I haven’t posted a relationship poem for a while. I’ve said many times that I love to watch dancers and look at pictures of them. I think in a previous life I must have been one or something. So many of my favorite scenes in movies involve some kind of dance. I, myself, love to dance. To me, relationships are a dance. Sometimes they’re passionate, other times sweet, other times fun. The way the partners move around each other is a dance. We distance ourselves one minute. The next we’re holding the other on our back. The next minute we are disconnecting and then reconnecting across a stage. Sometimes we have intense chemistry with our partners, but we lack the boundaries to make the dance fluid. Sometimes we have perfect boundaries and the chemistry is not there. Sometimes I like to think of time as the music between the dancers. There are times when you know had it been a different time/song, and it could have been amazing. There are other times when one individual is more competent and stronger and can dance to a much harder song. We’ve been on both sides, and it’s never easy to be the stronger or the weaker, especially when you care for the other person. This poem to me is about the dance between two people who care for each other very much, but as dancers, one is very injured and the other is risking his own health to keep the partnership going. It’s about letting go because you find that although you care for each other very much, you’re dancing to very different scores. To me, it’s a beautiful but deeply sad poem. I hope you find something you enjoy it.
Red Velvet Music Box
That summer at the beach there were turbulent waves.
Cool mornings and preachy gulls.
I wanted to comfort you, to sleep with you.
Deserted swallows echoed the hunger inside me.
I was a peninsula, a blaze of maples, a man in process
Of some sort of sophisticated photosynthesis.
Without love… the easel felt obsolete.
I felt like a bomb had been dropped on my sleeping eyelids.
The concept of permanence has never been my native tongue.
You, were like a sequence of foghorn bells, so predictable
You could be graphed and mapped out.
When I met you, you spun in place like a beautiful figurine
Inside a red velvet music box.
You moved, your eyes could see different perspectives,
But you remained stationary, something I fell in love with immediately.
I was looking for someone to teach me to sit for a self portrait.
Along your avenues, I felt punctuated.
You taught me I could be both trespasser and grace.
And then one day you stalled.
Silence where you used to spin and rotate around that beautiful box
Taking in the glorious offerings of your environment.
Depression can stall anything.
Torches of madness, the tip of your fingers so hot,
They burned when I touched you.
Everything felt like sketches, cutouts,
Some representation of a life I should be loving.
Soon the seabirds began to make me jealous,
With their ability to to take to the sky,
And the fish just reminded me I could not fly away,
And the oysters with the pearls just felt rubbed too long the wrong way.
Love certainly can become disfigured.
I remember staring us in the face and wondering,
If I ran away in the night what kind of man would that make me?
If I stayed what kind of man would that make me?
I found her one night leaning against an enormous window pane.
Her back turned away from me
Like a moon unrelenting in showing her shadow side.
Then it was washed over me gently, with sloppy sounds.
A compassionate and yet dark warmth between us.
We stood there frozen in time.
Our eyes both gazed and gazed like the music box ballerinas
Somewhere into a vast longing, that will outlive both of us.