I wrote this poem years ago when we I was on a crew doing some environmental work in/around Mendocino, CA (Redwood Country). We would have two days a week off (Sunday and Monday), and we’d often spend them in this wine cafe in Fort Bragg, CA. We were all just getting to know one another and we talked about a lot of things. One of the things we discussed on those Mondays off was our ‘unrequited loves.’ This poem goes out to my crew Red 4-Eva and to the people of that area who are dealing with wildfires. My heart breaks for them and the beautiful land. It truly was a magical time and place.
In a coffee shop in a coastal town in the slow groove of rebellion you tell me, “It’s always a Heather. Every man’s unrequited love, a Heather.” My head is buzzing in rhythm to the guitar amps from the local jazz band. It’s a secret November afternoon. Across from me you make your own unrequited love song, the tears of your fingers staining the pristine wine glass. Together we meet in this fabled place, Redwoods lamenting around us. We have exchanged eyes, behaving as if we no longer remember the simplicity of our own glances. I give you the light that dried her body instead of the towel I offered. You give me the scent of his benign sweetness. If stillness were idle in thought, he would hate the air we’ve blanketed ourselves in. I grow softly on that tongue that still sweet talks to her as the late sun reflects off the brass of the Trombone and catches our faces in the low bellow of yearning. I inform you of my belief in pre-meditated existences as daylight gasps and blows a final gust of light into the cafe and then dims leaving the candles, the Merlot, the jazz to warm us as the earth begins to cool. Together we shiver and pour another glass of Heather.