More Than an Address

Last month,
my heart beat itself
into my 29th lap at life,
14 years deep
in spilling ink
and I have yet
to address you.

You,
born to islanders for parents
that spoke a dialect of love
so broken,
it could be translated
into abuse
all too easily.

You,
with the mother
that chose to raise daughter
instead of son
for a sum of reasons
I still can’t calculate.

You,
with the austere father
that robbed you of weekends,
summer breaks,
sleep-ins,
and childhood days
to secure a man that knows
he, who cheats himself
from labor today,
saves himself the crumbs
for his daily bread tomorrow.

Last night,
the eyes of the woman I love
inquired for the inventory
to my damage.
Internally,
the barcode of my lashes
pitched a price too high
for my pride to break the bank.

But verbally,
I complied.
My reply:
“I never felt
like I was enough.”

At times,
parental love
felt rationed.
At times,
I envied the island
from whence they came
because the dialect
of the ocean’s love
was all encompassing and
I just wanted to be
loved that way.

How,
in a house with two kids
did I feel like the third option to love?
Why,
did I have to question
if blood was thicker than water?
When,
were you going to inform me
that I was something worth bragging about
well after the party was over,
well after church luncheon?

This,
may not be a confessional
but I needed you to be real with me.
Some twenty odd laps at life
still searching for approval
isn’t the idea formula for sanity,
or the blueprint
for constructing a man’s confidence.
Fourteen years of spilled ink
got me skilled to sink
in someone else’s moccasins,
when I just needed you to show me
how to walk in my own.

I needed to know
what home felt like,
needed to see
that it was more than walls,
more than ceiling.
I needed to know
it was comprised of feeling
more than longing,
of loving and belonging
to something more than an address
I used to call home.

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Road Trip

He held her, 
like the shuddering soup
in a ceramic bowl
gone cold
on a road trip with potholes;
hands trembling 
with mistakes, 
steady 
with his effort
to hold her together. 

Things 
were bound
to get messy. 
She
was bound to escape,
but he’d love her just the same
only she needed not
a love that played safe.

He held her,  
like the moment
you jump off plane
and dive into sky. 
He was clutching for her life
as much as he thought
she was for his but, 
she fell in love with
free falling into herself, 
when nothing about his actions 
ever made her feel
more grounded. 

His words
were parachute, 
his hands
confounded, 
his touch
felt like calculus, 
rigid
and rugged. 
Tender 
is the lesson you learn
when you kamikaze your heart
to spark another’s 
into flames. 

But love felt
rehearsed here.  
He said
all the right things
at all the wrong times;
but could never
nurse her hurt here. 
He spoke
often to her mind, 
when she craved a whisper
to her heart. 

So if you’re going to love her, 
love her bold. 
If you’re going to heal her, 
heal her whole. 
Give her something 
to hold on to. 
Give her something 
to believe 
that there’s more spine 
behind the letters you construct, 
than the bones
you align in your closet. 

She’s aching to trust in a future
that doesn’t resemble
familiar road trips
that left her stranded beside herself,
hitchhiking her way
back through the potholes 
she spilled herself into.
At least she knows
where to find herself,
do you?

She said…

She said,
she’s never been
held like this before but,
not verbally.

It was in the way her
hands glided up
and down,
gripping enticement.

The way her fingers
ghost walked
down the corridor of my spine,
flanked my sides,
continued the aerial assault
on my senses
with nothing pretentious.

I could tell,
even her shadow
wanted to be one with mine
with a union that cloned
our identities,
so seamlessly.

An amalgam
of mind
and flesh,
soul,
and breath,
heart
and chest;
a rhythm
we meshed
beautifully.

Somewhere
her inhibitions
lost their footing.
Her nails,
clawed for reasons
to let go,
found none
to drive her to safety
only satiety.

She converted my embrace
into home,
willingly placed herself
under house arrest
in my arms,
til she can trust
another’s touch
won’t leave her more judged
than justified,
more livid
than loved,
more broken
than she was found.

Forbidden Eden

Transparent fingers
tossed her hair up
like a ballerina,
no,
like a feather
caught in isolation
awaiting wind’s exhalation to
glide again,
kite the wind.
Yeah, they were light –
but you’re not getting me.
They
were
light!
Competing with the sun’s rays
and were diffracted
only to be seen as
the color they were:
rippled strands of alluring black,
gorgeous.
Care worn shoulders and burdened back
would catch them every time,
like a divine promise savored.

Her laughter, like a luminous body
would search out every crevice of darkness
if only they could laugh with her
for a moment.
As if she had the power to
peel away
death dyed hues from night.
As if her laughter
could replace the stars
sorrow-wished upon,
As if the glowing silver dollar
didn’t remind us that the sun
would shine it’s rays of hope again.
She laughed,
like we all wanted to,
as if she’s never been
broken from within.

Her soul,
wasn’t golden
nor outlined in silver,
for there’s no need
to gild the lily.
It was simply colossal,
beautiful in its own lot.

She kept her many broken hearts
upon an undusted shelf labeled:
“Will Love Again,”
and she would live just that,
just
without
me.

Here would I remain
steadfast in past and future
as an impressed fossil
upon her unhealed heart;
never to be unearthed,
dusted off,
then cherished as if rare
if she’d dare to:
love me.

I’ve found the fountain of life
hidden within,
running through her veins
and yet
it is here that I can only peer in,
see my reflection broken,
and I even more.

So here I stand at the east doors,
her Gates of Paradise,
beholding the forbidden fruit
far too long for safety,
far too short of comfort…

but I’ll forever remain bound
to the roots of her love,
slave to her
forbidden Eden.

Only Because You Asked

I’d like to spin your voice
into slits of vinyl;
hear the dips skip into static,
fabricate your flaccid,
casual vowels into acid,
corrode your syllables
into a skeleton of coarseness
to graft into your spine
to tell me face to face
how you really feel;
because somehow
I don’t find a two a.m text saying:
“It’s over…”,
clear enough.

I’ve spent two and a half afterlives
purging the purgatory of my existence
from the faults you claimed
quaked us in halves too distant
to pigment with closure.

I’ve watched the tectonics of your logic
shift us into shapes
we sift ourselves through
searching for better yous
in hims and hers
while hinging from the clefts of whys
I’d die to suicide from
to find a better us.

But I can’t resurrect
an atom of myself
to loathe an iota
of your essence.

I’m still dreaming to live
an unpredictable past;
to fasten the shadow
of the me before you
to fractured ankles
of my future,
in hopes of living this present
above my tombstone.

Because there’s no one else
I’d rather see rain dance
under amber lights of night,
to sweep streets
with ballerina-like feet
absent of grace;
to wake puddles
muddled with my complacency
to your rejection.

Because Cupid’s aim is amiss,
the vintage of Valentine
births the villainous in you
and the death
of everything merry I’d marry;
to hear the verity
in another’s “I do…”

I’m addicted to the taste
of your amalgamations,
yet nothing
will ever be as hallow
as the hollowed moments spent
soaking digital repudiation
through naive pupils
and having their tears confess
to eardrums that’d shiver
at the thought of listening.