118


there is so much joy
in that smile, so much hope
in those expectant,
unknowing eyes — his eyes
lost in the moment, too busy
swimming in hers
to see, to recognize
what’s right in front of him.

he is exposed — consumed
by fire, by the certainty
of her hand
reaching firmly for his,
by the rhythm of her pulse
beating in time
with his own.

but he can never know
the heart he seeks, yearns
for, wants to hold
close to his own;
the distance,
he cannot overcome.

he can never touch
her love
the way his love
desires,

and he can never hear
the words
her lips
cannot utter.

but his heart, so ready
to love
and to be loved,
smiles,
mistaking her loneliness
for fire.

106


we’re getting close now…

another year,
and another,
and another…

it’ll be ten before we know it.

so much time,
so many empty hours
and nights like this…

running circles in my head
with no end in sight.

it’s been so long,
and there have been so many faces.
bright, smiling…
none of them mine.

why do i need permission
to be happy?
where is my peace?

86


when my nature –
a terrible, disappointing
nature –
finally reveals itself
for all to see, i shall be

devastated.

i shall be frank
i shall see…

me.

i shall see me
for what i am,
for what i have always been
and always will be.

i shall see me,
the true me…

a me i’ve never wanted to see.

no lies,
nothing left to veil my eyes
and nothing to say
what isn’t true.

i shall be
that which is most frighteningly
me.

in that recognition,
i will persist

but because i am broken
i will continue to break…
in a thousand different ways,
i will break.

but i am me.
that much is true.

№ 13: For Heidi


This is dedicated to my wonderful dog, Heidi, who did so much to bring joy to my life, especially when I couldn’t bring it to myself. She had a long and happy life, and she will be sorely missed.

Heidi, Queen of the Couch (4/21/2014)

Heidi, Queen of the Couch (4/21/2014)

My heart aches,
and I already feel
the weight of your absence
pressing on my chest
so firmly it’s hard to breathe.

My mind fails me now…
what is that separation
between past and present,
between your still-beating heart
as it watched the passing cars
and the awful silence
following our final act of love?

You were never a what to me,
but a who: my not-so-little girl
with a thousand names none can understand
but I can recite without hesitation;
my treasure who reminded me daily
of what true love is.

We found you, saved you,
but I think you knew
that you’d saved us
more times than I can count.

A boy’s best friend,
you watched me grow up
into the man I am today;
your whole life spent
making sure I was okay…
because of you, I always was;
because of you,
I always will be.

My happy little girl – so happy,
so loving.

Today, we said our goodbyes,
because we must – it was time
and you were ready; you’d told us so
– and we thanked you for everything,
told you how much we loved you,
and did our best to be strong.

We will always miss you.

We will always love you.

You will always be our Heidi,
my Heidi,
and we will always be your family.