Behind the Fence

She was his love, behind the fence, 
 but he was loth to show it; 
She was his only, long, true, love -- 
 but didn't know it. 

He built them castles made of ice, 
 to float with weightlessness; 
His every thought, of her, while she 
 could not care less. 

Behind the fence was where she stayed, 
 while he grew old with waiting -- 
A love made up of naught, but one 

To You


The barrier that can’t be scaled,
The wall that’s never coming down;
The distance that’s too far to cross,
The adjective that has no noun

The meaning that no word entails,
The cooling breeze that leaves a burn —
The desperate love I feel for you
That you won’t know, and can’t return.

The field of empty lullabies,
The children we could never share;
The heart, rejoicing as it dies,
The you that I see everywhere

The smile upon your winning face,
Your open heart, ethereal —
The desperate love I feel for you
That you don’t share and cannot feel.

A dream, remaindered for a pence,
A selling cheap, and bargain made;
The friendly look you cast my way
As I repaint what I’ve portrayed

The spring, the harvest, and the grain –
The death of all expectancy —
The desperate love I have for you
That you could never have
For me

How Tangible

It’s strange how tangible is lack,
How much reality
Is in the things we wish we knew
That never come to be.

The touch I’ve wanted long to feel,
The taste I’ve never savored:
They’re still within my fevered mind,
And that has never wavered —

It’s strange how very real it is:
These things I’ve never known
Are I’ll I’m left with, in the end,



So he loves her, but she does not love him;
A story countless through the ages told.
A type of madness now his mind infects,
Each day he tries to shake its baneful hold –

But wonders, what technique or set of words,
Or clothes, or gifts, might cause her heart to fill?
Then curses his obsession, for he knows:
She doesn’t love him, and
She never will

Secret Crush

Four different classes, four different desks –
Four different views across the room –
A smile, a look, a fleeting glance,
A few words exchanged waiting to go out the door –

And it’s secret — it’s a real secret —
No best friends know; no parents, no siblings –
Just furtive thoughts round about bedtime,
Just… wondering, looking over during a football game

At someone
Ensconced in a different crowd
Secure in ignorance

While a secret, faithfully kept

Dies, like his soul

A slow

  and lingering


When She Doesn’t Love You

When she doesn’t love you,
You know there’s someone better somewhere,
Someone more a man than you can be

She doesn’t think much of you:
She doesn’t feel you everywhere,
The way that you do her, and constantly —

For this is love:
It is an ache,
It is the knowledge that you lack
Whatever all that it might take
And there’s no bringing back
What never was —

When she doesn’t love you,
There is no place for you to hide,
No snowstorm, and no hidden place or vault —

For though fraught with desire,
Sometimes we cannot have the life we want,
And we are left with knowing
Who we aren’t and that it’s all

Our fault

(Originally written in 1989)