Sine Qua Non

The clatter of our bodies vibrates in my ear,

as we tumble through sheets,

our needy arms and legs crisscross,

become shapes and signals of our love.

Your skin is hot like the lick of flames

and I want to write across your chest and hips

the hum and echoes of this love.

We make love—

secret sounds and thirsty sighs escape from our mouths

and I taste your need

as I kiss the lenient inches of your body.

We are painting and drawing and creating

with our noisome love,

a spread of watercolors on wet paper;

this act is our magnum opus,

culmination of flesh meets flesh

with a want so deep

it reaches the fluid fire foundation of who we are.

This is not serendipitous congregation,

nothing here is transient or short-lived;

this moment gathers heavy,

as we bare much more

than our nakedness.

I have never allowed my rare roots to burrow anywhere

and I realize I have never made love before.

Because as we move and arc,

my roots open to stretch, yawn to find you

and hunt for the fundamental solid of your soul;

these roots ache to graft themselves to you,

cover the burns of the past.

We make love—

and this—

this is truth and beauty.




Murray, Ky


everything means something else,

like a long Russian novel where character meets character

and a gun goes off in the fifth act,

just like they taught you.

This quiet town that is not quite quiet

only lends itself to spend more spider webs

and discomfort.

No one really knows anyone

and if they do it’s killing each other with bare teeth

and bare hearts to do the most damage.

The streets speed thirty five and everything

moves at small intervals,

click of a clock or click of a gun,

each pounds its own sound

in echoes of night and day.

You don’t have to be a poet to be a poet,

they say without inflection

because everything


is lost in the growl of absence and dejection.

I never knew a poet in this town,

only old soothsayers and false prophets

who ache to be something more.

Yet, all that is left is symbolism,

the rare arc bird or swimming dream scene that serves

to make you feel lonely

in a town where nothing is real.



Mortal Woes

I think your eyes

were hazel,

blue and brown,

flecked black around your irises.

Your hair was probably grey

underneath the two dollar

hair dye you insisted on


you didn’t like your own mortality.

I remember your perfume,

a dark heavy smell

that catches me unaware

in moments I don’t

expect it.

Your hands were always cracked,

deep fissures ran blackly

along your fingertips,

and the work of

a thousand suns was evident

in the lines


A vague, veiled memory floats up

and I recall that day,

the day,

and I cannot help

the pattered skip of my heart

when I think of you

in that bronze box,

your skin like bone.

I want any day


that day.

Out in California

Out in California,

along the bends and curves

of Highway One,

our house waits for us.

A small house,

a straw built bungalow

just big enough for you and I,

our family,

sits on the edge of the sea.

Foam inches toward walk ways

in laps, attempting to leaves

some trace of itself


for us.

We are water, too.

Our bodies are salted bones

and liquid flesh;

our hands,

and knees,

and arms,

and legs

reach for the sea,

ache to feel water while

landlocked and drowning

just the same.


out in California,

our future sits metallic

in the crisp ocean air,

waiting for you and I

along the bends and curves

of Highway One.

The Photograph

Captured in
vulnerable disposition,
I am looking and
I am thinking
about the weight 
of you against me,
no longer a physical
but much more than what
I can understand.
this abstraction is no longer
ambiguous and
but has solidified into
mass and
matter and
I fight my giants,
chivalrous to a fault,
my head always tilting.
Insanity is repetitive,
a cyclical quest
in stasis;
but you, my dear, stand bravely
with me against
and burn them into
piles of ash;
your love the
force of such reckoning.
I know this–
all in a moment,
in a far away look,
caught by the camera.