Exists,

Somewhere impossibly distant from here,

Beyond the boundless distance between the stars,

Across time and space,

Itself turning with the eons,

Hurtling through space

On a collision course with its neighbor,

And I suppose I can relate

But then again, maybe not;

Maybe there are just some things beyond

The boundaries of what is relative and relatable

To the human experience,
Which is also something

I have never seen,

But which my humanity,

And your humanity,

And our collective humanity

Demands the existence of.

Summer is what summer has always been –

Our humanity at its finest,

Life and death balanced together on the edge of a knife,

Dancing with one another on the head of a pin,

Which brings into question once more

Just how many angels can, in fact,

Dance their divinity away on such a surface;

I say that the answer lies somewhere near the square root

Of the number two;

No one else seems to agree.

Another Cloudless Morn

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Another cloudless morn,

The drops of dew glistening

In the pre-dawn light

Of the streetlamps standing sentinel high above us.

There is mist o’er the place

Where sand and shore are united once more,

Where blue meets gold as if for the first time;

Indeed, the sun will unfailingly rise,

Tomorrow, and very likely the day after, too,

And the dew will glisten,

And the waves will roar,

And I will be older

By far.

Endings

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At the height of summer,

It’s easy to forget

That the sun also rises

On the day after you fail to,

That time still passes,

That you cannot stay forever this young,

That the stars still change

With the rotation of the Earth,

And that you still do not revolve with them.

That the moment ends,

And never comes again.