LIVING

They sit in a small wine bar
on an out-of-the-way street
in an out-of-the-way city, she
sipping a Oregon Pinot Noir
while he is on his second
Alsatian Pinot Gris.
She asks him if he
ever thinks about death.
He peers into his wine glass,
than at her and smiles
a gentle smile, “I don’t,”
he says, “because I
have died too often already.”
She looks at him quizzically,
“What do you mean?”
“Simply that every moment
spent thinking about death
is a moment of death itself,
for I most certainly
stop living during that
contemplation, and I
prefer life in the moment
to death in the same moment,
because we both know
it will arrive sooner
than we desire or imagine.”

TURNING

He says, “I’ve run out of cheeks,
my own family has used up so many
and there are so few left,
I save them to have one to turn
when someone sincerely and truly atones.”

“I suppose,” she says, “there is
some logic to that.”

“Not at all,” he replies,
“for if someone truly atones,
if the apology is honest and heartfelt
there is no need for a cheek to turn,
the wrong is righted, the wound healed.”

She laughs in agreement, adding,
“You only turn a cheek when
you expect another wound,
and a wise man once said
if they keep hitting you,
get out of the ring.”

TWINKLE, TWINKLE LITTLE STAR

He says what he wants most
is to own a star, outright, no sharing.

She says that he already does,
at least a part of one,
and he should be happy with that.

He laughs at her, and reminds
her that stars are huge, and
even a part of one would
light the room and his life.

She says she
can see them everywhere
and he could to if he
would just look carefully.

He says she is just
making noise to quiet him.

She says all it took
was a big bang and much time.

He glows when he hears this.

ROAD TRIP

Two nights gone
and sleep has come fitfully,
and I stir each time
I reach across the bed
and you aren’t there,
and there is only the faintest
smell of bleach
and cleaning solvent.
I want very much
to dream of you,
to trace your cheek
with dream fingers,
to taste your lips on mine,
to hear the placid rhythm
of your breath,
but there is only
a stack of unused pillows
and the sound of the heater
battling to life.
I dream of you by day,
by night your absence
pulls me from the precipice
of deep sleep and dreams.

 

MORNING BECOMES

We awaken and look at each other
as though we are meeting for the first time.
Your eyes seem new to me, but well
remembered, a place I have often been,
which is always new, always where
I want to go, from which
I want to never return.
I trace your chin, your shoulder-blade,
and my fingertip knows its way,
finding anew what it desires, this
day like every other, unlike any other.
We soon, too soon most days, arise
and begin a day that is so much
like the one before it, and before it,
and totally different, but our love
is an unwavering constant, a thread
that easily spans both space and time.

ERGO COGITO

She says she is certain she exists,
much as she is certain he exists as well.
He says, she thinks she exists,
thinks he does as well.  
                                               Descartes, he says,
was right, at least on that point.
She says no, it is obvious, thoughts
requires existence. Sum ergo cogito,
she says, is how it must be:
a thought requires the thinker.
He says a thinker requires a thought first,
without which there is no thinker.
She says an egg doesn’t mean
a chicken will emerge.
                                                  The chicken
will, if all goes well, he claims.
He says she puts the cart
before the horse.
                                     She says
he is an ass, and hers
is a donkey cart, and she
dangles a carrot from a stick
in front of him as he
pulls her cart slowly down the road.