I Pray

I’ve been praying for you,
not like
the erratic inquiries
from ill prepared students
that float to AC ducts,
brewing inside of classrooms
preceding a
POP quiz,
rising like bargaining chips
wrapped in,
“Our Father,
which art in heaven,
I promise
to pass by the church
if you deliver me
from the valley
of these questions”
kind of prayers.

No, more like:
I can’t.
I won’t let you go
lest you bless me
with your presence
kind of prayers;
because until now
I’ve never been fixated
on the internal revenue
of a soul.
I figured,
everyone had a price
but you couldn’t be sold
by a “dashing smile,
a chiseled chest,
an obese wallet.”
No,
I was drawn
to your independent dependence
on your Source of strength.

Honestly,
I’ve prayed
not to make you perfect
for me,
but to make me sufficient
in being your needs
and efficient
to satiate your desires.
I want to be converted
to your wishlist,
ever changing
through the decades
though it may be,
so I’ll always check off
on your requirements,
no matter which lifetime
we find ourselves in.

I prayed,
for the wisdom
to listen
to your fears,
your insecurities,
your worries;
then prayed for the knowledge
of how to prepare my hands
to fix what they can,
and bridge over the impossibilities
with You.

I prayed,
for the courage
to stand up for you
when you can’t;
the spine
to stand beside you
as my equal;
but more importantly
to bend my knees
to lift you up
when I’ve done all I can;
to know the difference
between failure
and surrender,
and may I never
be composed of the former.

They told me:
“Don’t touch,
what you can’t buy.”
So when I ask for your hand
you’ll already know my intentions.
I’m thinking long-term,
something akin
to eternity.

I’m hoping
you’ll say yes.
I’m praying
that our future
is synonymous
to His will
but if not,
may I be granted grace
to love
and honor you from afar,
and to not wish ill will
upon your lover.

May he love you
deep into your marrow.
May he kiss you
as if atonement
was only found
on the altar of your lips.
May he hold you
as his lifeline,
as if letting go
was a fate far worse
than damnation.

May he cherish
the bad inside jokes you keep,
bookmarked
for his smile.

May he adore
the doors you’ve closed
to the attention
of other men,
to solely crave
his affection.

May he inspire you
to whisper with God
before exchanging
shouts with the world.

May he know
that you could’ve had better,
but she chose you
in the solitude
of her closet,
on the road home
with dense
and drenched traffic,
in prayer meetings,
in study halls,
in church pews
and bathroom stalls.

She chose you,
pleaded
with origami fingers folded,
upon calloused knees
as mine were for her but,
she chose you
to be an answer
to her prayers,
for a love
you probably bargained
with heaven
to receive but once.

A Quarter Past

It’s a quarter past
two sips of coffee
and her first thought is:
“Is it 5 yet???”

Friday mornings tend to
do that to you
when sitting on the cusp
of a potentially
exhilarating weekend.

She has a crush
dressed as Friday nights,
a lust
permed into Saturday’s
and offers the morning after
memories to pore over
for a millennium.

Hesitantly,
wanting to ask in words
what my facial expression
must’ve voiced instead she answers:
“Don’t be such a worry wort.
I’ll be back in the morning and
you’ll be asleep as always.”

If she only knew
that I only pretend to be
to avoid the arguments
poised to launch
off the scent of drinks
and foreign cologne she reeks of.

If she only knew,
I clench the covers
not because of the cold
that I’ve long stopped feeling
but to relish the warmth
she once provided
before these nights divided us.

So I reply,
“What’s the rush?
I’ve been told that
you only live once
and by God
if that’s the truth,
I’d like to spend
every waking moment
with you
til dawn do us part.”

It’s crazy
how your name for me conjugates
after every ship we’ve boarded
for instance:
on Friendship
I was just a “brother” to you,
a bud, a pal
skillfully navigating
through “Friend Zone Abyss”
congested with high fives,
awkward hugs,
and greetings to friends
you’d pretend to forget my name to,
then offer patchwork phrases
in place of amends like:
“My bad back there.
You know I didn’t really
forget your name, right?”
I chuckled,
nodded in agreement
to forget who I was as well
and all was swell again.

For instance,
upon the Relationship
I was once
promoted to best friends,
your love,
your man,
your fiance I am today
but the person you’ve paved me into
only seems to service
the tires of excuses you tread over me
to believe we’re heading down
incompatible directions,
but the only misconception
I’ve perceived in the road
is the fork in your tongue.

So answer me this:
Do you still love me?
Between the smeared lipstick
and your anonymous text messages,
I’d say you’re half past forgiveness,
two sips to deuces and
is it 5 yet?
Because my patience
is just as impatient
to clock out…

They told me

They told me
that I could be anything,
so forgive me
for desiring to be
an ethereal body,
composed of stellar dust
enclosed to combust
within the nebulous clouds
of your eyes.
I admit,
I’ve been envious
of the way they scintillate 
when the sun
infects you with its charisma,
while I’m imploding
in the shade
to be the why to your smile,
your laughter.

When they told me
that I could be anything,
you were already taken
and I,
a lifetime too late to be yours.
I implore you
to understand,
if I come off as
hyperbolic,
just know that it’s hard to
find forms of frolic
without you.

I’ve dreamt volumes
of every known occupation
to man just to serve you better
than the runner ups to your love.
I was built,
created,
fashioned,
manufactured
and
generated to catalyze
every love story between us
in this life,
thereafter
and every intermediary form in between.

So when they told me,
I could be anything:
I vowed
before the heavens,
the earth
and every season
that seasons this life with color,
to be faithfully yours
and no other.

Dedication: For the Both of Us

May this year
be enthralled by your laughter,
your felicity,
explicitly more exquisite
than the silver linings
of years past.

You may age fast
but live slowly,
wholly to banish regret.
May the grey
and white strands
you possess
be antonymous to life ebbing,
connections webbing.
So when they ask,
as they often do,
we’ll call it
the wisdom effect.

May you hug,
embrace,
envelope the leased minutes
down to the last
second chances
to accept apologies,
forgive the agonies
and rewrite the lefts
that led to more remorse
you never planned
to contort to.

Tell someone
they’re right.
Tell someone
they’re strong.
Admit that sometimes,
you’ll probably be wrong,
you might mistakes,
you just might let someone down,
but be human enough
to accept our imperfections.

May this year find you,
confronting fears,
transforming tears
into years saved
from complacency.

May it find you,
loving enemies,
releasing grudges
back from the swamp
they came from.
Be the lily
thriving in the midst
of morbid events.

Most of all,
may it find you
wearing the best edition yet
of yourself.
Being you
will always be in style,
regardless the season.

Smile

I’d like to rent your smile for a day;
mirror it back to you
just to see
if your heart would pay the fine
in palpitations,
flutters,
a touch of tachycardia at best
a whispering murmur at worst
for being so,
so alive with the hope
of invulnerable beauty
and braced
with the promise
of eternal weekends…

Oh The Possibilities

She asked,
“Why do possibilities
seem to end
at the introduction
of rain?
There are more colors
than regret and sorrow;
more shades for
bliss to borrow
than dismay
and hollow.”

I figured,
we triggered
the trickle to dwindle
from deluge to timbrel
but this wasn’t simple.

We fiddled, we fumbled,
we diddled, we tumbled
and stumbled upon
like clashes of cymbals.

Bewildered,
befuddled,
we splashed in the puddles
then shuttled the mud
back to our shuttle;

which actually was home
a place we had flown
back from the books
from where we had grown.

The seeds were sown,
we dethroned the gnomes
that threatened our throne,
our garden of stones.

Hellish the battle
through lightening that crackled
and thunder that shackled
ear drums to be rattled.

But under our tent
noons we’d spent
imagining clouds
descending their scents.

Aroma of things
that we used to do
before we grew up
and abandoned our youth.

Tonight,
you choose.
We’ll bundle,
we’ll snuggle,
we’ll relight the fuse.
Redouble our cuddles
there’s no time to muse.

Roses will wilt.
Violins will play blues.
I’ll be your umbrella,
I’ll be your sombrero,
I will be your weather,
whatever you choose.

If Loving You Was an Occupation

You’d be
the final resting place
for rewritten résumés,
the death of typos
and updates.

I’d rather not
enter into view
of anyone else but you,
whether it be by attention
or in the form of a thought;
I’ll plot to find
the nearest exit.

I am through
with self-image suicide;
I’d rather bask
in your acceptance.

If you’re ever to question what
are my favorite past times:

1) The informal introduction
to your dimples,
picture-framed suitably beautiful
for your smile.

2) Hairdo or coiffure.
Quite frankly, does it even matter
when your hair
harnesses the power
to shampoo my no’s
into conditioning me to say yes?
I think not.

3) The artistry, the sophistry
you wittingly inject
into the deck of our colloquies.
You always did have an
ace of spades remark
slicker than sleet
melting upon tin roofs.

4) You’ve implored,
pored more into my essence
without question.
There is no
theory of origins
within the parameters of me
too small for you to forget.

5) We are bound
by confessional ties.
Your secrets,
need not start with me
but best believe
I’ll be your mausoleum.

If loving you,
was an occupation
they’d have to change me
into a salary employee
for being guilty
of milking the clock.

I desire
no time off.
I’ll love you deep
into the weekdays,
twice as much
over the weekends,
pay holidays
to take more time off
just to pay you
more attention.

If loving you,
was an occupation
I’d need no benefits to stay.
I’d invest heavily
into your laughter,
your smile,
the best 401k
time could buy
this side of our lives.

If loving you,
was an occupation
I’d hope it to be
the last place I’ll ever
have to apply.