Friday, August 01, 2008



Today I’ll hold you close in my embrace—
Or will be held in yours—

And both are good.

Each week has seemed a year;

Which I now know is what

Provides my new life’s inner pace.

When I left home, I never thought

I would or could find love again—

My heart would close on

Emptiness, regret, and grief.

No race is ever run the way we think it should be.

Forty years of wandering deserts

Rose before my eyes—

A fate I feared to face.

What miracle of love then

That I should so soon find answer

In the heart I chose.

My forty years were only forty weeks,

Before God laughed and gave the love he seeks.


Am I so weak that I can never stand
Alone on two feet like the rest of men?

I am, and I have fallen once again

For someone whose love

Leaves me all unmanned.

Yes, self-reliance is a worthy goal,

But too much of it here and now

May make it hard for hearts to open—

And they break if they are kept
Too long
too safe, too whole.
Unbroken hearts are few—

Most hearts that won’t respond

To proffered love,

Themselves once broke,

Lay bleeding when their love had left,

And spoke their own doom:

Not to risk death.

And they won’t.

But though it costs us dear,

Cuts like a knife,

It’s love and all its pain make sense of life.


I thrilled to hear your voice—
In just three days I’d see you,

And my world turned upside down:

The black dog who bitten me so hard,

Got up and wagged his tail

And went his ways…

“Love” was a verb before it was a noun;

War’s ways hold true in love: no holds are barred,

But where love and war walk those shadowed ways,

Our hearts and souls will sink,

Despair, and drown.

Love has the power to raise the dead,

The scarred, to life, to life eternal,

When our gaze is on the love

That will not wear a crown,

That trumps all suits by giving up its cards.

My heart throws wide the doors,

And I will keep our rendez-vous,

In hope of rest—and sleep.


Comparison is cruel.

Though love's the same,

And I seem quite unaltered, all is new.

I’m not the man I was till I met you—

Your word transformed me

When you spoke my name.

Yes, I who longed for love,

Had let love bleed.

I just could not believe my luck,

When I heard your heart echo mine.

I don’t know why you should have—

Nothing uglier than need.

At first it seemed like pity,

Like a bone thrown to a starving dog,

But bare of meat…

But then you knelt to raise me to my feet,

Responded, made my cry of need your own.

There is no joy like love returned in kind,

I first lost heart and soul, then lost my mind.


I’ve always been all thumbs.
That night it seemed I was all horn instead.

Three weeks without a hug or kiss,

And I was ready to attack him

On the threshold,

Have my way with him

There where we stood,

Or where he fell.

But he was even better than my dreams—

If I had wondered,

He removed all doubt that he’d missed me—

His balls a brighter blue,

His heat so great it turned our night to day.

How we survived the blaze I cannot tell.

I had been ripe and ready to be reamed;

And in that worship I was most devout,

But he proved just as pious,

And acutely tuned to what I needed him to say,
To what I longed to touch, to taste, to smell.

We gave our all and made our rites a rout.


Just come lie down, he says.
Too well I know he’s tired

From travel and the shifts in time;

So I strip and lie down,

And make my peace with his content

To slide toward sleep and rest.

True to tradition,

Nothing seems to go as advertised:

That slide becomes a climb toward pleasure,

And then upward,

Through increased degrees of heat,

And onward to the crest.

I sob and go where I long feared to go,

That place so near the brink of the sublime,

To pleasure past expression,

Past release, almost past my endurance.

He’s the best: his touch so sure, so gentle,

So in tune with what lies on

The dark side of my moon…


The triple vision makes my poor head spin:
Where I was just two years ago,

And one year since, and now:

The pictures overlap—

I’m in them all, and haven’t changed that much—

Yet I’m not who I was, or who I’ve been.

Two years ago, my daughter and my sons

Watched me depart

As though life were a trap.

A year ago, I’d found my love

And such delight in life

As almost seemed a sin.

I see my self,

Its new life well begun, move gingerly,

Half-blind, without a map—

Love calls my name and slays me with a touch.
What is, what was, what had been,

In full cry, pose
one unanswered question:
Who am I?

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