Photo by Vanderlei Longo on


But why the silence? Why

the blunt refusal too look deep into these eyes?

I push the salad around the bowl with my fork.

If this is love, any truth is kind.

I don’t feel ashamed 

staring. Oh, what a saint you are. Shining on

everything.  Flames to moths or honey to bees,

your ability to magnetize objects. You are

this ocean loud with wars. I spend hours

napping on your beaches listening to your beautiful history.

I run from painting to painting inside my head,

barefoot boy abandoning everything in search of beach wood

and a view abandoned of sunsets where 

my naked feet feel moon pools in your footsteps.

I want to be dazzled like an apostle.

I want to be craved like the crisp apple.

I wonder what constellation of images plays in your head

before you drift off to sleep? When I look across the table:

not us. This morning I opened an oyster, to find a small pearl

and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how

we choose what to let in, what to hold, what to carry.

Maybe silence becomes what the seeker sets out to be,

a reflection of the resemblance you see in our being.

I never could dream you a predator, even though

you have all the talons and carnivorous features I feel

ripping the insides out of me. I came hungry,

became a castaway. In the lifeboat with all your other

Who am I’s, lost in your oceanless, verbless world

sky filled with stars and cumulous prayers. Barefoot

boy transversing through paintings. Riding into town

in an ink blot storm on horseback 

in fuzzy shades of blue and brown,

just enough light on which to meditate. In another,

I’m he that sits in the shadow of Apollo’s tree.

In another, we slept in a house made of birds and waves,

floating next to one another.  Below us, sand that our feet

had no idea how to walk through. Elevated love 

constantly fearing gravity. In another, we are arranged

in a night boat, side by side, sailing the river of forgetfulness

in our black craft with all the stars gone dim. In another,

Dickinson and I are naked in a pond. She is dead

and it does not bother me. In fact, she is seemingly more alive.

She frets not about rules, tradition, sin. She is just a poet

who knows the joys of writing life before the rise of the sun.

We splash each other, share some coffee as the sun rises,

talk about our favorite poems. As I run through paintings,

you sit across from me stretching our love like a canvas.

What grows between us in silence, becomes painted in dreams.

Looking across the painted canvas between us, there it was

all my scribed desires. I stared into your eyes. Yes,

you gave me deafening silence, but what a beautiful gift,

that quiet, that allowed me to stand up and push my chair in.

Walking across the kitchen,  I grabbed your hands

 and kissed the passports in them. You gave me

Silence and forced stars to talk to that told me

Sometimes a predator teaches you how to pray.

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