Here you are right at my feet
you’re unassuming solid sweet
You fit so tight and so complete
That I forget the void beneath

From where I stand I can’t quite seem
to get a glimpse of  underneath
the better then, to paint you with
an easel to support my myth

You lay there still but still I slip
You look like someplace I could trip
We met and then I lost my grip
Look out below- manhole- I flip.

I’d like to take your picture  and then put it in a frame
I’ll like to show my mother and imagine our last name
I’ll smooth out all your edges like a giant lucky dime.
you’re nice in two dimensions and I’d like to make you mine

Here you are right at my feet
you’re unassuming solid sweet
You fit so tight and so complete
that I forget the void beneath-
oh what is the unknown degree
to which you twist your depths to reach?
what sewer line or power cord
are you designed to feed the world?

You make me nervous
shiny surface hidden purpose
Look out below. Manhole. I flip.

How to Get There

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Get in your car. Wait for it to warm up, like he would do.

When your impatience catches up to you, 20 seconds later, put the gear in drive and head onto the highway, north. Pass the 7-mile and 8-mile and 11-mile exits and the accompanying suburbs thereafter. Don’t check your phone or pick at your hair or worry about how long it will take. Listen to public radio and hear what they have to say, or put on the same CD that’s been in your console for two years and sing along to Ella Fitzgerald, or turn everything off altogether and see what your brain turns the silence into. Pass the outlet malls and fast food signs and let the hotheads of the leftmost lane pass you. Think about what you will do when you arrive.

Turn off the highway and take a right. Pass the final gasp of the commercial uniformity and pass the turn-off for the landfill/skihill and pass the Springfield Inn and the empty restaurant with the baldly desperate sign that says “Eat Here or We’ll Both Starve!” Take a right again. Drive down the one-lane road beyond the mustard yellow house and the fake pond and the lonely-seeming houses on what some living memories knew as farmland. Take a left. Watch out for the pothole and go down the final stretch, maybe sneak a look at yourself in the rearview mirror and decide what song you want to end your drive on. Right where the road splits, don’t take either fork but a hard left up a dirt road that is actually a driveway. Curve up past houses that are almost-but-not-quite it and park your car at the gate by the 60-foot pine-tree. Get your bags out of your car, straddle-step over the fence– careful not to rip your pants– and walk the path in the snow to the front door that you have always felt comfortable letting yourself into without knocking.

There he is.

He may patiently wait while you take off your shoes and greet the dogs and set down your things. He may listen as you comment on his beard or lack of beard or work coveralls or t-shirt– in this weather? Or he may stride past the frenzied pets to your watchful side and hold you so long and so sweet that you almost cry even though you’re not sure why.

You made it. Here is this man, tucked away in the woods even though they said all the good ones were taken. Here he is and you have found him. Let him make you coffee and put some logs on the fire. Let him spread some of his peace onto your heart and, for god’s sake if you’re smart, let him love you.

Suspended Disbelief


One night along a shallow lake
there lay a campsite, pitched and staked,
logs for a fire stacked beside
in silence under dusky skies.

None knows yet how this scene shall play-
with plans abandoned, hopes dismayed?
They may appear only to quit,
no hammocks swayed nor matches lit.

Perhaps they will not come at all–
cold hearts and feet don’t wander far–
his loving gesture left unseen
by all but deer and forest green.

But down the trail they did arrive
and all his hopes were realized
for she was beaming at the scene
this camp a castle, she, the queen.

They made their picnic on the ground
to serenade of fire’s sound
small talk and smiles between each bite
soft gazes in the shadow light.

The hammock, in its frameless form
would hold them close and keep them warm
and so, into the soft cocoon
with wine in hand, to talk and spoon.

Within the safety of the dark
they spoke the truth of mind and heart:
Why is it that we did not last?
Can future differ from the past?

So levitated, they divined
that love still held their hearts entwined
despite the scar of damage done,
they held the space and did not run.

Once cups were emptied, burdens spent
he did take her to the tent,
and there within their private cave
he kissed her until, down she laid.

From soft caresses, breath arose
they merged into divine repose
as sweetness mounted, pleasure broke
until each speechless word was spoke.

Sometime between the dawn and night
she left the tent to greet first light
her dewy mind became perplexed
for they had not resolved “what’s next?”

Not yet awake, no more asleep–
there charm can fade and doubt can creep.
What really happened ‘tween the oaks?
No dues were paid, no vows were spoke.

But there among the beaver dams
there was no need for weighty plans
she lay back down mind clear, heart bare,
so to resume the dream they shared.


IMG_3435How many times
can we bend till we break?
How much strain can you take?
What’s your tensile strength?

Hold me, and then
Like a kite with no weight
Pull the line nice and straight
Out of sight into space.

If I pluck the string
Will it vibe and erate?
Will it snap in my face?
What is this song’s fate?


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I wondered if the blood would attract the shark.
But even as I watched him through my mask,
even as I sensed his concentrated raw power that could be unleashed at any moment,
even when he turned so that he was
not just Swimming but Swimming Toward Me
my period had not yet come.

How odd that neither silent predator nor existential threat
made me worry as I should.
I should have felt the timeless anxious flush (that men can only know secondhand)
of near certainty that I am
not just Late but Late for a Reason
and the burden will be mine to carry.

Oh and the timing couldn’t be worse because, for once,
I have opened my cautious aching heart to someone (else).
Someone who, because he is a real man and a good one,
would never put me in this position:
alone, squatting over a Mexican pregnancy test,
considering impossible possibilities.

But here I am, yet strangely calm because,
no matter if the love lasts,
or the blood flows,
or the line forms,
in this moment I am loved and have loved.

And that truth,
like a breath of fresh air 60 feet underwater,
fills me with an unreasonable peace
in the face of that
mortal, lurking,
ancient, biting

when to say

fullsizerender-5When do you say “I love you” to someone for the very first time?

You shouldn’t say it the first time you think it,
because the love may change,
and even if it doesn’t, he may not be ready to hear it.

You shouldn’t hold it for forever in your heart,
because the words are a gift,
and if the love is true, it’s one that’s meant to be given.

There are sunsets and anniversaries and quiet mornings and fits of passion–
all worthy contenders in the answer to this question–
but where and how it is not the most important part.

So say it when the words spill out,
when not saying it is impossible,
when it is almost an act of selfish relief.

Say it when the love is so strong that you don’t know what to do about it,
and you have to share it.
So that it becomes yours to bear, together.