Daily Archives: April 24, 2010

Halves

In half my body
I keep hold on you.  In half
I fear you. When we spin in place
or twist in our sheets
I quickly lose track of where
my feelings for you are.

Did I leave the wanting
in my hands, or is that where
fear is resting now, and I
should push you off?
Do I turn my head to the right
to be near you
or to keep from seeing you?
And if perhaps the divide
is in fact between
my upper and lower halves,
well…it is no wonder
I can’t remember
where I put what.

When I see your eyes,
though,
that’s the moment when
I can feel the two sides at once,
soap bubbles pressed together
yet unjoined…

and I hold my breath
in anticipation of how
they will mix when
inevitably, they burst. 

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Siren

It was the song that brought on
this urgent insomnia
and now you can’t stop humming.
This long after midnight
the city is finally quiet
but for the occasional siren.
You have known that song
for a long time.  It rises,
it slides down, it wails
of a disturbance somewhere.
You might dare to call it romantic
if you’re listening, knowing it may mean
that somewhere passions
have run over the brim
of one or more lives.  No matter
that it may herald death or anger;
when you’re not the target,
in the middle of the night
it’s hard not to stop and strain
to hear it, try to figure out
where it’s going.  It’s not hope,
exactly; instead, a curiosity
about how much is happening
elsewhere in places more alive
than where you are.  As close as you are
to sleep, your eyes on fire, your back
hard and heavy, your breathing
slow, your throat raw
from smoke and fatigue,
when that song starts
you jerk forward in your seat
and are drawn into the night
that is growing longer,
longer, even as it fades.
It’s not the right time for this.
It’s not even your business to care
but you do, somehow,
and that is what keeps you up at night.

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