Night Blindness

I drive by sense memory
My hands like braille on the wheel
Eyes closed against the demons
That come out at night to play
These shadows playing hide and seek
Like the unbidden thoughts of her
But I pretend they do not sting
That I am not ripped from the inside out
In order to get home safely
These other cars pass by going seventy
I blink and they are gone
Leaving blurry spots in their wake
The lights from houses burning bright
Replace them one by one by one
As I pass unseen, by familiar paths
This twisting geography of my soul
Leading me to where I’ve been before
Even if I’m tired of this rhythm
This drum beat that drowns out noise
That leaves me craving another.

The night swallows me entirely
Not even any intermittent lights
To rescue me from disappearing
Road stretched out for an eternity
Beckoning to me like aged wine
Eyelids glued shut against the world
Recalling nights of wild laughter
The touch of a woman’s hand
Soft and feather light, like air
A whisper from across the room
Echoing in the intervening stillness
This maddening kiss, quick on the lips
Just beneath the surface of my thoughts
Soul crushing in its absoluteness
Storm clouds gathering overhead
Waiting for the thunderous warning
That says we’ll be drenched by morning
You calmly riding in the passenger seat
Humming a song I can almost remember
From a time I can’t forget.

And I don’t know how I got back home
These shadows always close in at dusk
This complicated dance until the dawn
When I finally open my eyes again
To drink in the essence of the day
But for now I’ll sleep in the dark
And let the night claim me for its own
Like you did when my eyes could see
You, a supernova that exploded brightly
For a fragment of time, then gone
Your afterimage burned into my eyelids
Even though you’re only a memory
That my senses forgot to forget.

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Drowned

This bed is overrun
By you and me
And the ghost of she
Slithering between sheets
Turning steam to ice
Vapor cooling clean
But I blink and she’s gone
This sometime paramour
This consequential sigh
An uncomfortable reminder
Of how close we came to ruin.

At night we toss and turn
Sweat soaked and sobbing
Impressions left at midnight
With the spinning of the moon
And dreams no true compass
To bring us back to two
This threesome overwhelming
In its vapid solidity
It squeezes out my breath
Like I’m drowned by air
And pillows, and silken hair.

I recall her high cheekbones
Dusted with powder and spice
The way she turned away
When I’d finally caught up
And I shouldn’t have wanted her
Not the way I was. Not then
But she turned me inside out
Like a shirt out on the line
Waiting for the sun to rise
High enough to warm my soul
And melt these wings of wax.

This bed is overrun
By shadows and white lies
By startlingly open eyes
Turned to face the wall
Taught to build compartments
To keep out the driving rain
To lock these spirits up again
Where they can cause no further pain
But that’s the merest fantasy
All paper thin like sheets
Sliding you away from me

Leaving only the ghost of she
And being drowned by air.

Shallow Glass

This shallow glass holds volume
The shape of which changes like pitch
Thrown onto an empty canvas
Its striations subtly mesmerizing
Forming whirls and whorls
As individual as fingerprints
Pressed against this plate glass
Pulled away to reveal these sins
Lamentations of a life gone awry
Or at the least turned inside out
Its tag jagged from constant friction
I can’t imagine anything else
Any comprehensive retribution
Any consequential fragmentation
That can loosen stubborn lips

This shallow glass holds its shape
Idly windblown and weather beaten
Conscious of tuning fork vibrations
Shaking this confidence to the core
Like so much overturned earth
After a hurricane has had its way
All carved white flesh and bone
An icy, fragmented countenance
This white sand blowing away
Revealing a skeletal perfection
Adjusted under tissue paper skin
An adulterated masterpiece
Cultivating a redemptive sigh
From lips parted slightly in the cold
Constantly waiting to inhale

Constantly waiting to inhale.

Fugue in A Minor

This whisper burns clean
Simmering as it sterilizes
A hummingbird kiss
So full of surprises
This fantasy realized
In the shadow left behind
When you stopped loving me

It all started with a look
An invitation to a dance
The promise of consequence
A forever left to chance
When love was a side effect
That counted double
But that was an age ago

The gossip in these walls
Thriving on pain and misery
We stand on opposite sides
Of this sordid history
This incandescent afterlife
This one-sided misery
The charred remnants of love

Now only this breath remains
As balmy as a summer’s day
A tantalizing reminder
Of what I could never say
My heart beating overtime
Marking conspicuous hours
Since the death of love

Yet a flickering stays true
Because I’ll always love you.