Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Leaving of May

When a woman gets the blues, she hangs her little head and cries
But when a man gets the blues, he grabs a train and rides

--Jimmie Rodgers, "Train Whistle Blues"

May left for Bombay the day MCA passed away
(But she was a Wu-Tang woman herself)
She changed lovers every week
but her sheets still smelled so sweet;
at least for the while she made me smile

Though May had never feigned—
far too moral for that—
Jeff felt bereft the day May left
and he cried for MCA,
but I knew it was for May

So I patted Jeff’s back,
though I never knew his rack
‘till May came back in May

and, one more day, she took me back

Friday, April 14, 2017

The One Who Lets You Cry

One cloudy, coastal afternoon,
hiding deep within your dim apartment
(the smell of the ocean drifting through your open window)
you dug your sharp chin and crooked nose
into your tearful downpour upon my left shoulder.

It was not long before…
when the roles were reversed.

Resilient in tornado winds,
a strength sprouts from the fertile soil of your vulnerability.
So open to pain that you weather its resolve.

my brother’s children will ask me about the wondrous things I have experienced,
and I will tell them what you taught me:

"Life will push you into oceans deep
and will clear a path made of swamp.
So always keep your shoulder dry
for the one who also lets you cry.”

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Our touching is a Revolution

She lay her head naked on my chest,
which was her second favorite part of me
(other than my backside).

She thought about the world beyond my room
and its bloodhounds, trained and stupid, nipping at our heels.
Our touching is a Revolution, she whispered.
I wish it were not so, I responded.

I only felt her slide a few times
in the shadow hours she stayed before
she exited the bed.

Go back to sleep, Baby, she said as she dressed.

Then, as silent as the Infinite to the most ardent Dreamer,
she left.

That was our revolution: silent.

And it remains forever so.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Skin to Metal

I’ve had a knife pointed at me.
And an older girl groped me, unannounced,
when I was young enough to fantasize
but not old enough to understand.

I, too, have threatened with weapons and words,
and have forced my hands and lips onto lips and hips innumerable.

I tried to separate my-self from my…


Standing, skin to metal
(where I have been the skin
and I have been the metal)
(where some folks—not me—stand daily)


Pound my chest every morning and weep.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Coryphée Lover

I used to like to watch her walk.
It was more like gliding, or floating, than walking,
this dancing woman of mine.
We loved each other, in our own little ways, but we weren’t in Love.
Yet I sat on her couch, with the smell of Narnia’s spring in her room,
and her tight black jeans gripping her ballerina thighs
(she said she loved me in tank tops)
and I watched the beauty of her walk,
her heart, her mind.

I told my friend this, two years or so after said lover moved down south,
and my friend said she
would immediately fall for any
man who spoke that way about her.

Some months went by again, and another woman,
laying in bed, her arms around me,
(we were each other’s ponchos for two weeks around Christmas)
told me to be grateful.
“Grateful for the drug dens
you lost yourself in,” she said,
“and the reality that you no longer make your bed in hell.”

I sent my note of gratitude to my Coryphée Lover and
she sent one back and I smiled.
I never returned her message, for I loved her, this queer woman,
but was not in Love.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

If my only contribution

If my only contribution
to this blanket-wonder world
is an affirmation of love
scribbled hurriedly on a
bathroom wall...
Well, that is enough.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Death of a Lover (For Seamus)

Your wife is bright.
We converse, Hello, my name is, I’m from, I work at…
Yet, my soul turns
to your wife, kissing on my neck, slowly moving her hand down my back,
and lower, and lower, and lower, unzipping my pants,
her thick thighs pressed against my thick thighs, Oh Lord, I stifle my prayer
so I don’t wake the kids, My God, My God, My God! I rejoice.

Us, armwrapped, pleading for eternity before the children wake. We fall asleep,
if only for a few hours.
And wake, armwrapped.

Her work starts early so I cook the eggs and ham steak and pack a lunch to go.
I include a note. “Je t’aime,” it says.

We argue and reconcile every four months. We argue out of love.

Then her, holding my hand as I pass,
my children and grandchildren in the
next room, and me…
My life is mere seconds compared to eternity, in time yet in being.
I cannot speak.
I tell her with me eyes.
“Je t’aime,” they say. They can’t say it enough.
My speaking eyes close and she cries in Latin.

Time for home.

She holds your hand as you exit.
We will remember thy love more than wine.