The Way I Came In

I’m going out the way I came in:
Naked, bald, and screaming

I will sink like everyone else
Into the quicksand of lost dreams
And fading, faulty memories

I’m going down the way I came up
With the weight of the world pushing in
Pushing me, always, forward
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The Path

There is a path inside my heart
that leads to you
A path of sand for naked feet
to sink into

I walk the path while the sun comes
Out of the sea
And follow footprints that can only
Come from you

I walk the path on a cold night
without a star
I reach into the emptiness
and touch you there

A soft wind blows the sand around
and hides our tracks
So no one knows that we were here,
just you and me
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A Shimmery, Summery Sound

I hope, for you,
the singing of the insects is
a shimmery, summery sound

I hope the water that trickles
across the slippery rocks
brings you something that can pass for peace

I hope the light
that filters through
the endless rows of branches,
casts its longest shadows
on the grass that almost tickles
your bare toes and heels and arches
in a way that makes you
smile

 

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I Never Knew Your Name

When I say I never knew your name, I am not talking about the one your parents gave you. I am talking about the one you gave yourself. You know the one I mean, the one that bubbled to the surface of your life on a hot summer night, like this one, when you were all alone in your room, feeling inexplicably sad but hopeful.

This name was not one that you had heard before, yet you instantly recognized it as yours.

Although at that time I was hundreds of miles away from you, and had not met you, and could not hear the name you gave yourself, I felt the reverberations of its echo.

When I am calm enough, I still can.
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The Thing in Me

thing

The thing in me that
your long look kindled,
that grew and blossomed
under the soft light
of an all-forgiving sun
will not wither
will not die
but also will not grow again

The thing in me that
made me feel like something new
has turned around to look at me from the other side
and makes me feel like something old

The thing in me that
keeps me warm when the sun goes down and
keeps me cool when everything boils,
that keeps me calm when the bullets fly and
alerts me when the whole world sleeps
has reached the end of the circle and
like a song at the end of a verse it
has come to a chorus that will repeat
until the fade

On summer evenings, after rain

Across the drops of streetlights
faces shine and fade with time and other
forces of destruction and deterioration

Blankets that we pull across our
sore and frozen memories that
cry out so pathetically
for comfort and for warmth

The hour has already passed
for final judgments falling down
for making up excuses that
not even we believed

Centuries, like dominoes,
teeter, waver, slip and fall
until none are left who can remember
any other life at all

Millennia of mystery
centuries of confusion
decades of disaster
become years of empty long and
those days we lost to dreams

Vagabonds in stolen clothes
will try to rewrite history
because the lessons that we learned
are not the ones they taught
Birds and flowers try to tell us
stories buried in the earth with
bones and swords and walls that fell,
and rose, and fell again

We are crushed beneath the heels
of soldiers left on battlefields
to cry, and die, and rot and mark
our histories with their curse

On summer evenings, after rain
when clouds hold back but can’t stop light
we will sit and read our books
and listen to the aching trees
telling us the only stories that we need to hear
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