that day, perfect

that day, perfect,
scent of roses,
autumn gentle,
leaves a carpet,
she in pink, and i
enraptured,
in the park,
a light breeze blowing,
words all heard, and
newness piercing,
bits of smile,
growing laughter,
hands first touching,
soft and glowing,
dogs out watching,
trees all knowing
what’s to come and
what’s to be,
moments felt
completely.

that day, stillness,
walking, aimless,
universe on us
seemed focused,
distant voices
all seemed joyful,
studying the leaves
our hobby,
in the park expanse
secluded,
interweaving,
dancing manners,
first respect and
halting planners,
every detail
still i see —
times you feel

completely

not you, too

i wish you loved me

not you, too

what is so bad with saying “love”?

it isn’t what you say, it’s how
you say it. love’s not ownership.
it is a song, a thunderstorm,
a breeze. it’s not a thing at all.

but still i wish you loved me

yes, you do

The Storm Was All Around Us

We watched the clouds roll in that day
Cross-legged in the sand;
We heard the distant thunder
Sitting huddled, hand-in-hand –

Until the rain was on us,
Then we kissed and up we rose;
Ran in the rain to my place
Where we shed our sodden clothes –

Before, we’d been “long-distance”,
So then this weekend was it —
We’d spend the time together, and
See just how well we fit –

The waves were high and crashing
In the sea right near my place;
I felt her warm breath on me
As I touched her still-wet face –

Beneath the raging skies we burned
And boiled, desperately —
And on-and-off, back on again
Experimentally

And oh, we tried, with all we had,
Our demons to outrun:
The storm was all around us, though –

In far more ways

Than one


[Alternately titled “Remembering My First Real… Long-Distance Relationship”]

A Dating Memory – Carnival

So up we went
To a sky that nearly swallowed us –
A bass line could be heard across
The vast expanse of people –
Smells of sugar and salt and butter and
A bit of your perfume
I still can smell —

Two holding hands and feeling high
In several different ways –
We laughed to feel the wind and all
The myriad sensations of the evening –
Clad in our respect for dating, and
Our devotion to the cause of discovering
Just how high and how far and how fast
We could go

At fourteen

And not really on a date, but only sort of

The Laughter of the Damaged

She tells me that
She loves spin class,
Corona,
All the Marleys
(Bob, Ziggy, Jacob)
As we walk down by
The riverside
Towards twilight.

She is young,
But not so carefree
As she’d have me believe:
The setting sun dances
Off her red hair,
And she laughs often
In the manner of someone
Who used to do it a lot
But has kind of forgotten how.

And it feels like
An audition,
Or maybe an interview,
Instead of a date.
I ask her if she has siblings,
And it turns out she has four,
All sisters.

After a minute,
She turns to me
With a smile and says

Thank you for dinner.
I haven’t been on a date
In a long time.
But you’re nice,
And it’s pretty out here.

She’s lovely, really,
And my heart goes out to her
For something she’s not saying.
So I say

“I’ve enjoyed this.
I really like you.
It feels, though, like
You are sad for some reason.”

It’s that obvious, huh?

“Kinda”

I don’t want you to think
I don’t appreciate —

“I won’t think that.
I want to know what’s really going on”

And then
A song of a young woman’s love,
Like a melody
Transforming the listener
Even if it left the actual beloved unmoved.

“So how long has it been since?”

Nine months.
People keep telling me to date,
And you asked, so
I said yes.

It was my turn to chuckle:
“Even my dates
Aren’t really about me.
Well, I did ask.
And what’s real is real.”

I’m sorry

“It’s okay. Seriously.”

We walked along
Talking about a funny movie
We both loved.

The sun went down,
And we talked in the car for a few minutes,
Laughing a little more.

Then, I drove her home

Roni’s Engagement

She called to tell me that she was engaged –
Me, dating some love spasm at the time –
Who I brought with me to meet them for drinks
Which I think were Coronas – yes – with lime

And she still looked a perfect movie star
And so did he, if truth, in fact, be told;
They were so good together: he was kind.
And I was happy for the ring of gold

She wore now on her finger as a sign
That she with him would now forever stay.
A thing I thought unlikely at the time,
Although they’re still together to this day

It’s funny: I write poems all the time.
I dredge these stories up from memory:
And find sometimes I didn’t know my heart
Until I write these down in poetry

We’d flirted with each other, and had tested
The waters of erotic friendliness;
When that part of our friendship was abandoned
I found, I didn’t love her any less

I loved her more as friends; for she was regal,
And meant for kindness as a life reward:
And she was happy now – I know she still is –
With someone who loved her
Who she
Adored

Roni

Roni

When Roni had me pick her up,
I almost lost my mind:
A lonely dude at twenty-three
The restless dating kind

We got dressed up to go to see
The local symphony;
Italian dinner, wine, and then
A drive down by the sea

She touched my face with both her hands
And I’m sure it went scarlet:
If this had been a movie script
She’d be the stunning starlet

And I, the semi-funny schlump
Who somehow gets the girl:
But we weren’t in a movie script
And that was not our world

Instead, we chatted in the dark
Beside the waters glowing;
I’d brush the hair back from her face
So long and brown and flowing

And I don’t know that she could know
Just what that was for me;
For her, some dating throwaway,
For me, a memory

Of moonlight and of Roni
All alone out very late:
As we fogged up the windows,
Just two people, on a date