Boardwalk

I wonder what its like, real adults, vacations,
sandy shores, 401 k’s, the land of more,
and undecidely bored.
A tired statement on the weariest of souls.

I wonder what it’s like.

Walked along a hazy skyline where carousel’s spin, ice cream melting on beach worn skin,
dripping from your chin
and the zeal of youth for everyone to entertain.
35 years, when I was no longer “sane”
or normal, never to return again.
Strippers bleeding wallets, in a blur,
lasting memories,
each more surreal than the one before.

I wonder what its like to be human like you,
I want that too.

Regal me with tales when the world was yours
when I grew tired of this land of yore
the waves grew distant, the beach, the shore,
never knowing what adulthood had in store.

I wonder what it’s like to be human like you,

I want that too.

Someday soon.

Picture

Saw a photograph of you yesterday,

not sure we’re the same

I’m happy for you anyway.

Remember that time on the rocks, those moments on the beach, that single afternoon and the stars when the world went on snooze,
simply stopped being, like you and me?

The longest sigh, stretching from here to the moon.
Space rocks awaiting carved initals.
Lost underneath a giving tree.
Together in hidden view, a secret no one else could see.

I saw your photo and I knew.

Life moves, the stillness holds onto the tepid heart.

Each pulse broken in pixels and feigned happiness.

Your pic for someone else to adore,
Whoever that may be.
Saw you in a photograph and my small world reappeared.

Moment in time, dragging a curl into a smile.

Father/Mother

Difficult seeing you now, not as you were.

Once, parading me on the riding mower,

life made simple, undaunted.

Singing out of key, the world—my back yard, spinning infinitely.

How strange to see you now. Feeling the weight of each passing hour.

Your strength governing an unappreciated job, driving me around town.

The long ride home, college kid, so scared of letting you down.

I had to raise my own children, to appreciate what I had.

Fast-forward 25 years, flashbacks and soundbites of you and dad.

Patchwork memories accumulate in story books, read aloud.

Do you know how much I love you?

If it only occurred to me.

The impermanence of all this.

I will not forget so easily.

Father stoic, mother heroic—fighting the absence of youth.

Loving their son persistently, they only way they knew.

 

Woodland Spring

Crying in the woodland sprawl,
there’s no time for me
to watch you die Mom-Maw.
Your frame so small, your skeletal jaw,
It was easier to get drunk instead,
Face mortality, face death,
give up on my illusion of childhood.
While you sold the air your last breath.

I remember standing at your grave
and why I chose to hideaway.
Face my end, with college ahead.
I miss you now, but couldn’t face you then.
What love do we concede, when another soul is set free?
The indifferent black mass spreading through your bones relentlessly.
I know you’re in a better place,
a place where you can’t see us grieve.

This growing pain, the birth of the unkown,
this granite stone, in the freshly dug earth
next to your husband who died so long ago.
You can finally be together Mom-Maw.

The woods no longer call.

Coffee in the City

Thinking about you, that first girl in my room.

One more cup of joe.

That kid who once pulled me into a diner,

said cream and sugar was the way to go.

Where is he now?

Those city streets stood out in bold detail, filthy at times,

So happy to see the world anew, cold-hearted and blue.

And I’ll turn 45 one day and still be fine.

That day has come.

 

I never thought time could grapple thoughts in my brain.

And I felt sane. Watching men die of AIDS.

Still feeling the weight.

I was just a kid, what did I know?

Not everyone can be saved.

 

Adult bookstores for days, farmers markets, long afternoons taking it all in.

Woke my roommates early, sugar and cream, on Walnut street.

Shared cigarettes, quieted hangovers. Stories of loose women under the sheets.

One more pot, brewing hot.

Distant memories are all I’ve got.

undertow

Love, the worst addiction anyone could have.
Yet we keep coming back.
Place all your faith and trust in me
and we can live happily.

From ashen clothes, unwashed pillows
of former lovers proposed.
Coming back to the well, until our short-term memories let go.
Awoken by the truth,
Love will eventually pull you back in the undertow.

And it feels so good to drown