#1372

you tell me how you want me
and what you’ll do to keep me
your siren’s voice is calling me
succubus eyes bewitching me

just love me, lovely
I won’t be like the others
flesh and blood
breath and bone
won’t you just love me
unlike all the others?

hungry mouths and
gripping hands
questing lips and
twining tongues
you and I can
take a chance
I won’t be like
the other ones

you tell me that you’re sorry
and if you could you’d help me
but your fingernails are tearing me
succubus lips devouring me

just love me, lovely
don’t make me like the others
flesh and blood
breath and bone
won’t you just spare me
unlike all the others?

hungry mouths and
gripping hands
questing lips and
twining tongues
you and I can
take a chance
I won’t be like
the other ones

oh darling, don’t you want me?
oh darling, don’t you need me?
oh darling, don’t you wish we
had never been
could never be?

crushing mouths and
bruising hands
bloodied lips and
lapping tongues
you and I can’t
have our chance
I’ll be just like
the other ones

I’ll be just like
the other ones

#1370

Let it always be this dawn
your gentle fingers grazing my skin
mouth seeking sweetness and heat.
Let it always be this day
your jeweled eyes dancing in the sunlight
joy overflowing in precious tears.
Let it always be this dusk
your head heavy on my shoulder
moon gliding in and out of obscurity.
Let it always be this night
your firm arms drawing me close
body molding itself to my shape.
Let it always be this.
Let us always be this.

#1366

Snow White in your coffin of glass
I have come to wake you
I will suck out the witch’s poison
replace its bitterness with my honey
and kiss your lips
and kiss your lids
and kiss you ’til you wake.

Sleeping Beauty in your prison of thorn
I have come to wake you
I will cup your face in battered hands
torn by vines and burned by flame
and kiss your lips
and kiss your brow
and kiss you ’til you wake

Shakespeare’s Sister in your unmarked grave
I have come to wake you
I will dig until my fingers bleed
unearth you from your bed of clay
and kiss your lips
and kiss your palms
and kiss you ’til you wake

#1362

Forgive us our trespass
the staring eyes weighing your debt
columns of victimization
legal paper calculations.
We swore an oath to dig into your wounds
peel back your stiffened skin
uncover the dirt and dormant seeds
buried deep within.
They paid us, even
to take our notes
to dissect your worth
to judge the culpability of your
snuff film death.
(What were you worth, in the end?)
We became experts in your flaws
specialists in your suffering
more authority in our twelve hands
than all the angels in Heaven.
We wielded condemnation and salvation
over burnt coffee and gas station sandwiches.
And when it came time to judge
we wept
and argued
and fell silent in turn.
Twelve strangers in a circle
weary and worn
wanting home
wanting loved ones
wanting to forget.
Comrades in unwanted villainy
dark oath sealed in blood and legalese
a forced and foregone surrender.
Thus is justice meted out in this realm.
Yet I swear to you
for what comfort it may bring the grave
we still lay awake at night
we still stare into the darkness, haunted
the silent film flickering upon the wall
upon our lidless eyes.
We still catalogue your violations
locked in each private vault
unbearable knowledge.

[ Some thoughts from my experience as a juror on a murder trial last year. ]

#1358

how strange and beautiful
our capacity to love
so many so deeply
for are you not sister and lover
swordsman and sun goddess
fierce wolf and, yes,
even that vulnerable
frightened girl
(whom I love most of all
did you know that?)
just as he is brother and lover
savior and sacrifice
tormentor and tormented
and the other
oh, oh
the other
the mad duke
the twisted king
the ice prince bound in pain
so precious and so wounded
each one loved as part of the whole
and again loved as whole in itself
such love so beautiful and strange
that any heart may contain it

(and yes, dear sister-lover
I know what you wish to ask:
what do I see, who do I see, in myself?
how many?
but that is for you to answer
those ones for you to love or leave
for they mean nothing to me
without you)

#1347

cruel as a virus
embedded deep as cancer
your infectious rage

Faithless specter, I have swallowed your blood and wept your tears yet still you ask for more, for flesh, for bone, for breath and heartbeat and dominion, and if I cannot give these things, if this mortal form’s too frail to contain a slain god’s rage, will your madness burn me to ashes from within until I too am naught but a restless spirit seeking a willing shell?

#1346

You call my name as if
I am the first sight of land
the last mountain to climb
the longed for oasis
calm center of the storm.

You gasp my name as if
I am standing on a ledge
staring into traffic
walking away from you
when I should be running toward.

You whisper my name as if
a decibel may shatter me
a breath may scatter me
or the wrong word simply
wake us from this daydream.

#1341

T’was the night before Christmas
The ground snowy soft
As Tanim sat drinking
Up in his loft
Alcohol bottles
Littered the bed
And nameless ghosts swirled
Through the man’s head
He felt so alone
And though he knew why
He cared not to live
But only to die
Vice after vice
He tried to find rest
To numb the hollow
Of the heart in his chest
When on the balcony
There arose such a clatter
Tanim sprang up
To see what was the matter
Away to the glass door
He flew like a flash
Tore open the curtains
And pulled down the sash
The moon on the breast
Of the new-fallen snow
Gave a lustre
To the grey world below
When what to his wondering
Eyes he beheld
A dagger-thin man
With silver hair, felled
Stumps on his shoulders
So jagged and red
Tanim opened the door
Knelt down and said
“Who are you, sir?
And what is your name?
Can you please tell me
From whence you came?”
“I only know death
And I only know pain”
The sorrow in his voice
The man could not feign
Before he could think
Tanim drew the man near
“Don’t be frightened, sir,
You’ll be safe here”
The man, with reluctance
Gave Tanim his trust
He was tired of running
And rest he must
The broken man leaned
Heavily on Tanim’s arm
Who moved very slowly
So as not to do harm
“Daren” he said
“Is how I am known
I have neither favor
Nor grace to loan
But I am indebted
To you and your own”
Tanim listened
To the man’s tale
Learned of his
Utter desire to fail
To leave the realm of angels
Where he was stuck
How he leapt from the sky
And landed with luck
On a loft in a city
Dreary and cold
But more stunning
Than his kin ever doled
Touched, Tanim leaned close
To give him a kiss
The fallen angel
Reared away with a hiss
“Don’t touch me!” he screamed
“You don’t know what I am!”
“You’re as shattered as me!”
“I don’t give a damn!”
Then from under his shirt
The angel drew steel
“Is this all a trick?
Are you even real?”
“Put down the knife
Come here and feel”
Daren stepped forward
To touch the man’s cheek
And found more
Than he intended to seek
The two men embraced
‘neath the moon’s silver light
And for the first time
Tanim’s Christmas
Was a beautiful night.

[ My wonderful girlfriend wrote this parody poem for me for Christmas. See how talented she is? Now go read her stuff! ]