Awe

Brie straddled her bright white surfboard, bobbing in the ocean, waiting for her wave.

The sky was baby blue, and cloudless. The sun was big and yellow, like in a little child’s drawing.

A soft ocean breeze blew through her golden hair, and soothed her flushed and golden brown skin.

A moment of peace, of touching an unseen and divine light, just in this quiet solitude.

Something that used to come so much easier, like wonderful surprises and tenderness in love.

Under that giant and blue sky, the brass furnace sun warming her, she could find herself by losing herself.

Her wave came in, the clear and crystal curl, and she rode through it, quiet and still in her awe.

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Atlantis

We’re on the road, your arms clasped around my middle as I drive the motorbike south.

It’s 3 am, still sweltering and warm, the road wide open all the way to Key West, to the endless and hungry sea.

We’ll find a preacher man to marry us. After all these years and all we’ve done, we see each other now, face to face.

We’ll see the ocean endless and terrifying before us, and take in its grace before it swallows the world.

In our hotel room, made a sacred place, we’ll make love pure and true for the first time in our worn age.

In the morning we’ll go the beach, and hope the mermaids favor us in honeyed light, to show their harsh faces.

All these years, all these sorrows, and now we are at peace and are one, finally whole after eating the apple.

Finally home again.

Emily

Emily was in the woods, the bright yellow sunlight turning a softer gold, now it was the end of September.

Emily was bright and sweet, last days of pale blue dragon t-shirt, before time for bright red hoodie, fae close again.

Emily walking among those tall and silent trees, she on the edge of leaving dreams that all was eternal.

Emily was 17 and brave, finding solace in the quiet and the wild animals and the babbling brook, it’s cold water.

Emily loved these little woods, away from the bustling and loud town, all the hurry and stress she did not want.

Emily believed she was queen of this forest and its protecting angel, but it was slipping away, believing it eternal.

Emily, did she see the queen of the fae, did she take her hand and walk with her underground, beneath the hill?

Emily, did they offer you eternity, the forest yours for all time? Did you stay so things would never change?

Emily, did you drink their rich wine and eat their sweet fruits? If had only been a handful of seeds, you’d return in spring.

Emily, I waited that night outside your family’s house, until they called the police, not knowing where you were.

Emily, I’ve waited all these years for you, we all have, a half life and a grey fog on our eyes.

Emily, I’ll wait for you forever, I’ll welcome you back from the underworld, welcome you back to this faded world.

Emily, I never dare go in that forest.

Woman Reflects God

Ellen plays her acoustic guitar, sings lowly; a forgotten and out of fashion hymn.

I sit cross legged at her feet, penitent and supplicant, asking for love and belief, and tenderness.

She holds onto faith and hope so much easier than I ever could. My only offering is charity.

At her feet I drink from a bottle of wine, and she sings of God drawing us close, as sorrows bring his grace.

I look up at her, her eyes closed, and she is distant from me because she is close to Him.

Head spinning, spirit drained away. I only loved God by loving her, made His tenants mine by wanting her favor.

Her voice is high and clear and as forlorn as the prairie wind outside, the true voice of praise and hope.

Crossroads

After we cut her down from the tree, after we laid her body on the table in the church basement, they told me no last rites, no priest, and to give her simple white vestments, to take her head and lay it on her chest in her folded hands.

They knew I loved her, wanted to ask for her hand, and sang beneath her window, drunken from the feast on Midsummer’s Eve. They knew we were touched by fire and the angels, by the prophecies and visions. They wanted kindness, though she was profane.

Those simple vestments, her long dark hair shorn, and still the melancholy and trouble upon her face. I took her head, and placed it in her folded hands. I placed the bloom of a daisy behind her ear, her favorite flower.

At the crossroads, so far away, I laid her body down, face down at East to West, with the stake in her heart. I stayed after the sun fell, I prayed to Jesus that he wouldn’t send his precious child to hell, and I see her again in those happy fields, holding her Lord’s hand.

As the sun arises, my face still wet with tears and my heart raw from my prayers, the angels began their dances in my head and their whispers of prophecies and God’s laments, and the demons came too, and tried to break with their cruelties and vicious words, I remembered her, held onto her.

A Leavening Grace

I see your picture, standing next to the man you married.

Like a restless ghost, my love haunts from where it was buried.

Older now, with lines and sun sharpening your face.

But your chestnut hair grows long, allowing a leavening grace.

Faded baby blue tank top from your work in the wild.

Patrick says you’re moving to Oregon to raise the gestating child.

I still love you, but I’m glad you’re so well. I say a prayer for you.

I remember that all true love pinpricks demons, aim always true.

I go to the water, still and deep. Sometimes a mermaid comes.

I watch her, a wild and graceful creature, and love always comes.

Fey Jingle

She says she wore chain bracelets when they recorded the song, like Robo on Damaged.

With her every beat, I hear the fey jingle among the noise: chica chica, chica chica.

We drive in her beater sedan, listening to an actual album by her band, up through 441 to Cherokee.

Soothing beasts roar to burn off every tear, and the night is full of demons that motion keeps at bay.

1 am, we pull off at New Found Gap, into silence and dark. A wind blows right through us.

In the night, we at peace, even as the demons see us vulnerable. We smoke clove cigarettes, that make sweet our kisses.

On now, over the border, through the forests that wild and merciless grace perfects.

The tape has flipped and repeats. Profane hymns to the darkness that gave us our light.

Just us. Just now. Just love each other.

It will be as perfect as this once the sun rises.

We Were Free

I ask her to dance with me, one more time, for old times sake.

This bar is closing, last call, I slipped the DJ a fiver to play a love song.

Both back in town for the night. She’s going to a bright future. I’m going to my grave.

Lost children always lose, and The Devil always wins.

 

Holding her close, swaying, hearts racing like at the junior high dance.

For one moment the divides didn’t matter between her riches and my nothing.

We were free.

Lost children always lose, and The Devil always wins.

 

She squeezes me tight, kisses my cheek. I don’t want her to let go.

She has a place in her father’s kingdom, and I’ve got to go fight her father’s war.

Lost children always lose, and The Devil always wins.

Liyin

I’ve come to Taipei, even in trying to escape all I’ve known I draw to familiar, or something with an ember of the past.

She came from here, the last woman I was able to truly love, truly cherish and adore, and see the light of her soul.

For so many years, it’s been madness leavened by the sweetness of impossible infatuation

The reassurance that nothing will come of it, and maybe, maybe, a new pop song will rekindle a ghost of youth.

A lonely road by the shore, street lamps and the unseen surf crashing, giving a moment’s peace, and worthless hope.

I came here, and I know she is gone to the war in the South China Sea, and I have this night to justify coming.

The surf crashes in the dark, and I can not be as innocent as its contented rolling and falling back.

I loved but her, but no one stays, not in Taipei or The Fort, and war is what comes of this shitty race.

Crash and roll back. Crash and roll back.

Lip Balm

The Sea of Galilee is dried up, no sea to calm.

Empty snack wrappers, discarded tubes of lip balm.

Jesus died for nothing, the unheeded and unwanted psalm.

 

Mary Magdalene saw him at the tombs, her words unbelieved.

Peter built on the rock, but priests corrupt and deceive.

The sacred terror of His rising, but wickedness was unrelieved.

 

Galilee lost forever, but there are tourists bars and holy men.

They rail at our wickedness, indulge in private sin.

Men are greedy and cruel, and so The Devil will always win.