The same sharp intake of breath,
The mild tremor,
But–bliss–it comes while alone
Though it comes in waves,
Then the retreat.

Immutable we may be–
Enduring the selfsame plagues
We developed yesteryear.

And if we cannot change?
A slow sentence–
Though faster if need be
To release, reprieve
The strangling earthen coil.

But if I remain,
Do I subject another–
Do I bind her unto death?

I say if loving was easy
It would bore me;
I think myself so strong–
Somehow, sometimes,
Though I could not tell you why!

If I stay the course
I will lonely leave you;
I will fail, fall, finishing short.

So fly, fly to hope
Wherever it may be found;
One must bear the burden
If you will give it up.
Will you suffer it?


December Comes

The time has come to bundle me up
In coat and scarf, well-worn over years,
Guarding against the frosty air,
Though nothing thaws the cold within.

A heavy August morphed into fall,
And after, a deadening grayness.
The seasons changed and so did I:
From bleak environs now benumbed.

Ornaments and tree, skates and carols,
Distract me as best they can, but no,
The brumal bitterness remains
A frigid reminder of loss.

Even in the cold and wind and rain,
I still remember the feeling of
Singing your simpler summer songs,
But now I know December’s come.

“Just Thinking About You”

At my desk, in the middle of a Tokyo afternoon,
As you’re drifting off to sleep in another capital,
Half a world away from me, however I measure it,
You think of me and think to pick up your phone.

Sometimes I wish I could text you, too,
Every time you crossed my mind,
But then my phone would never leave my hand;
Every day, I see your face a hundred times.

Perhaps you will like, in spite of yourself,
Knowing you never leave my mind,
Even if it means admitting you are loved
By one who had every reason to leave.

It’s always been the wrong time, wrong place
For us; We never have made sense, have we?
But no one else makes me feel when I would think
And seduces my heart and mind together.

So tease me with your eyes, your tongue;
Battle me with your wit and words–
Say anything at all, and I will know
I am still on your mind–thinking about you, too.

Si je te manque…

Si le français est la langue de la romance,
Il faut que je te parle avec ses expressions
Même si que tu ne me comprends pas–
A vrai, particulièrement pour cela.

Mais tu comprends malgré que tu sais pas
Les mots particuliers ou leurs définitions;
C’est la différence entre le sens et la significance
Dont je veux et ne veux pas te livrer.

Quels mots as-tu pour un bien-aimé ?
Veux-tu me cèder n’importe quoi ?
Y a-t-il rien pour moi de ta part ?
Tu me dis oui et je te crois.

Last Fall

Where were we last Fall–do you remember,
Or have you barred the memory as I have?
Perhaps nothing mattered after the night
We spent in confession on the bathroom floor.

Odd, isn’t it, that to the common couple,
Spring is that magic of new beginning,
Of rebirth and growth and flourishing;
With us, it always seems to come in Fall.

To me, for us, Fall has been the season of firsts:
First sight, first drinks, first talk, first dreams.
Or is it just that I see you in every changing leaf
And I feel you in each cool breeze on my cheek?

No, not last Fall; and this Fall what can I do
But sow the seeds of love that I can only hope
Will come to flower in a far-off time and place?
This, at least, will be the last Fall without you.

Ten Things I Love About You

Who knows why it took us two so long
To see why we are the perfect match.
Could there be any as right for me as you,
Or a lover in all the world for you like me?

Did we not notice the signs that pointed
To love: full, enduring, and untamed?
Or was the slow build so imperceptible,
Lacking those larger acts of romance?

Instead, we have lots of little affirmations–
The likes, the agreements, that make us say
“What! you, too?” with every day that passes.

A romance born of fought-for friendship,
A chance to be known and loved in sum
By an understanding mind, a forgiving heart.

I love that you’re the perfect combination
Of silly and serious, and all that is good.

I love the way your body fits next to mine,
Lying in bed as you drift off to sweet sleep.

I love your shrewd, taming rationality when
I would burn, pine, and perish in my optimism.

But I love more the way your whispered words
Wind their way into my mind and soul.

I love the faces you make in the pictures you take,
Even though I act twice the fool you’ll ever be.

I love how very childish you are with me,
Though your adultish soul never wavers.

And I love finding, in my happier thoughts,
I can fly to a land where we’ll never be parted.

I love the way you make all that’s good in life–
Fall, rainy days, and weekend mornings–better.

I love the way we dream-weave our futures
Sans expectation, but with hearts full of hope.

Then I love going back to square one with you
And remembering why I fell all over again.

Even Here

These were not the lines I was supposed to write
After I pushed you over the edge with words–
Ideas that were meant to lift up, not drag down,
But they weighed on you like a millstone

You attached yourself as you stood before the edge
Testing your balance, to see if you’ve regained
The equilibrium you lost those years before.
I guess you carry your burden still–even here.

So I should be writing pain and hurt, and memory
Of happier times, when I stood in your presence,
Or slept soundly with your arm draped over my chest,
And the pain I know when I remember your touch.

Instead, somehow, I write… happiness. Can this be?
Has the storm lifted, and does the rain fall lightly now?
Do I hold you in my arms when I hold you in heart?
And can memory be substance? Am I content–even here?

I don’t know how you do it; I never have known
How you puppeteer your own heartstrings
To dance to music that only you can hear,
Yet you teach me the steps as best I can follow.

In the midst of the anxiety that harasses your mind,
You know just what to say to restore my soul.
Your voice, your words, they calm and reassure,
And they prove to me your love–even here.

Oh, Does He Try

From another’s perspective

Oh, does he try–tries my patience sometimes,
But he does try.

When others are so content to read the surface:
The calm, the placid, the still waters
Of my movement and expression,

He dives in, disturbing the deepest waters,
Trying to understand the picture he sees
Beneath the rolling waves.

And whether he understands, who’s to say?
Do I even know my currents and my tides?
But with barely a breath, he dives again.

So he loves–loves to tease and play;
Oh, does he love.

Distance and Time

An ocean and a continent
And four-hundred forty-four days
Is all that separates me from you
And your restful touch, your plaintive eyes.

And then… And then there is no plan,
No expectations—with exceptions
For little hopes and smaller dreams
That will only grow larger with time,

Though time has not yet been our ally
And even here attempts to arrest
Full-fledge of feeling in favor of
Waiting, waiting, waiting for the time

When we hold each other in flesh—
In more than mind and heart and dream.
Then, when your cheek is pressed to mine,
No ocean or year will separate us again.

Still of the Night

I cannot bear the silence of my room tonight,
And I must fill it with noise of wind and song,
Though the train passes beneath my window
And city-sounds crash through the wall.

No, this quietude is too much for me,
Though I dare not drown it in conversation,
A far too intrusive and meddlesome affair
With those with whom I share slight affinity.

But how is this now beyond the ken
Of one so accustomed to confinement?
The quiet is too empty for my ears
For they were once filled with your breath.