Life is a familiar stranger
Coming over an almost endless field
But getting closer.
The trickiest part of saying “I love you”
Isn’t necessarily saying it.
Nor even adding an adverb like “Sincerely”
Which at the end of the day can be like throwing a pair of pants
Over a statement that has no balls.
Purpose lurks behind the pretension
Of well-read syntax
In the sacred syllable of a stutter
In the flicker of two eyes
And the rush of self-sacrifice in the name of no-name.
There are things that we miss when we’re not afraid to die.
Like an otter raising his silky head
Not breaking the water but fortifying it
Becoming it like one becomes a fashionable hat.
When the car is in the shop we must walk through the forest of darkness
With demons feasting on all sides until old bones remain
Yellow and weathered and withered.
But the sunset is sumptuous because of the dark
Offering the kind of light that evades the net of a camera lens
Because this is a one-time thing.
When it begins to rain
It runs in dark streams on the asphalt
And I run in wet jeans
And wet shoes
And wring my shirt out at the door.
And memories surface like otters raising their heads
Like two-dimensional mirrors that remain of gemstones
Like the mica I picked up off the driveway when I was younger and wondered at.
These kinds of gems consumed themselves in their crystallization
Like the flare of carbonizing fire
Or the flair of calcified butterflies.
But the mica memories remain like the afterimage of light
Like the gift of a short journey which ends out of breath
With a sodden shirt in hand.
The slam of the door beats my heart to the punch
And the thought of you makes a spark
Before I’ve had time to strike the flint.