Love, Assorted

Some people write you poems – love poems
that could burn a house down in your chest –
they leave you breathless, leave you longing,
and then they just leave, so fast you could taste
dust in your mouth. Some people linger like a
fog, want to stay friends, want to come over
when they feel lonely. Some people forget
to wash the dirty dishes in the sink, forget to
buy milk, forget your birthday and the way
you used to laugh. Some people wake up at night
to tuck the blanket under your chin. Some people
love to exclaim, look what I have done for you!
Some people kiss to turn you inside out,
to adore every secret corner. They kiss
as if your lips were home, haven, the place
that they want to stay forever. Some people
kiss so they could go somewhere else, eyes
open, hands fumbling with your blouse buttons.
Some people can’t say I love you until
they’ve studied your past, the exes you’ve
dated, the mistakes you’ve made. God knows
there must be a war raging inside their soul.
Some people chase wild things, hunt them at night
for thrills, and stumble back to your bed at
five a.m., smelling of cheap booze and
strangers. Some people want to bake all kinds
of bread for you, stay home with you, cuddles
and warm socks, hot cocoa on the couch.
Some love is the fire that warms you through and
through, and you will never grow cold again.
Some love is the gum that gets stuck underneath
your shoes. Makes you walk unevenly for miles.
Becomes nasty. Becomes quite impossible to get rid of.

Unwoven

When I was young, I once found
a loose thread
on a brand new sweater.
Not knowing what it did, I pulled on it,
and I kept on pulling,
and pulling,
until I found out.

Every time your fingers dance on my skin, kindling
every fiber of my body into a wildfire,
I think about that loose thread and what it did.

I think about how that beautiful sweater
slowly shrivelled into nothing,

a pile of messy yarn.

sometimes

her lover makes her feel
like a schoolgirl
on fire drill days.

excited, heart pounding, running
through emergency exit, skipping down
countless flights of stairs, breathless, intoxicated, a rush, so much
fear and despair, and then

she turns around and walks back
into the building, safely in one piece,
no smoke, no burn, no damage. love
does not hurt, her lover says, but

sometimes
very late at night she
secretly wishes to be engulfed
in a real fire.

Dahlia

She’d never seen them, these other flowers.
They were his once, carefully picked into
his spring. Their fragrances were treasured
and preserved for a while – a season or two.

She knew their kind, their beautiful pedigrees –
tulips, roses, lilies of the valley,
even a few blushing daisies
that were anything but shy.

No, she didn’t have to imagine how
they gave him pleasures, and how
some love-struck lilacs even foolishly
attempted at surviving his winter .

Surely he’s learned, certain things
they tried to teach him.

For he understood her, although somewhat
shallowly. He knew her climate, her sun and
moon, her ebb and tide in the evening dew;  and he knew
how to make her curl softly into the night…

Yet she sensed that he was quite
unaware of the strength of her kind; she wondered
if he knew just how deep she could
cut her stem into the dark arid soil, and then bloom

Alas, the man’s formidable desire
for anything that he could not grasp.
So, she was not surprised when,
coming home, she saw them lying at her doorway.

How lovely they are still, she thought.
roses, tulips, lilies of the valley, and other
withered memories, their petals plucked
and thrown at her feet, a homage, and she knew

that the weight of this love has crushed him.
Slowly –
she trod through years of his love and regret,
following the floral trail into his secret garden,

and there he was,
already fallen
down on one knee
for her.

Prey

Well, if you must know –

my thighs still burned
from the bite of your charm, these teeth
marks under my skins – did you have to
pounce on me with such force?

Don’t come any closer. I think you should
stop looking at me the way that you do. Those
soft brown eyes are luring me to
play your dangerous game. I know
you want me, the whole Serengeti
knows you want me, oh
stop that growling, as if you are
the only one burning up here.

Why did I stop running? I guess
I should have kept running. Away from you. Somehow
you’ve cornered me into the mouth
of your cave, the lion’s den, you clever beast.
The night is falling deep, and over on that tall fig tree,
there is a very old owl, looking at us. Amused.
If you come any closer, I will run. I will. I will.

I might.

Do you know
that the rolling plains are whispering naughty
little ideas into my ears? Are these the sort
of ideas that you have all along. Tell me how long
are we going to stand here staring
right into each others’ eyes? Is it
my move now? Why does the wind
insist on blowing right at this moment through
your mane? Your perfect beautiful dusky red mane. I mean,
how am I supposed to resist all of this? How am I
supposed to resist…you? You are a disaster; you are
an earthquake; you are everything I crave
but shouldn’t. My knees are getting weak. It is getting late. Even
that old nosy owl has flown home, so why don’t you just
come here, you beautiful danger, take me back
to your dark cave. Show me disasters; show me
earthquakes; show me everything I crave but shouldn’t –
terrible, delicious, regrettable, feverish things…

Oh
did you hear that?
The sound of my surrender
has driven the whole jungle wild.

The Storm

The ocean gathers himself,
shoulders raised, crazed waves
spewing from his brutal mouth, swallowing stars
as he comes. Shaken, stirred,
the shore quivers to receive him, her love.
Her lips still bruised by his gnawings, but there she goes –
there she goes into the rushing beast of the night.
In the lives of those who love each other,
the storm always come too sudden. Quick as whips,
the lightnings tear the sky in shreds; wounded
shreds to be sewn back together
by the red moon and a watchful owl.
They already know. They always knew. When it is over,
the ocean – his violent heart broken –
laps soft kisses at the shore’s fingers,
knees, dreams and never ever again. In the lives
of those who love each other, the morning after the storm
always promises to brighter; brighter than
yesterday; brighter than all those days
that furl into remorse; nameless remorse
born in the name of love;
the kind of love
that makes us rage, and destroy;
destroy everything we love.

Vanish

Tonight I baked a raspberry pie
under the poetic moonlight,
washed and dried dirty dishes pretending
they are my blooming peonies,
and I put out a fresh roll of toilet paper
in the kids’ bathroom before lying down to dream
all that could have been
in this pantomime of life
if only I could live my own self
in my own pretty lilac words; never vanish
into a life without making a mess; never yield
to the waning season like the soured crops.
They may have been right all along: sooner or later
the great wind rushes under us all, and winter comes
to take the red fever out of every autumn leaf, but remember my heart
O my heart that has gone soft and blue, like the cratered moon,
once thumped, ached, and burned for a fevered future.

 

Originally published on March 24, 2017 on my old blog.