Thursday, April 26, 2018

Five Coitus

That first time
she took pity on me
but made me feel
like a king
by pouring champagne
and listening to me
babble about everything
before going again.

That midnight time
in the park
in the nose-cone
of that steel-framed
faux rocket ship
designed more for
a child's imagination
than adult coitus,
and how we had to
proceed quietly
as the cops
circled the parking lot

That ugly time
when she was
breaking up
our marriage
to be with another man
and I pounded
angrily inside her,
hating that I still loved her
but loving that
I was hurting her
without leaving
a mark
or even caring.

That liberating time
in Seattle
after my father died,
and while I betrayed
my live-in partner,
and fell into
an impossible
secret love,
she unlocked
that ultimately
help free me
from my self-imposed
prison of guilt and obligation.

That last time
it was the first time
and even though
I couldn't see
the path forward
(or even the next day),
I wanted
more of her,
more of her
and she is where
my heart has finally

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

We Sleep Together

We sleep together
deep through the winter
restlessly in summer.

We fall asleep holding hands,
sometimes curled like shrimp
sometimes we are a
human pretzel
of limbs
dreams and exhaustion.

In between our sleeping
we nurture small triumphs,
we persevere,
we work through
and unintentional hurt
but thankfully
we ripple with laughter too.

On nights
when I can’t sleep
I watch her sleeping
and smile so big
that I can almost hear it.

I study the
effortless elegance
that a thousand gifted sculptors
could never match
the inexpressible contour
and shadow
of the luminous moonlight
on her beautiful face.

Tonight makes five years
that we haven’t spent
a night apart

and that’s the plan
for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

That Lifetime Road

Every year
memories we made
get smaller
the details,

We didn't have much
but it was everything to

If we had
gone down
that lifetime road
would we still be
would you still be you
and would I still be me?

I don't talk about you
these days,
not because
you're a secret,

but rather,
you are a treasure
and I don't want
to break the spell,
the bubble our memories
live within.

Still, this time
of the year,
when the world
is alive and reborn,
is when I always
remember you.

My heart has beaten
a million, billion
since you set it
in motion,

but when it beat
for you,
it learned
what purpose meant,
what destiny felt like.

Those songs play
on the 80's channel
and I close my eyes
and surrender
my consciousness
to the memory
of our innocent,
undeniable love,

and feel thankful
to have known it,
and heartsick
as the pang
mercifully fades
like the sunset
we shared at
Hillcrest Park
that Friday long ago.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Your Weakness is My Strength

My superpower-
my gift from God-
is the ability to see
everyone else’s weaknesses.

Sometimes I spot it
sometimes it takes a few words
or a telltale action
but sooner or later
everyone eventually slips.

I store all your weaknesses
and I wait for the
most opportune time
to cast them upon
my unsuspecting victims:

your vanity
and crushing self-doubt
your undersized genitalia
your neglected childhood
I immediately calculate
for later sinister use,

because I always need to know
when and where
to strike
because while I appear
modest and mild mannered
I have my moments
of black spinning evil
that overtake me,
when I’ll need to lay you out
and I’ll consult
my mental Rolodex
and lookup your weakness
and strike with
dispassionate surgical precision.

Make no mistake
I’ll know just the right thing
to make you feel small and
to rob you of your

I’ll pull down your pants
in front of everyone
or similarly humiliate you
with the perfectly chosen word,

in all honestly

never employed
this superpower.

I always see
the scared and quivering humanity
in their eyes
standing before me
and I cannot bring myself
to destroy
that which I cannot repair.

I cannot be the cruel
that is my birthright.

I always succumb to
their silent and invisible tears,
the sting of humiliation
and shame
and my own
silent and invisible tears

and I cannot bring myself to do it.

So, while I have the gift
I cannot use it
and thankfully,

that is my weakness.

Friday, April 20, 2018


I want to deny
we ever existed
but that is
giving us
a cachet that we
did not earn.

We can admit it now:

after six years of dating
neither of us
wanted to get married
but we went on with it
anyway because we didn’t
want to lose face or
our deposit.

Even our honeymoon
in romantic San Francisco
lost its steam after
the first day.

Being married to you
was the hardest
141 days of my life.

Even as it unraveled
and I asked you to fight
for our marriage
you just defaulted out
with silent, apathetic

I always wanted it
to be better than it
ever was
and I was always

Even today,
I gave in to curiosity
and paid 10 bucks
to an Internet company
to show me your addresses
and employment history
for the past 15 years,
and all that came up
was your parents’ address.

after all these years,

Lan Anh,
you’re still a big disappointment.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sunday Morning

The world is vacant
this early Sunday morning

except for the newspaper deliverer

and the liquor store
and the customer who waited for 6am.

Mostly people are inside
sleeping off hangovers

slumbering in a warm bed
of post-coital narcosis

lone desperation
passed out at a kitchen table
splayed with overdue bills
and trepidation.

Some greet the day with reluctance
some will ride bikes
and some will never know
Sunday morning exists.

As I drive my daughter
to the early church service
I pass stray tumbleweeds
the occasional roaming coyote
and a multitude of other
holy beings,
all unaware
that it is Sunday morning
or that it is January
or that it is 2009

but they are completely alive.

They are also ignorant
of their enviable




Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Anger Island

Don’t look for me.

I’ve gone to Anger Island
and I’m not taking calls.

I hate coming here
because it’s never as good
as I think it’s going to be.

Rarely has it ever
been worth it,
but I am drawn to it
as some are drawn to
Israel or Mecca.

Anger is the bloody river
running through my soul,
separating me
from the higher aspect,
that divine sliver.

I’ve tried to resist
but the lizard brain
is in charge.

Sitting here
I try to reassemble
what this visit
has wrought.

I’ll be back
after I purchase
my return ticket
with regret.