Restore Me to You

Restore me to you,

to how you used to be,

to who you were before.

I don’t like this closing

you’ve imposed

on us.

Little polite smiles

of inattention,

and holding me

as if

you’d just as soon let me go.

Your neck stiffens when I move

to kiss you.

Sometimes you even turn your back,

pretending not to see.

If you are in the process

of cauterizing your love for me,

give me the honesty directly,

instead of the random hints

that hit and hurt like boxers’ jabs.

I will not beg for love from a coward.

Restore me back to us,

when the joy and love in your eyes

at seeing me reflected my own for you.

Restore me to when

we danced and traveled,

played and loved,

and only warred over chess boards,

and sometimes puzzles.

Restore me to when

you diffused and disarmed my temper

with a witty comeback that made us both laugh.

Restore me, or leave the workshop

of our love,

and let it be unfinished.

I’d rather not leave first,

but I’m falling out of love

right behind you.

I can lay my feelings down,

set my affection aside,

and rather you break my heart

than play with it.

Glimmer

Time passed, love lost.

Love lost, time past.

And so I ask you

now…

Is there a

glimmer

of anything

that once brought a smile,

however small and fleeting,

to your lips?

I felt the cold

inside your shadow

when you turned your back

to leave.

Is there an echo

in your ear

of my heartbeat

where you laid your head

on my chest

and whispered of your love?

Do you now say, in your

calculated callousness,

that not only should we have never been,

but you will act as if we never were?

If my heart was anything to harm you,

it was a kindling you set afire.

You hardened it to break off all vestiges

of love to remake, and rearm yourself

into the bomb you are,

laying waste to those who would dare embrace you.

My own eyes glimmer now,

but whether from the hot rage

or bottomless sadness,

I know not.

Only let the crows come,

and take these wretched eyes,

feasting on the memories of you.

Then I will stumble off

to finish forgetting you,

in the

glimmering

blackness of perpetual night.

Small Comforts

Do you yet, even now,

find warmth in the rays of a

persimmon colored sunset?

Do you yet, even now,

find the smoke of your pipe

laden with wisdom, laughter,

and gentle gibes from your companions?

Do you yet, even now,

find hope in a blossom that insists

on growing

through the snow?

Do you yet, even now, hope for love,

or see it from this side as a treasure for

others to find?

Do you yet, even now,

give wan smiles at worn memories

when it rains?

Do you yet, even now,

take small comfort

standing just outside

the circle of light?

To be seen as a shadow

that wants to burn bright.

Take small comfort then,

that those who pass by you

in the middle of the night

do not see you at all.

I Don’t Know What She Did or Said…

I don’t know what she did or said

to make me love her…

Perhaps it was the stacking of

small kindnesses

she did for me.

Or the way she managed to hold my attention

when she looked at me and told me her stories.

Or the sharp wit that made me laugh with her.

Or the day she casually touched my shoulder,

looking down at my screen to see what I would do.

But all I did was like the feel of her hand there.

Or the day I overheard her say she thought I was handsome.

Or the day she smiled at me as she passed and said it to me.

Or the day we had dinner, and I kissed her twice,

and she let me. Twice.

I don’t know what she did or said…

Baby Sees the Teddy Bear

In the crib, baby sees the teddy bear

and smiles.

Baby smells the powders and potions,

feel the soft hands,

hears the songs of the mobile,

sees the soft light,

and feels the warm hope,

laughs at the tickling fingers,

and sees love in his parents’ eyes.

On his deathbed,

grandpa sees the teddy bear.

And then he sees the tubes and machines,

smells the alcohol and disinfectant,

feels the soft tug of bandages,

hears the beeps of the monitors

and sees the indicator lights.

He feels the focused shifting of the painkillers,

and laughs at the fading memories,

seeing the good-bye in his legacy’s eyes.

He takes the bear his grandson gives,

and holds it to his wet cheek,

and smiles.

The Vale of Love

She took him to a quiet place

so beautiful to see.

A place of fragrant flowers,

cool green grass

and fruitful tree.

“Now pledge your love to me,” she said

“And I will pledge to you.”

“I cannot pledge,” he answered

“for my love would prove untrue.”

“What jest is this?” she asked in rage,

her brow now stern and cross.

“I love another, fool. Now go! Begone and take the loss.”

The dagger point just broke his skin.

“The only loss is life, for when we loved

you pledged your heart and promised me to wife.”

“I care not if you love me now.

I will not be a fool, so you will be my husband

til your dotage when you drool.”

He fought her for his lady love,

fought long and hard and rough.

They both were bruised and bloody,

and the scarred skin would get tough.

But in the end, she held his heart

cupped in her broken hands,

and walked and walked and walked with it

to far and distant lands.

And somewhere in the Vail of Love

a heartless man does lie.

For legend says the Vail of Hearts

is where loves go to die.

Lovers Quarrels

I see the wall you start to build,

so I build mine.

I see anger and pain in your eyes,

and so I fill my own,

but yours leaks down your face,

and mine does not,

for I am the better warrior.

And whereas your pain is fresh and new,

whenever inflicted,

my wounds have long scarred over,

and the pain within is dulled beyond sensing.

You quickly clutch your handful of quarrels,

and I slowly gather mine,

and we dip them in the poisons

of our tongues, and memories,

place them in our quivers of rage,

and loose.

They are barbed and painful

these quarrels,

meant to shatter and break,

meant to defeat the love that yet might

burn in the heart,

and smother it.

We try our best to find new flesh to pierce,

but we have only hit the old marks again,

rebuilt the chasm, and destroyed the bridge.

The peace of our home is in pieces.

The security of our love is set aflame.

The silence of our emotions is a dry wind.

And the quarrels are exhausted.

We retreat within the walls,

and pull them out, one by one, ruminating over each,

wondering why we still share the same space,

and little else.

It is a war we’ll never win,

a victory denied,

a constant obstacle of overcoming,

frenetically undermined.

So, my former darling,

we raise our white flags

into the light of a setting sun,

as you go your way,

and I go mine.

Sidewalk Sanity

The pulse of the pavement,

the beat of the street,

the big city’s rhythm,

the rhythm of feet.

The flow of the traffic,

the heat of the air,

charged with high energy,

love, hope, and care.

The current of bodies

at high tide and ebb,

caught up in the music’s

incredible web.

The calm of the evening,

the settling down,

the balm of the neon lights

painting the town.

And candlelit dinners,

and laughter in bars,

and you and me,

intimate under the stars.

Tomorrow is Saturday.

Give it my best.

We’ll break from the rhythm

and stay in, and rest.

The warmth of your body’s

my blanket to keep.

You’re loved and protected,

and so am I.

Sleep.

I Want to Call You Beautiful

I want to call you beautiful.

I see the question in your eyes, like slow moving water

under thick ice,

just beneath the surface.

I cautiously tap the word with my mind, and it tumbles down

onto my tongue, waiting for me to say.

No idea as to how you’d react, what you think,

or what you will say

when I give the word to you.

I swallow it, leaving it unsaid, and stash it

with the thousand other times I wish I didn’t.

And whatever tears you might cry,

and whatever else may flutter your heart

if I did,

are trapped again in the the ice that returns

to your gaze.

Are we mad at my silence, or relieved?

I do know the question in your eyes will resurface,

and I might even be ready, at last.

I want to call you beautiful before

the moment

and me and you

have past.

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