When the Lights Go Out



When the lights go out, 
will it be like all those nights 
I spent in the dark wondering? 
Only not wondering anymore?
When all is revealed, 
will it not have been worth 
my asking over all these years? 
Though I finally guessed the answer.

When the time comes, will you 
mourn the days, the hours, the minutes
we could have, probably should have?
Don’t answer that until then.
When I’m not there to reply, 
will you ask yourself why you couldn't answer 
the question never asked?
Probably as afraid of it as I was.

And when the words finally stop,
will anyone but you notice the echo 
in the empty spaces between the lines?
It was the wonder, the revelation,
the answer, the syllables surpassing 
all others when the sun shone upon us,
the candle would dim and flicker between us… 

       and the lights finally went out for good 
                                    before we were ready.

Escape Velocity



This morning, I found myself 
standing atop that old hill, 
that long expanse of the Sisters’ yard 
between me and something 
they never offered. 
The old penguins would give me prayers 
and this scar where my index finger 
made a run for it. While I never did.
		<Big inhale>

I’m soaring down the hill now, 
shadowy trees behind me, 
as I race gravity toward 
the flat-world surety of the Faithful. 
My youthful stride’s so long 
I feel I’m flying down 
as I fall up, youthfully sure 
my other foot will beat my face 
in the race to the ground.

And in this competition between 
the Devil and the details of a life 
spent looking uphill, I think 
I may have reached that place, 
where you stand, ready to catch me 
before I pass by, if I’m lucky enough 
to keep one foot in the present, 
while the other hides somewhere 
between the past and future.

My heart pounds. Lungs beg. We reach out.
I open my eyes as I touch the window, 
realizing  haven’t made it. 
I fill my lungs again 
with possibility, 
close my eyes and wonder 
what it would finally take 
to reach escape velocity. 
Just once.

Wishes Like Castles in the Air



Wishes are the foundation of my life,
so many, like grains of sand on a beach.
The truth of this story cuts like a knife,
they never came true, ever out of reach.

Anything you build on a bed of sand
will always topple in the wind or surf.
Don’t matter if your life's wish-castle’s grand,
it’ll fall as if built on clouds above earth.

So I stopped wishing when you went away,
and my sturdy life became earthbound.
I never figured you’d be back one day,
but now here you are and here’s what I found.

Those wishes like sand made by younger me
didn’t really fit when I got older.
Except this one that's mostly come true, you see --
the wish-castle I built on this boulder.