(poems go hewe chose the table to the left that faced the walls of the courtyard
my tea spilled through the cracks like rain in a graveyard
and there were one two one two three grey leaves above us
hanging onto the branches the ones on the grounds so covet
never to be swept away by the approaching spring
and i knew in that moment they weren’t merely caught
they were still lingering on
they were still singing
two months more of winter
i still have time yet.
i hate to be caught between branches and heartache
the rapid successions of clichés i try not to fake
in your faded blue colored pencil
love sent back to sender unopened
you wrote hard pressed “wrong address “
and never had to lick the envelope twice.
i see centuries passing and i could still not reach or determine
the source of your shine
with all the wisdom of a pained seventeen year old
and all the perception of anyone with eyes
i still have yet to understand all there is to see
as that man from Bombay i met on the east bay
whose eyes were clouded from cataracts
and dreams that hit the pavement, sprinting and scraping along
at undeterminably variant speeds
he still ran the marathon first.
still what happens to me when you say my name
is the question i ask myself more than
what are you doing with your life
what should you have for breakfast
more than my autonomic nervous system
asks itself when i should breathe, when i need to sneeze
because you’re beyond that.
my body can beat my heart only so many times
until you take it away and you regulate at your own desired pace
i have no control anymore.
i’ve already spent much of my life
with the bottoms of my stained slippers that i bought at the goodwill
scuffing up the dashboard
reclining in the passenger seat with my camcorder on record
and all the lights that pass
are unidentified as seen from my angled lens
i’ve seen so many road signs that line up with the seam of the window pane
at my height you only can see sky
even if you belong below the asphault.
to have you behind the wheel
in this forced and exhausted allegory
while your thin rimmed glasses sit in the middle of the bridge of your nose
it’s so much for me to handle.
remember i suck at video games
and we were all playing slender and i lived longer than anyone
because i walked around and stared at the stars
so fear couldn’t sneak up behind me and pierce my ears with casual static
it was all too telling.
and when i’m in your arms
romantic, they say
my hair hanging down
(it’s grown longer since may)
i dug my nails into your back
my own experiment
to see if you can feel.
all i did was stare at the stars
because around your feet were demons.
you stepped around them
because you knew where they were.
the hunter knows
not to step near the tiger pit.
matter is distance
only Siddhartha Gautama
with vision that could fill ponds of eyes
could see the electricity
that stretches from my irises to yours
but i swear
when i feel the cool underbelly of your palm resting across my wrist
the universe is speaking
a language i only know
when i’m treading your incandescent connections
my mouth slips below every day
and i find that i can breathe
if i see your hand stretched from the raft above me
above me below the asphalt
tenderly trending towards my fragile frame
i swear in that instant
the electricity between the tips of our fingers
between your calloused hands and my chipped purple polish
i wonder how you can’t see it.
i wonder how after all this time
i still haven’t learned to swim away.