With You

With you I am silent- I curl into the S of your body
and linger over the pounding rhythm beneath your skin.

With you I am hesitant- drifting like a balloon released
from a child’s grip, aloof and straying too far away.

With you I am magical- my incantations will drip and slide
across the bedsheets to widen your eyes.

With you I am bitter- incessantly licking my wounds,
dredging up venomous words that I wanted forgotten.

With you I am timid- slowly swallowing my inadequacies,
tucking each fault under my coat to study later, alone.

With you I am famished- tearing at your silky hair
with desperate shaking hungry hands.

With you I am safe- layered in our whispers of faith,
awash in your breath like soft salty waves.

Losses and Reflections

Was I ever in love with you?
Or did I simply crave a bedtime companion,
for caresses and sweet kisses and an ever-present charisma
to take the spotlight off me?
Maybe I only needed to feel needed.
I just want someone on the other end of the line
when I pick up the phone.
Was I really in love, or was I in need?
Is a lover a shield, a mirror, or a storybook?

Perhaps If We Met in a Different Life

It would taste like a citrus sliver of a dream
to absorb the warmth of your hand on my cheek.

Settle into me like you’re going home.
Stroke my hair and feel
how coarse the pain has grown.

We could rock each other into a softer place,
lulled like ocean waves skimming over sand.
It would feel like finding land after years at sea.

I Might Have Fallen in Love Today

I felt sparks flying behind my eyes when they locked with yours.
I was worked up, sweating. You helped me take apart the garden beds,
set the screwdriver to the boards, showed me how it’s done.

I marveled in the way your dirty Carhartt pants fit, slim but loose,
gliding over your angles and curves. I couldn’t tear my eyes away.
But words became trapped in my throat, glued to my insecurity.
She doesn’t like me. I was afraid of rejection, of shame.

Now I am afraid of never knowing you, of walking down streets
for the rest of my life and forever searching the faces for yours.
Now I am afraid that I made a mistake out of fear.
I should have asked your name, looked deep into your eyes,
brushed your arm, taken your hand, smiled at you longer.

Now all I can do is write a “Missed Connection” on Craigslist
and sit on my couch, thinking of your eyes
and how they melted me.

Bisous (Kisses)

Merci mon ami, mon chérie

You explained, accented, the difference:

Like ‘honey’. A music rolling off your tongue

Effortless bisou caught between our bodies

Until I mimicked your words one time

too many. You pleaded please don’t

Pourquoi? I apologized yet

yearned to repeat those Rs sliding

through your mouth

And the reflection at the bottom of my tea

isn’t nearly so neat as your whimsical murmurs

vienne, vienne and calling my skin sweet.

Our sun sets as it does– coucher de soleil

and in three weeks, what will I have to show for this

besides cool fingertips tracing my memory,

lilting phrases jumping hoops in my head?