The days I spent in knowing her…

A retelling of a story I’ve told elsewhere, so, please excuse any repetition. – Owen

(A retelling of a story I’ve told elsewhere, so, please excuse any repetition. – Owen)

The days I spent in knowing her
Were soft and slow, but yet a blur;
That time was like a holiday
That lit the sky, then went away

But not in anger, not in doubt,
And not in bitterness or strife;
We ended carelessly, it seems,
A half-well-thought-out time of life

And we, we each moved on from that.
She went to places far afield,
And all her passions learned to yield
To circumstance and habitat

And I, I took a different path;
Of problems, answers, business, math –
I stirred the life domestic, and
Found sperm donation doesn’t make the man

And when, last Christmas, I reached out
She answered with the same sweet look
Although now many miles we’ve gone
Past bridges made of stone across a brook…

… she said she loved me then and still;
She always has, and always will,
But not to swap the life she’s led
Or change it to an “us” instead —

And with some mist upon my eyes,
I looked away from her a bit:
The years I’ve spent in knowing her,
I think I only knew
The half of it

love’s a broken word –

love’s a broken word – it doesn’t
capture what we mean to say –
so many senses used,
and past that, felt –

a practice of amphiboly,
we never really understand –
like cards we can’t turn up,
but that we’re dealt

we say we love, I know,
but tell me this –
aren’t words that broken
simply
meaningless?

the empty city

it’s hard, sometimes, remembering
within the empty city;
i think, once, there were people here
and there was some committee

that you and i belonged to when
there was a you and i;
where we decided how to raise our kids;
which lullaby

we’d sing at night to calm them or
to ease their childhood fear:
but now i can’t remember, and can’t ask –

there’s no one

here

A Bayou Sonnet

“Love me, and tell whatever truth you know;
If those two things conflict, then you must say.”
A time to stay and fight, a time to go;
A time to hold, a time to drift away —
For now, the moments build, and tensions grow.

“The curtain falls: is it for us or day?”

The bayou watches peacefully, and still
Upon the edge of wondrous trembling night
For golden honey, or the bitter pill,
For an embrace, or for a sudden flight.
The phantom, love, who lights on whom she will
Is never seen by those as null, or trite —

She whispers soft, a sky within a sky:
“I have no words, so this must satisfy —“

Prize, Price, and Prying Eyes

Who were those people anymore to tell her what to do?
She rang the changes as she felt inclined —
What was this bit of foolishness that they said was ‘the true’?
She would not by their rules be so defined —

She set out to reclaim her self;
To live with feeling, and to feel her way.
She needed no permission slip
And took on love as a bioassay —

For she would claim the prize, and be the prize.
The price was jealous talk, and prying eyes,
But all that social nonsense was just so:
It would not shape where she would play, or go.

I wandered into her when I was young,
A part of her experimental phase.
She gave me keys, then took each slowly back,
A few short nights that felt like holidays,

Then I was pushed aside
As she went on for more
A boat with only one
Left stranded on the shore

She went away
I heard the news
Of someone else
She deigned to choose –

But I would not speak ill of her:
There were no lies, no conscious work to hurt.
So I was a philosopher,
I’d my own life to live, to reassert —

Relationships are merely games for those who choose to play them:
And yes, there will be costs, but many merely, simply pay them.
It might feel less than human, but, I did feel human there for just awhile.
For some, amid the storms, find out that they, indeed, become a rheophile —

What moral is there now to this, you say?
Just this: we don’t control the sun or seasons,
And much that happens to us isn’t in us,
For other humans have their sundry reasons
To live and love as they see fit, and when —
And we can only live life now,
Not then