We've just met
so I could ask
all the usual things
(you know the list)

But I must admit
I don't care about
anything you say
until I know this:

Are you good?
Truthful, honest, kind?
Do you come through
every time?

And when you touch me
with hands smooth or calloused
will you know that I am real
beyond your ego's satisfaction?


This life roars through my ears
here in the quiet of the night
all too-muchness, too-manyness
every molehill a mountain
every whisper shouting

I reach to the other side
the sheet smooth and cool
meet my consolation
lullaby in the soft hem
of this long-loved quilt


go there
to the place
that frightens you

go there
with the lump in your throat
tightness in your chest
that place in your belly
wanting only to empty

go there
with the wish
each will find its end
you will pass through
and be free


I have been many things
with time I could describe
the contortions and adjustments
the almost willful ignorance
of my own attractions and satisfactions

Then quietly this morning:  I knew
the life to lead
the way to travel
a heels-over-head
to take me home


If I give away
one thing a day
how long might it take
to feel empty?

At first it will be
easy enough:
the philodendra can fill
a fortnight

After that, the photos
you never saw
and knives too long
to fit my hand

But soon enough
this give-away
will require the grasp
and release of fainter things:

Whispering sadness
wordless anger
hope for the promised
but never real