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?