All Those Nights

There were all those nights 
where I wish I could save you, 
even when you didn’t need 
to be saved.
And there were all those nights 
where I wished you’d save me 
when 2:00 AM wasn’t the only 
darkness in which I lay.
All those nights seemed endless 
when I tossed and moaned for worry 
you didn’t need my saving.
Then came all those nights when 
I didn’t know if I could be 
saved anymore.
I try forgetting all those nights
when you said you’d never
speak to me again.
I recall all those nights when 
we talked until morning, each in 
our own heads and own beds.
And then came that morning
when we awakened to a truth
we never saw in all that dark.
We didn’t need to save each other.
We just needed admitting 
each other's love.

Always Front and Center, Or Just To the Right

You could see it in his eyes, 
always focused on what wasn’t there.
But she was.
He was thinking about her,
again, even though 
all the voices, even hers, 
told him not to.
“I need to think about her 
as often as I can,” he told
all those dissenting voices.

If he didn’t keep her 
focused in his thoughts, 
he feared he might one day forget her, 
misplace her, lose her, 
as many old men might.
So that’s where she stayed, 
front and center - sometimes 
just to the right - as he focused 
on what was important. If not 
in this life, he'd say to himself alone, 
for sure in their next.

Beating the Beast

The beast returned to me last night 
after I’d held him off for so long.
It’s not that we had a drag out fight,
but the pain he applied was quite strong.

We’ve been intimate enemies since I was a kid
and beasts came in a storybook’s rhyme.
But that was when under my bed he hid
and now he’s after me all the time.

I recognized him, his arm on your shoulder,
his evil grin said, “Look what I’ve got.”
Beast knows how to hurt me, now that I'm older,
and to show me he's got you hurts a lot.

His heavy arm bowed your back like a cross,
while his claws again went for my spine.
The beast loves meting out pain just because,
but we’ve known this pain since we were nine.

I’ll lift his arm, while you slip away, thus,
to pry his sharp claws from my skin.
The beast may think he’s stronger than us,
but, together, we’re stronger than sin.

So that's how the beast, his reign will fall,
at least this time, this sadness, this attack.
Should he return, we're as close as a call,
'cause we'll always have each other's back.

Picking Up Our Shattered Pieces

The sound it makes when a heart breaks 
is something akin to crying.
Strange how our hearts so often broke 
in harmony without trying.
The pieces lay in disarray, 
your flat scatter strewn next to mine.
We’d each drop to collect our own, 
but in our haste some would combine.
With a paste of dust, tears and spit 
we rebuilt our own shattered hearts.
Little did we know it each time, 
we’d grabbed some of the other’s parts.
I didn’t know how delicate 
a woman’s loving heart can be.
I treasure these pieces of yours
more than the ones God’s given me.
I’d gladly give them back to you 
if again our hearts are broken.
But I’ll keep this one, you keep that, 
as a token of love unspoken.

This one doesn't feel quite done. Maybe it's the title. What would you call this one? 

My Only Other

This page belongs to you,
I ceded it just now.
I’d give more than this, too,
if you simply told me how.

But this life is only
one of many we’ve shared.
Together or lonely, 
inevitably paired.

And in each you loved me,
and I loved you, as well.
At times t’was hard to see,
others clear as a bell.

Through each and ev’ry life,
if another’s love held sway,
we’d work through joy or strife
and always find a way…

our souls together might run,
even if there was another.
If you're not my only one,
you've been my only other.

Not Swept Away

I remember the first time
I lost my heart, thus, swept overboard
by a wave I wasn’t expecting.
I remember how I lost my mind
when it dove after my heart.
I remember how my soul stood
by the rail and watched them
disappear, only to bob up again,
never once calling for help.
I recall soul casting its net
and hauling heart and mind
back from the misadventure
for which they knew not whether
to sink or swim.
The other day, heart and mind
pushed soul into the surf as
the wave they’ve waited for
rolled ashore. Then they dove in.
That’s all three swimming out there,
all in, not a storm in sight.

The Next First Time

Because it’s been awhile,
here’s how our next first time might go:
I will take your hand, palm-up,
and circle my fingertips on yours,
feeling for the corduroy stutter
of your unique whorls and ridges,
since I want to know all about you.

From there I would slide my fingers
along the arroyos of your palms,
disembarking at your wrists.
That’s where I would flip over
our forearms to softly introduce 
those little hairs to one another, 
because it’s been too long.

At the bend in your arm, the backs
of my fingers would climb up
to your shoulders and from there
traverse across to your neck, 
where they’d hold position 
until my temple rests against yours.

Will you feel my pulse as I'll feel 
the beat of your heart sharing 
the warmth we’ve needed so long? 
I'll wait for the flutter of your eyelashes 
against my cheek. And if your tears 
might fall, I'll catch them there as if my own.

When it’s time for me to 
step away, my hands will follow 
that same route back. But not home. 
Home is where our souls are joined, 
whether near or far, as they reach
to touch feelings we thought lost,
but have returned, as we always do.

As I Live and Breathe

Your name is the first word 
I write each day, 
though not in black on white.
No, it’s the clear blank-page
morning air upon which 
I sigh in deep blue desire.
Your name is the final word 
of my daily opus before
my eyes close in sleepy
punctuation. I’ve written 
thousands of such pages 
over the years, 
tossing hundreds away, 
sharing too many, 
keeping some hidden 
beneath my pillow.
And nobody knew but me, 
and few would care unless
they perused them through
your eyes. I know you’d prefer 
not to see your name sighed 
between the lines upon 
the morning air or evening breeze. 
But a man’s got to breathe.

Echoes and Reflection

They say eventually it fades some, 
like scars. And some of mine have. 
But others are so deep and hard to ignore, 
when you wear them on your sleeve 
or see them on your face every time 
you study your reflection in the glass. 

And everywhere you reach for help, 
there it is on your arm. And when you 
try to find the world outside yourself
and look out the window, your eyes 
kind of glaze and there you are, 
staring back behind those scars that 
look for all the world like prison bars. 

So we look deep into each other’s eyes 
for some kind of solace, since we understand 
some of one another's pain. But all we see 
in those glistening dark irises and 
bottomless black pupils is the mirrored
image of our own tearful torment. 

I suppose all we’ve left is to close 
our eyes and hold one another close.
My arms hidden behind your back, 
your face buried into my shoulder and
two hearts whispering rhymes in time
to a song they thought they’d forgotten. 


When we stop and look at one another, 
even when we’re not in each other’s presence,
I love the picture light reflects back to me.
If it’s not beauty, it is beautiful. So beautiful.
I see scars, but they help draw the picture.
I see dark eyes that still run with tears,
even now when our lives - past and present -
should’ve run them dry. So I cry. Again.
Because here we are, nesting together where
we offer one another no conditions other than
acceptance. I accept your scars and tears 
and joys because they’re yours…as you accept mine. 
Mine, yours, ours, mirrored souls illuminated by 
something unexplainable but so easily understood.