In So Far

                   Think: engross. Daydreams of sin?
                 blood overdose. Want I should go?
               extra close. Escape options are?
             from over. First word of an avatar.
         Same breath. Not gradable. As designed.
         I found all three stones you left behind.

                                   [posted for Sara as of date written]

Moonlight Soul Shopper

   Midnight moonlight sliced through window boards
   into the river tavern like a hot moist tease.
   Does casual choice bring its own rewards
   or does chance make up its own penalties?
   Straight in she burst as though everything they'd ever sinned,
   violent as wildfire, as loose turned open as a hard winter wind
   losing any and all controls,
   like men grasping at their beers for any pleasure within range,
   like women wrapped at their poles.
   She asked "Who here wants what you're wanting most to exchange?
   I've come here shopping for souls."

   For each customer a uniquely crafted flirt,
   for each piece of soul a close fitting bait.
   Tonight only pleasure, no one gets hurt,
   nothing to hold back, no need to wait.
   Her shopping filled the shot glass to every risqué toast,
   her trade in kind proving you ever only sacrifice most
   what you most already lack.
   Each ran up the tab no thought to what might get owed
   when the glitter had faded black,
   lining up rounds on the house years on down the road
   on the odd chance she'd be back.

   Left last sat a stranger only passing through —
   "No thanks," he resisted, "my soul's all I'm not.
   My heart's already stolen by every love I knew.
   I lost my family wealth, my real name I forgot.
   My head's gone lost the instant this crazy journey commenced.
   Forgive me but no, my soul's all I've left going up against
   what's left of who I am.
   Neither magic nor science nor darkest art
   will get to me, sweet ma'am.
   I'll not shop my soul, it's the only part
   for which I give a damn."

   "Your name I will put on every man's tongue.
   The most precious riches'll be yours to own.
   Your heart, your love will go back to young.
   Your mind'll be the greatest minds've known.
   Don't decide between, you're not forced to choose
   one or the other, take them all, what's to lose
   that you wouldn't want to?"
   Her lips were the wheel, her eyes the dice,
   her body the devil's due
   doubled down as the stranger named his price,
   "The cost of my soul is you."
   As darkness turned away flew our buyer's kiss,
   as darkness turned back lay our seller's loss,
   at morning's first light came a lover to miss
   and a silence with no song to make it across.
   The hole left in moonsetting fog where she'd taken off
   felt so real, he could feel her word calling back soft, soft
   as away his own word passed.
   And when the music driven through forgotten dreaming stopped
   in the shadow he now cast
   was when he knew his soul was not the first she'd shopped
   nor was it to've been her last.


Enough Then

Blue sun blinding my waking eye
turning me away from the kiss
I have been warned to avoid,
I had longed to wake to hold.
Take me back home, please.
I have been too long out across.

I won't want to change my mind.
Some loves want leaving behind.

Black snow stinging my open face
turning me back from the door
I have been threatened against,
I had longed to open since.
Take me back home, please.
I have been too long off here.

[posted for Sara
as of date written



It hurts. 

I don't need you
to tell me. 

I know
the word
for it. 

I know my word for it. 
I regret learning it from you. 
I regret repeating it out loud. 
I regret coming back to it. 
It is my fault.
I made it my word. 
Now I hurt. 

I don't need 
you to tell me. 

It will hurt
even worse. 

It will hurt even worse. 
It will hurt worse than childbirth. 
It will hurt worse than growing old. 
It will hurt worse than death
after death after death. 

I know the word for it. 

It will hurt worse than that. 
It won't stop hurting. 
It can't stop hurting. 
It will hurt and hurt and hurt
and it will hurt you 
and it will hurt him
and it will hurt me even worse. 

It is my fault.
I made it my word. 

Now I hurt. 


Won’t Be Long

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I hurt.  I can't help but show it.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀He knows it.
⠀⠀⠀⠀He's so sad.  I tell him don't be.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀It won't be
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀that tragic.  It won't be wrong,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀won't belong
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀to what we've had.  Be strong,
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I tell him, don't think of it as going dead, not
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀when we've still so much future ahead, yet
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀he knows it won't be long.
                                   [posted for Sara as of date written]


       How nice! They'll take my eyes
           to help some stranger see as bad
       as my squint's had to make out. 
       Nothing else I've got's considered good
           enough to pass along. And by the time
       they realize their mistake, I'll be long gone,
       out of even second sight. They'll see
           what I've known all along, how I'll look
       no better than the worst you'll let me be. 
                                   [posted for Sara as of date written]

Straight up ahead

Straight up ahead, look for me.
    You can't possibly miss.
I'll stand where you know I'd be.       
                            [posted for Sara as of date written]

As Composed

As composed as I will remember
myself to have been, my glass eyes
staring straight up past their light
far into the timeless reaching skies,
who will know the fury of my flight?

As composed as I will expect
my face to have been, my stiff lips
frozen on their final vow, their warm
outlasting a breathless moon's eclipse,
who will feel my vision's frenzied form?

As composed as I will cast
my will to have been, my dying touch
relaxing its hold on their white sheets
to spill ink behind me, a poem as such,
who will break the spell my word completes?       
                            [posted for Sara as of date written]


Go on ahead—
we'll cross again some future moon. 
Go on ahead;
don't make me leave you first instead
before you leave me. Opportune
occasion cuts us quick too soon.
Go on ahead. 

I'll be there soon,
I promise.  Long before we're dead,
I'll be there.  Soon
this dark will fall.  This coming June
or May or April, words we said
will speak to us anew.  Ahead!—
I'll be there soon.
                            [posted for Sara as of date written]

formal attire

short of breath

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