Generous Love

You are not
my one true love.
We both know
there are many kinds of love
in this life, each
with its own truth
to tell. But yours reminds
the world of its capacity
for giving
and receiving,
it encourages me
to rest a moment
in the cupped hands
of the present, to bare
some soul and bask
in the heat
of mutual affection. It is remarkable
in its humility, which speaks
louder than any hubris
I have yet encountered and in its generosity,
which is the most genuine I know. I will not
tell you my love for you
eclipses all others, only that
my heart rings clear, reverberating indefinitely
across an inner
landscape that I only share
with you.

2014-07-03 19.03.22

This.

(trigger warning for sexual assault content)

She refuses
to remember
the way the two of them made her
spread
her legs-
the living room floor-
to teach me
how to remove
a still-forming fetus,
the proof
of one man’s
indiscretion.

“This will help,”
one said, “you not
have children
out of wedlock.”

This
will help.
This is help.
This is what help looks like
to her.

dance steps

When footsteps
become dance
steps,
the dance
floor ends and your
gaze begins- words
are secondary
to understand
the pitch of voice.
Moved
by a mutual
fascination with
impermanence,
a caffeine high
does not compare
to the hammering heart
beat hours later
still keeping
me awake.
If pain
is piercing,
this must be
a different sort
of heartbreak.

First Date Fail

(Based on last night. No hard feelings for Mr. Date)

In a small, dark, dive bar, the
bartender makes me
a negroni. I sip.
And wait.

He arrives in a fluster.
I stand, he
turns- No hug, no touch. So I
sit, he perches: Nervous, or alert?

We talk. He asks, I respond. I gain
momentum, expressing
myself strongly, this
is my passion, it’s
important it is
life and truth and-
Wham.
He changes
subject. “That’s not appropriate
first date fodder.”
Oh.

So we talk. I question, he
rambles, I nod. Do we want
another drink? No, let’s go- that band is playing soon.

We walk, with space between us,
no tension, just empty
boredom- up the blocks, I focus on avoiding
sidewalk cracks.

He pays the cover fee, but I opt out-
like I’m choosing
a TSA pat-down
over possible radiation exposure,
except this option involves much less
fondling.

Withdrawal

Her laugh
was what she left me when
she died. That night, windshields shone
like widened eyes. Lights flicked
on and doors opened all
down the street. A half moon paused 
in a sky of aquamarine. 

When a spider crawls across
My ceiling, I scream. But when I saw
her cheeks, 
rubber under rouge, made up like
a baby doll, I only 
stared. These were not the cheeks
I had brushed my lips against
at night before I climbed the
14 steps to my silent bed and she went back
to cigarette smoke and Wheel of Fortune
on the TV.
 
She also left a note. Withdrawal
written carefully- an apology
in blue ink, but I know my father
killed her long
before her car
collided with that tree.

Adult Male

The Washington Monument in Baltimore, MD

Monument to the “Father of our Country”

I’m a complex person, but
here goes
nothing.
I promise
I’m not a serial killer.
I’m an introspective social
chameleon. I love
the good life. The screeching roar
of jet engines makes me
indescribably
giddy. I’m happier
than I’ve ever been. I’m ravenous
for life and have razor-sharp teeth
pointed
at the plate. I am an open
book with sticky pages
and a good
read. I’m 99 pounds
of pure
dynamite. Adult
male.

This is a found text poem using the first lines from men’s online dating profiles. The line breaks are mine, the text is copied directly from the profiles.