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Posts Tagged ‘intimacy’

One Translation

tide of your breath
the only poem
I need

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The Long Marriage




Perhaps I know you best in the dark—
that nightly shrine
where my belly meets your spine,
where the bend of my knees
meets the bend of your knees,
where my warmth meets your warmth,
the night a vase
in which we place
the stems of our bodies,
in which I know myself
through touch.
And nothing must be said
and nothing must be done
except to meet the long familiar flesh,
this honoring of nakedness.

Perhaps I know you best in the dark—
these lightless hours when
we sit in the midst of brokenness
and my hand finds your hand,
and my silence finds your silence,
my loss finds your loss,
and together, somehow,
we find peace.
And nothing can be said.
And nothing can be done
to change the past.
We meet in the these darkened hours,
with nothing but our willingness
to meet these darkened hours,
these hours we would have pushed away,
these hours that bring us closer to each other.







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            with a nod to Basho
 
 
my teenage girl
slips her hand into mine—
from the hand, I learn about hands

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The Sublime




In the middle of the night
in a tiny well-lit kitchen
in the middle of a city
known for violence,
my father spent hours
combing my hair
looking for nits,
meticulously pulling through
the toxic shampoo.
The hours passed
with tenderness.
I was grateful then,
but could not know
how sweetly I would come to recall
his patient hands, his quiet devotion,
his exhaustion, my exhaustion,
could not know how
years later I would treasure
those dark hours
when the sirens
blared through the window glass
and hour after hour
came to pass.

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Driving over Dallas Divide
I thought how not all streams
are destined to come together—
at least not for a long, long time.
Imagine, two snowflakes landed
side by side atop the Divide. Come spring,
one might flow west to the San Miguel,
the other east to the Uncompaghre.
It would be over a hundred miles
of flowing through beaver dams
and irrigation ditches, rapids
and eddies, before the waters
could meet again.
And so it is tonight, I feel a rush
of gratefulness that however
it happened, you and I have somehow
managed to be moving right now through
these landscapes of change together.
Think of all of the paths
that could have pulled us apart.
And yet here we are, you and I,
moving across and around obstacles,
you and I traveling together
through everything the world
has thrown at us, you and I.
diverging and coming back together,
two bodies, many possible paths
one water.

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Intimacy

Once I crossed a hanging bridge.

where the planks were missing,

I could see muddy water roiling below—

and the planks that were present

were rotten. That’s the nature

of bridges. Eventually, they fall apart.

Like this one between you and me.

And the nature of love? To rebuild.

And when that fails, because

even the best tools don’t work well

in unskilled hands, that’s the time

to know when to quit trying to fix,

to jump in the swells and swim.

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A piano is just

some wood and strings

until it’s touched—

and then it sings.

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Once Upon

Only a moment, I thought,
just a moment of pulling your breath

into mine would buoy me
through whole oceans of days,

days I would otherwise drown in
save for a single shared moment.

But here I am, beneath the surface,
near out of air, gasping, longing for

hours, no, days, no, whole epochs of closeness
with no sense of starting or ending.

How soon a woman wants more.
I try to fill my pockets with things

that float—the clean scent of spring
and the song of whatever bird that is

outside the window. I try to find
my own lightness I have found before.

I tell myself, this is only a story,
as I sink further down, as the blue deepens.

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What Doesn’t Change

The wind
transfers sand
and the breeze
snatches kites
and the squalls
displace leaves
and the gusts
topple signs,
and forever
yes, even
after I’m dust,
your breath
laced
into mine.

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One Beat

Take
it off.
The hat.
The jeans.
The shoes.
The shirt.
The missing
rings.
Take off
the watch.
Let down
the hair.
Remove
the public
sparkle
from
the eyes.
Let slip
the beaded
shawl
of shoulds,
the tired
scarves
of worry.
Lonesome
glove
of shame
that still
remains,
thin gloss
of why,
let’s
lose them.
Almost
naked
now my
love, please
touch me
slow
before
we put
it all
back
on.

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