Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Every Year at the End of August

Every year
at the end of August,
I try to remember
what life was like
in those weeks
before
that September 11.

I search newspaper archives
for what was happening,
listen to the music
of the day,
I reconstruct
my own recollection,
trying to understand
where we were,
where I was,
to somehow
quantify,
to measure
the effect,
from then
to now.

Every year,
I try but
ultimately decide
it’s pointless,
because no matter
how much my mind
can understand
such historical
artifacts,

my heart,
my soul
only knows the horror,
the division
of life
into segments of
“before 9/11”and
“after 9/11”.

The bumper sticker says
“Never Forget,”
as if I had
a choice in the matter.
[Alicia Keys, from "America: A Tribute to Heroes" 2001]

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Welcomed Silence

The saving grace
of the funeral service
is rather than
the awkward volley
of stilted talk
with distant relatives,
it is perfectly
acceptable
to sit silently,
and offer
a supportive smile.

In this rare,
welcomed silence,
it becomes
profoundly clear
there are
no words big enough,
no sentiment tender enough,

to explain
what has been done
to my 49 year old cousin,
Johnny.

Posted for Poets United .

ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response)

Chasing that feeling,
that giddy calm
ticklish sensation.

It is something
in the feminine voice,
and it cannot be
demanded.

Take me wherever
you can,
your vibrating
vocal cords
and my submissive
aural surrender.

I cannot prove it,
but I know
it exists.



Monday, August 17, 2015

Feed the Desire

Who are you
waiting for,
by the windowsill
looking up, longing
at that indifferent
moon?

Your thoughts are
dancing in imaginary ballrooms,
lounging in
candlelit hotel rooms,
waiting to slip
in between rented
silk sheets.

The beginning and middle
are always exciting,
but somewhere between
the middle and the end,
the magic vanishes
leaving you with
the moment
of realized sadness,
the emptiness
and thus,
the search begins
again.

Feed the desire
but you'll never satisfy it,
and if you can
it's better to leave it
somewhere off
in the distance,

where the perfume
never stales,
the bottle never empties
and the dream
never awakens.



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Commencement (for Sarah)

I’m more thankful
than articulate:

for every doctor
who looked at her
and helped her through
cerebral palsy,
visual spatial deficits,
even the quacks
who made the true healers
shine brighter,

for every therapist
be they medical
or physical
or psychological,
who never lost hope
and kept trying
even though
there were many dark days
and almost as many
misdiagnoses,

for every kind
and loving soul
who wished her well
and didn’t think we were
bad parents because
we didn’t know how
to quell
the inconsolable, crying child
who turned out
lived in depression,
suicidal ideation,
and crushing desolation,

and to those
never relinquished
the dream
that she would be
standing in
the foyer of life
in her graduation robe,
deciding which door
to approach next.