Far From Here

I walk alone on the empty street,

thumping the half-empty bottle

of red wine gently against my leg.

Spinning head, the soothing cold,

the clarity of winter and it’s stars.

hoping the break is clean this time.

The sounds, music, laughter, all that,

from the party is beyond my hearing,

beyond calling me back to the others.

A woman was there, of course, of course.

Before I would have followed her, talked,

told stupid jokes, all but fawned at her feet.

But I caught her eye, gave a smile, left.

The night is here, and it is blasphemous wonders.

The night is here, and it makes no promises.

The bridge over the interstate. Sip the bottle.

Let the dreams of yesterday fade. Let them go.

People going places far away from here.

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After The Show

I have to go home. I don’t want to go home.

The windows are down. My favorite song is

playing loud. She is here. She keeps me safe.

Ears ringing from the show. Radiating. Dreamy.

Like an angel, I’m floating in the air.

I look at her. Best Friend. Older sis, not by blood.

She is steadfast. A statue. The quiet of a healer.

I know she’s steel forged in fires of darkest hell.

Mighty and strong forever. She is a hard ass angel.

So much fun at the show. Music took me out of

this world, out of being meat and thought, a soul

again, a thing of light, beyond even the stars.

I have to go home. I don’t want to go home.

She pulls into my driveway. Gives me a hug.

She stays, makes sure I get inside. I wave goodbye.

Quietly, I go to my room. House is dark and still.

I get undressed in my room, and get under covers.

I fall asleep easily for once. Not troubled by my dreams.

Learning To Skate

Your from up here, long dark winters,

snow that stays until spring, frozen lakes.

I’m from warmer climes. Mostly it rains.

The days are overcast. Not often freezing.

I am as unsure and wobbly as a new born fawn,

out on the ice in these skates, your brother’s old pair.

I cling to you to stay up, almost like a child in a crowd,

as we slowly slide out farther on the ice, beneath stars.

I laugh, and you laugh. Me nervous, you amused.

Our breaths are like speech balloons in old comic books.

I try to stand on my own. You have to catch me again.

I can stand, slowly, gingerly, move myself in squiggles.

You elegantly make circles around me, almost float.

The night is bitter, and I shiver, but my chest is flushed.

My cheeks too.  Girlishly, you cover your mouth as you giggle.

Then you take my hands in yours, and we skate side by side.

Silent now, just us, to stars that were almost embers in the night,

now bright and burning bright again, the cold night be damned!

The stars are endless here. The things we will be even more so.

Absolutely Weightless

I go to the cemetery after school,

stay until the sun falls, the stars come out,

And all is quiet, even as the city rolls on.

Dead people won’t hurt you,

they won’t give you any shit,

that don’t ignore the calls for help,

or slap down your troubles.

And the grass still is soft and green,

and the trees still grow tall and haughty,

and the sky still shows you the world above,

and you can still lay down, dream of something better.

All these names, one beloved, once above.

Some have flowers and treasures left.

Some haven’t seen a visitor in years.

I sit quietly, listen for them, know I too will be gone.

Dead people won’t hurt you,

they won’t give you any shit,

they don’t ignore the calls for help,

or slap down your troubles.

And the grass still is soft and green,

and the trees still grow tall and haughty,

and the sky still shows you the world above,

and you can still lay down, dream of something better.

Lambs don’t gambol here, but angels watch over you.

Stone wings can pierce the sky, so the night can slip in.

The stars I watch, and imagine, other worlds around them.

Laying in the cool grass, I imagine I am a ghost, absolutely weightless.

Dead people won’t hurt you,

they won’t give you any shit,

that don’t ignore the calls for help,

or slap down your troubles.

And the grass still is soft and green,

and the trees still grow tall and haughty,

and the sky still shows you the world above,

and you can still lay down, dream of something better.

Halo

So bitterly cold, that March night.

The wings unfurled from her back.

Usurpers of the stars, blasphemous,

gave her a halo, dirty as the black snow.

By the arch, almost midnight, biting wind,

her wings almost touch the tree branches

and shake the stars from the sky, for kicks.

Her offered hand, one time only, she smiles.

The sky is one point of light in the darkness.

A city pulls gold over it’s face, hides heaven.

It’s enough of a wonder to catch her breath.

Wings flutter like her heart, your foolish hope.

The train ride back through Baltimore; all over.

The brownstones are tombstones for Eden now.

Elves came for her wings, cut them off, put them away.

The queen requests your presence in purgatory.

From The Other Side Of The Ocean

Out in the desert, on the way to Los Angelas, on a family trip.
Tired from riding all day, down from the green, cold mountains
into the sparse and bright desert, the reptiles and snakes around.
It was almost sundown, the sunlight melting away, and the night
coming down, and with it cold, cold I’d fought I’d left back home.
I never knew it got cold in the desert.
You, little sis, all awkward sharp edges and mussed hair, stood
on the edge of the railing of the pull off, looking west, to the sea,
to city shining like a golden bowl in the distance, incense to be offered.
You were growing, and I was almost grown, and it wasn’t easy anymore,
like when we were young and would play together, knew our world better.
I would be leaving soon for college. You would be going to junior high.
In the fading light, the velvety and gauzy sunset still lingering, I took a picture.
It would capture you, hugging your self, the wind fluttering that wild mop of hair,
the eyes so sad, the beginning of you calling the angels to hold you.
You heard the camera click, and turned to me, an odd look in your eyes,
both tender and distant, as if trying to call out my name from the other side
of the ocean, as if to pull me to you, locked away in the sun.
I put my arm around you, and you buried your face in my side, and it felt
calm and holy, like silence was a true hymn and speaking an unforgivable
blasphemy.
It was the last holy moment for us, for so, so very long.

A Warm And Clear Saturday

He carried her one day, piggy back across the creek.
The gale and rain had passed away with the morning.

She was not to heavy a weight; the love he felt was heavier.
All that he didn’t say in notes, late night calls, good morning texts.

The weight of her love for him was great, she wanted a friend, a brother.
The morning was perfect, a warm and clear Saturday in a fading Eden.

The creek was cool and clear, and on the other side he slide her off his back.
He missed her weight and closeness, the warmth of her.

She wished there were still mermaids in the creek, elves in the forest.
His dreams now were of glory and war, fighting games, first person shooters.

He turned to look at her, a sweetness in his eyes, but desire too.
She wishes they were just companions in a world crushing them.

They walk into the forest, and talk of school and hope and fragile dreams.
How much can angel wings shelter you, when the heart is free?

Just One More Moment

I stand on the street corner, big and bustling and crowed city,
as the early morning light comes out, going from reds so bright
to sickly and dingy grey through the vulgar prisms of smog.
Downtown, I work at a place that sells high priced coffee,
equally high priced treats and breakfast sandwiches,
just taking one more moment before going in, just one more moment.
The day is a whisper of warmth, the promise of a better days,
like a woman whispering in your ear, that maybe she loves you.
The hope that the cold will be gone. That hope has been rewarded.
I see a young woman, famous, actress and model, riding by on a bicycle,
her long hair falling behind her, simply but nicely dressed in blue shorts
and white blouse, eyes red, maybe puffy from tears now passed.
There is a hint of something on her face, a tender shoot of hope.
Golden princesses in gilded cages don’t always have kind friends.
She rides by, maybe welcoming the warmth, maybe just wanting to feel normal.
I watch her pass by, maybe going to that vegan place around the corner,
or maybe just trying to clear her head, maybe an angel turned up in the park.
She is gone, and my moment’s over. I have to go in. I have to face the day.

Whispers

Stained glass of the church;
Jesus turning water to wine.
You are angelic in cobalt hue
I know only that you are mine.

The evening is falling, a year gone.
We sit in the pew. I hold you near.
I want to ask you to marry me.
I’m not sure your answer my dear.

Cold in the sanctuary of the church.
What prayers do we know for lovers?
I love you, with all the light left in me.
I love with all my broken prayer covers.

In that dim, sumptuous blue we kiss.
Tenderness touches our sacred light.
I hear your whispers when you sleep.
I listen for their softness, awake at night.

News of the War

Teresa is sleeping; it is mid-morning.
I listen to news of the war in heaven
On the radio.

Michael is tired. Gabriel can’t get the word out.
All the saints are being put in their graves by The Faithful.

Teresa has prophetic dreams. A new born in the wilderness, that is a fallen star, that will
Dim and become a demon.

Another new born, another star, again to become a demon, on and on forever,
Always a blood tide darkening the sky.

Teresa wakes up, is sitting cross legged on the bed, with all the stars held in the palms of her
Cupped hands.

She watches the universe, as it grows and dies out and grows again, sees every scene before the angels of devotion and hunger.

The news goes on and I am weary. But I remember when we were teenagers, and when we took the Oath of Angels.

I remember when we sealed our hearts and our bravery to the silver light, and hope that loss could mean something.

We fight on.