another ending.

your eyes
  even across the miles
    through the screen
on my phone
  are slightly puffy
    and you've given it
a lot of thought
  and I believe you
    why wouldn't I?
how could I not?

your soul
  bared to me
    although you had
no reason to
  you owe me nothing
    two strangers who
connected
  across the spectrum
    for the briefest
of moments

your words
  at once hurt
    even as they heal
and it becomes
  clear to me that
    you would care
if the circumstances
  were different
    but they are not
and you don't

and the irony
  is that I've used
    this very same lie
myself

questions for me.

I give
     you take
          I look to the pigeon
               or is it a butterfly
"is this compromise?"

you ask
     I tell
          you are non-plussed
               duly unimpressed
"why do I even bother?"

we stop
     we start
          we are consistent
               in our inconsistency
"what are we, exactly?"

you're closed
     or is it me?
          I can no longer tell
               who's driving this train
"where to now, babe?"

we look
     but don't see
          and where do we get off
               trusting each other to care?
"do I even know you?"

you give
     I take
          but what you've given
               is not enough, never is
"is this all there is?"

breakfast.

Man, what I wouldn't give to
live the life of my dog,
or for that matter, to
live the life of my cat

is what I think as I look at
Zeus curled up on his bed
over in the corner by the TV
his only care in the world 
when will breakfast be served?

is what I think as I listen to
Snuggles mewing incessantly
demanding breakfast,
his only care in the world
why haven't you served me breakfast?

is what I think as I hear
Mac stirring upstairs, getting up
to walk circles around her bed
shaking her collar, tags rattling
oblivious to it almost being breakfast time.

is what I say aloud to no one
Zeus asleep
Snuggles hangry
Mac sleeping in
Me, starving, with no one to make me breakfast

word-shaped windmills

I wonder how others are able
to read what they've written
days or months or years ago
and not cringe uncontrollably

did I really think that?
was that how I felt?
what was I thinking then?
jesus fucking christ

I read and reread my favorite
authors and am always moved
by their ability to capture
a feeling in a given moment

and I wonder, do they respond
to their own work as I respond
to the words I have committed to
this great, vast cloud in the sky?

do they realize the profound
effect they have on the reader?
Is that what separates the great
writers from hacks like me?

or do I judge myself too harshly,
does familiarity breed contempt?
am I able to tap into the zeitgeist
or am I tilting at word-shaped windmills?

and in the end, when I say what
I have to say and tap "publish"
do I get lost in the meaningless
cacophony of the electronic void?

or are my words lying in wait for
their next unsuspecting victim
ready to pounce with all the force
of a thousand crouching tigers?

I don't imagine I will every truly know.

while waiting on the Keurig

how often I am the hypocrite
in the name of keeping the peace
in the name of not wanting to offend
in the name of avoiding conflict

is honesty always black and white?
is there no little grey area?
is there no room for twisting?
there can be no place for hypocrisy

there is a fine line between
being honest and being a hypocrite
is a little white lie a sin?
can such a thing even exist?

is it fair to mislead someone if
the lie is close enough to the truth
(from a certain point of view)
so as to be indistinguishable? 

which holds more value?
do we really want unabashed
honesty when it will only serve
to deflate our too-sensitive egos?

we are all living a lie to a certain extent
(some more so than others, of course)
and our lives are always in danger of
being punctured by the harsh light of truth

do we play along, or do we have an
obligation to serve the greater truth
regardless of what...oh, wait...

...my coffee is finally ready.

flow.

flow
is like
that river that
runs through the gorge
the white water gurgling and
splashing as you firmly
grip the sides
of your
raft

flow
is like
holding on to
the feeling that churns
your guts and fills your heart
with an indescribable need
to relish it
and let
go

flow
is like
that moment you
gaze into her eyes
and her face lights up
like a little child
and right then
you know
her

flow
is like
the endless dance
of being decisive and
allowing the universe to come
to you and show
you what it
intends for
you

flow
is like
letting go of
what you thought it
was supposed to be and
giving yourself over to
what it is
meant to
be

yeah, that.

Hey, you know how
when you first open your
eyes and the room is still
pitch black and the only
sounds are traffic outside and
maybe a too-loud TV somewhere
and it takes a moment or three to
get your bearings and
the day is filled with 
possibilities and the 
moment you've been waiting for
is just hours away and
you're filled with both
excitement and dread?

Hey, you know how
when you look back at
something in your past that
seemed at the time to be
innocuous at best and
it is only through the lens of
time and experience that
you come to realize that
it was actually a turning point,
a clearly defined before and after
that you can only now
see in your rearview mirror?

Hey, you know how
when the brain fog starts to
lift and you take the first
sip from your second cup of
coffee and your morning
headache starts to fade and
the room starts to come into
focus and you realize that
maybe, just maybe, this might
turn out to be one of those days,
a turning point that will clearly
demarcate "then" from "now"?

Hey, you know how
when you're sitting on the
edge of your bed and you think to
yourself, what have I gotten myself
into this time? and you are
simultaneously excited at the
prospect of what is to come and
dreading having to start the
whole process over again,
wondering if it is worth all of
the effort it is going to take to
just be yourself, open to
both acceptance and rejection?

Hey, you know how
when you push all of that 
aside because you have
things to do and people to
see and hearts to break and
all of that other faux-confidence
stuff that you tell yourself to
help you make it from one day
to the next, and so you turn the
water on and wait for it to get
hot enough to get in the shower and
you stand there staring at the wall
with the hot water running down 
your back as you push back
against all of your self-doubt?

Yeah, that.

…and wait.

and so I hold my breath and wait

which is not something I do
so out of my comfort zone it is

to not push forward is anathema
not only to my way of thinking
but to who I am as a person

but to push forward would be
a mistake that I am tired of making
a miscalculation of epic proportions
and so I hold my breath and wait

and gladly, believe it or not
for the alternative is not 
something I would wish on anyone

fools rush in where angels fear to tread
and I am both crew and captain

of this ship of fools.

hope

hope is a visceral thing
 sometimes swift and blinding
  in its clarity and purpose
   sometimes slow burning
    a train that never arrives
     a flight you fear you've missed
      a light that won't turn green

      hope may spring eternal
     but in the moment it feels
    as if my heart may burst
   and when my struggle is
  an aversion to delayed 
 gratification I wonder if
the wait can possibly be worth it

and what is hope, really, but
 anticipation of something
  better or different or at least
   something real and solid and
    something you can hang your hat on
     or, if you are not one for headwear,
      something to believe in

      so when I say, take your time
     or when I say, really, there's no rush
    what I'm really saying is this:
   I don't want to rush you but
  this is really important to me
 so if you could find it in your 
heart to do so, tell me now

mirrors

it has often been said that
          the eyes are the mirror of
     the soul
and I was always skeptical 
          until I met you and
     discovered that

your eyes are the mirror of
          your heart
     open and caring and
          full of life and love and
waiting for the promise of
     what is to come

ever mindful of what has come
          before
ever hopeful of what the future
          holds
ever searching for that missing
          piece
that will make sense of a senseless
          world

your eyes are the mirror of
          your love
     giving and generous
          patient and demanding
open to the prospect of
     finding love again

ever peaceful
     ever unsettled
          ever thinking
               ever forgiving

your eyes are the mirror of
          your soul
     warm and tender
          soothing and beautiful
secure in the knowledge that
     you will always be
          enough

-for Sarah

Talking To Me

Yesterday I was talking to Johnny
Or rather, he was talking to me
And when he told me that the kids
Were losing their minds, I said
Well hey, ho, let's go

Yesterday I was talking to Ray
Or rather, he was talking to me
And when he told me girls will be
Girls and boys will be boys, I said
I would also fall for Lola

Yesterday I was talking to David
Or rather, he was talking to me
And when he asked me to tell him
Who took the money? I said
You should stop making sense

Yesterday I was talking to Kate
Or rather, she was talking to me
And when she told me that it
Doesn't hurt her, I said
You and me won't be unhappy

Yesterday I was talking to Damon
Or rather, he was talking to me
And when he told me that he was
feeling heavy metal, I said
Woo hoo, woo hoo

Yesterday I was talking to Joe
Or rather, he was talking to me
And when he asked me if I 
Thought there may be trouble, I said
If you stay it will be double

Yesterday I was talking to Liam
Or rather, he was talking to me
And when he told me that I should
Realize what I've gotta do, I said
You're gonna be the one that saves me



drive

it just occurred to me
 apropos of everything
  that all of this time when
    i thought that i was just
     shitty at communication
      because you could never
       seem to understand what
        i was trying to say that it
         really wasn't me and i realized
          this in the most innocuous of
           ways as we were driving nowhere
          and nothing i said registered
         because you took the call and
        i spent the next forty five minutes
       of our midnight drive listening
      to one side of a two-sided
     conversation and when i turned
    around to take you home you
   seemed surprised and maybe
  even a little relieved but to me
 the light bulb lit over my head as if
i were a cartoon with a great idea