He said

I want to read the story
that you would have written
if you weren’t afraid, he said,

tell me where you have been,
the nameless cliff that you
fell from, turn it to words,
and keep writing until
it has lost its power
to hurt you.

Drunk Dialing

You call him on a Saturday night, after leaving a
lousy party. Your head hurts from the cheap tequila.
You want to tell him everything you couldn’t say that day
when he stormed out of the house into the pouring rain.

You tell him that you blame him for everything, and that
you hate him for what he’s become. You swear to
God that you are clearly and completely over him.
You scream again and again that you deserve so much better.

But the funny thing about drunk dialing is
that the callers never say what they mean, and two
minutes after hanging up, they suddenly burst
into tears. And those tears are the unspoken truth.

You know, the truth that you have pushed
all the way down inside you, so deep that
no amount of tequila can give you enough
courage to bring it back up and just admit

that all you want is to hear him say,
– like he’d said a thousand times before –

Baby, I miss you too.

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.