Painting Dots

The house we’re in now’s not the one
In which the kids got bigger;
The little mem’ries I have lost –
The count’s too great to figure

For life’s a craft of painting dots
These flecks of hopes and prayers
That only form a picture when
There’s no one left
Who cares

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

Rocking Chair

I softly knocked upon a door
No longer mine for knocking,
And saw within the empty room
A chair still gently rocking

It sat there, neat within its dust,
More lonely now, than squalid;
For what it held had gone away
Where few now can recall it

For love, it whispers in the dark,
While hate blows trumpets often;
We box ourselves into such lives
As just lead to a coffin

But I have known this rocking chair
When all it was, was quiet;
Away from all the growth of lies
That make our daily riot

I knocked, and entered, stood and looked,
The dust it tumbled in the sun,
And maybe I gave up, back then,
But maybe – all of that is done

For love can heal when all else fails.
Those years go by, and bad ones;
We comfort how and where we can
The lonely and the sad ones

For every dream and every heart;
For voices: singing, talking —
Can still live on within such rooms
Like chairs that just
Keep rocking