Thirty-four facial muscles.
Some say the most crucial
of which is
the orbicularis oris,
because it is used
Just enough to make
that extra one
I keep between my lungs
s w e l l
and push the air out
Your Radiance travels
across the room,
over the clinking forks on dinner bowls,
past each four legged obstruction,
and above the jazz of table conversation,
just to dim the incandescent bulbs overhead
by way of comparison to the embers you house in your eyes
for now, his thick skull is pointed elsewhere
and yet his eye still turns in the socket,
defiantly towards home,
magnetized by sovereignty of physics
like a compass pointing to its favorite direction
but more like a boy staring into your gorgeous burning sunlight
and searing the purple-orange blots into his retina
at night his eye is shut,
closed like a wilted flower
that once had water to shed
and behind his eyelid
he can see the after images of
the time you both stayed up late holding hands and fiddling with pine cones
sharing the breath between your lips
A compass pointing home:
Your English surname, derived from the Norman Hamon (from the Germanic haim), sings this sentiment more perfectly than melody ever will
and each time it is spoken
it carries the same char of
and his wild eye reaches for the north once more
dancing playfully in a
garden of stars
and called it
decided that we too should
twinkle in this way
and called it
she and the tree
met in the usual spot
to perform an exchange of gifts
she reached into her lungs (next to her heart)
and pushed her offering
through her puckered lips
could you breathe for me?
I’ll breathe for you
then seasons changed
so she took her leave
and winter took the rest of them
but she and the tree
continue their exchange
even when they are apart
do you still breathe for me?
I’ll breathe for you
Have I ever told you how much I absolutely adore that question?
I declare it to be the very quintessence of your spirit (who knew something so rich and so precious could be held by three seemingly vacant words?)
That question is your hand, reaching out with such subtle tenderness that many may miss the gesture towards their heart.
That phrase seems to emit a warmth in your eyes like spotlights…
acknowledging the boggling wealth of individual experiences populating even the smallest section of town ( I had a dream we looked at an airplane under God’s star splashed field and got dizzy imagining personalized stories for each passenger)…
by inviting a small moment of self reflection amongst a cacophony of vacuous place holders for thought.
I guess we are all main characters in at least one chapter of any book, written and unwritten,
and you are an avid reader of human tales of all shapes, which I will always love about you.
So I think that’s pretty neat.
i can hear the ballet of your pen
across the page
i love the way you loop your letters
and how the ink obliges so eagerly
how could it resist
the urging of your fingers?
at this distance
next to you
as far from you
as wire mesh from the wind
who does capricious dances through the arms
of trees we used to climb together
when you say, “goodbye”
it feels like you mean it
when i say, “so long”
what i mean is, (don’t go)
but the breath is a dud
at this distance
To my surprise, past the curtain of dead mountains and beyond the unchanging, unmoving suburban ant farm still steeped in drought, there is a downtown area in the city of Riverside (which has no rivers to boast of, by the way). It was smaller compared to most other downtowns, but there it was, right next to the university.
So I was there, in one of the cafes of downtown. More specifically, I was below the cafe in the basement, where a small group of people gathered themselves around the makeshift stage. It smelled like nothing ever moved in there, despite the large hum of two fans which, without the aid of proper circulation and airflow, found their operation of cooling the room to be impossible at best. Within moments, all of our clothes clung to our moist bodies.
That night was the only time I saw him, sitting on the stage with his long hair and longer limbs. His guitar laid across his lap willingly.
He cradled the wooden body in his arms, his fingers tracing up its neck towards the headstock where he tendered the tuning pegs between his thumb and index finger, twisting slightly and then listening to hear a response. Then he just breathed. He breathed and lingered on stage like he wanted to leave but needed to stay. After more inhales and exhales and inhales and exhales, he finally plucked a chord that hung in the air before being claimed and swallowed whole by sheer gravity. And that chord was followed by several more notes suffering the same fate of physics, but the dying swan song of each note made a clear and soulful melody when strung together. Every chord drew us closer to the stage until our hearts leaned into him and each sound dove into oblivion one after another—and we dined on the obituaries. It was the heaviness of those sounds and the way each one seemed to drip into a pool at his feet that fooled me into hearing what I thought to be the breathless weeping of his guitar and we listened to him play for a long time and felt emptiness in our stomachs and thought about being incomplete.
In the night, when the wind flows through the trees, always passing and never staying, there are also the lovers and the heartbroken who listen to each other sing and sink their own hearts because melancholy is preferable to that droning numbness that says, don’t wake up tomorrow. I remember the first time I truly heard those notes ride through the air that night in the basement. The man with his guitar, gently dipping into its soul with every damn pluck, shedding the melody into a pool around his feet. He is the one that calls the lovers to love, the unloved to love even still, and he is the one who dares them to cry—and me with them.