… full of words and tales

i kissed you once out
here beside these trees, and
in soft regret your eyes were
turned inward, towards that part
of your life invisible to all but,
or even and, yourself

but the memory is not the
kiss, it is the look and the
feel of your face as i touched
it, brushing the hair back
off your forehead, appraising both
the moment and the look in
your eyes

but what is frozen often
melts, if enough time passes, and
only now do i recognize something
like fear mixed with your
longing – for while you felt something
for me, i was a strange, unpredictable
creature in your eyes, full of
words and tales

and the stories you knew
best always ended up being
scary ones: perhaps this was
a false setup to a frightening
ending – you weren’t sure

but i mistook that look for
a bad grade, and

dropped the class

past / gone

[This could have been called, “Old Poem, Written Age 25,” but I chose to retain its original title, even while heavily reworking the content. – Owen]


 

a few weeks, all it was, and yet

you linger in this air –

your presence was reality

and more than everywhere

 

the past is gone, they say, and so

i should just let you go –

but you were my first happiness

and it’s still all i know

 

and now, life’s fallen by the way,

and so much seems a waste —

and words we say seem fake, next to

the world we touch

and taste

A Certain Kind of Trouble

The kind of trouble that she was
I’d never known in all my days;
But found in new and countless ways
That trouble is as trouble does

Entrancing in her loveliness,
And seemingly so soft and sweet:
I found her virtue truly fleet,
For she, at heart, was pitiless

Our troubles take a certain shape.
I sought, from her, a higher ground:
But when I breathed her in, I found
A trouble I could not
Escape

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

Unrequited Love Spasm

When I was so very young
I loved an older girl;
To me, she was perfection, and
The crown of the whole world

I helped her with her homework
For many days on end:
But as much as I loved her, she
Saw me as just a friend

A friend whose name she seemed to have
Some trouble in recalling;
Although she saw me every day
And knew that I was falling

In love with her – she did know this –
But that happened a lot:
So just one other dude who liked her
Didn’t get her hot

I’ve looked back on it since, and thought:
I know that I was callow.
But what is more amazing’s that
I didn’t know how shallow

She was; or how bad I was
In my youthful incoherence:
To love someone who really was
Not much more than appearance

Then recently, I saw her:
Thirty years had past since then:
And she was bright and charming and
All that she should have been

So I had to revise my
Patronizing memory:
If I had seen the real her then
Maybe
She’d have seen
Me

Love Spasm the Eighth, Part 2

Sometimes I was the one aggrieved,
At times, the one aggrieving –
With her, the fault lays all with me:
Tale told, without deceiving

I chased her, summertime to fall.
Tore down her barriers of doubt;
But once I got beyond her wall,
I couldn’t get back out –

And panicked when I found back there,
That once she loved, she loved for real:
And that was more, much more than I
Was then prepared to feel.

Although I disappointed her,
To work so long to leave so fast,
The same thing would be done to me,
Before much time had passed.

And so we all will live to get,
Our turn at each role in the play:
I’m sure that she’s long over it,
But wish I had not been
That way