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.