False Escape

Morning brings a land forgotten

Wraith dreams of a salt sea millennia gone

The two-lane road stretches into sacred fog

Obscuring the forsaken desert and hinting of a clandestine coastline

Water beads on the windshield, lungs gasp at the curveball damp

Road signs peer suspicious through clouds in a sky brought low.

Yellow arms of dead brush become beachweed bent over dunes

Vertigo, as we are transplanted miles away from here

Not on the way to work. Not the same as yesterday.

The very air incites tumult, change, transmutation

Until the door closes, and the day descends sword-like.

Advertisements

Possessed and Bait

Possessed

Incandescent sparks against the liquid,
velvet black
Your silken, heavy smothering rope
Across my chest, bound up in tangles of my overgrown skin
The comfort making it hard to take a sip of the bitten air
You rub my foot gently
Underwater pulling me away from the stars
The steam of water slightly warmer than my skin
Obscures your blurred and reticent mouth
Are you afraid I’ll float to the brilliant sky
Taking the melting moon with me?
Unrelenting, you affect me harder.
Bait

Sweet scented honey, poisoned sickle
A trickle
Down breasts as white as milk, as dry as bone
A smile.
Hair flows like water, water flows between the hills
A moan
Let go, take a breath, feel the pulse under the skin
A thanks.
Somewhere beneath the stone
Cracks splinter outward, a shell overturns
Crab-walking toward the light
Peeling, upheaval, against the fear.
Comfort breeds a woman, a lover.
Scorn waits in the corner wanting blood.
Scales, balanced silently.
(both published in online literary magazine ginosko, 2008)

Progression of Love

At first it was a word, a sparking stroke, the incense of your hair

Now it takes more, a bottomless kiss, your hands rough on my skin

I pray that in 30 years it doesn’t take my heart, or yours.

I do not miss the lost nights alone, most of the time.

But the constant hum of daily life, of chores, of monochrome love…

It takes more, these days.

Excerpt from “Freedom From Arms”

Freedom from Arms

 

There are sixteen perfect utensils in the brushed stainless steel cylindrical utensil holder on the counter of the faded green kitchen. Two are in the dishwasher, covered with the messiest, holiest breakfast Alex has ever eaten. Egg yolks grace the spatula, and on the salad tongs rests thick bacon grease. He had made it all by hand, gently, watching her face across the peeling Formica countertop as she didn’t help him do anything. He had fed her from his fingers, marveling as her small white teeth gently avoided biting him, as her pink tongue wrapped around his index finger, as she decadently sucked the food from his skin. And he marveled that that was enough for him, that her touch lit him from the inside like a prurient Christmas tree, that his whole body responded to her slightest every move. She was not of his world. She was of the better world. The real world that he had, until now, barely glimpsed in other peoples’ lives.

 

Alex had had other women. A lot of women, really, for a slightly geeky Asian guy with soft biceps and his only deep love a hard-on for comic books. His friends were jealous, glaring at him from behind thick plate-glass goggles forced upon their feeble bodies by hours of World of Warcraft, from a place where they had never had a woman aside from the beautifully-crafted avatars of the other hidden, sluggish people blinking at their computer screens from some unknown physical distance. They were jealous, but it didn’t bother him because the women he had had meant nothing to him in the overall picture of what passed for his life. His life was a long block of text, running on to the next page, black and white, simple and nondescript. All the facts were there with no embellishments. He did not feel accomplishment for his sexual conquests, so in his mind there was nothing to be jealous of. Until Emily. Suddenly Emily. One moment he was a well-balanced single man, enjoying his life and his freedom, and in another instant he was a goner. Completely, totally given over to this little elvin queen with her dark, cropped hair that made her look as if she were wearing a crown of feathers.

 

He had picked her up mid-stride, his heart pounding as he heard the footsteps fading behind them down the alley. He knew he should be frightened, but even the thought of fear was somewhere else. Fear hid behind the realization–as his arms wrapped completely around her to meet on the nether side of her–that she felt if she were not there, or simply a part of him. Those two disparate things felt the same, and he was not surprised. He hugged her close under his chin, surreptitiously sliding his arms up and down her sides as he ran, and feeling the completeness of her, the space without her arms in it clean and whole in its absence. There was no wasted space with her. She wrapped her childlike legs around him and he watched the freedom light her face as she smiled in his arms. She panted with him as he ran, the fierce joy blazing from her in a beacon and lighting their path ahead.