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My memory (to come)

My murky memory extrapolates the smoke,
pixelated recollections somewhere in the cache
that clears itself (a grasp slackens)
as I hasten to replace lost echoes
with reminiscences to come,
not forgotten among the ash,
rising if we dare stretch hereafter.

The future — always fuzzy like sleep
that won’t rub out of our eyes — changes
every time we look at it, as we push forward
carrying the momentum of those better angels
urging us to grow our own wings
and launch ourselves to join those
refusing to leave progress to others.

Time will tell what tales we create,
Proceeding only where we dare.

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One perspective

The caged butterfly beats wings
against captivity, hostage to forces
beyond the walls imprisoning it.
Arresting (and attractive) orange
(dotted with black) elegance —
I am enchanted by such
spunky thrashing against its netted bondage,
beauty bound for something more.

What makes me move on past
the incongruous scene (set behind
an inhibiting screen) is the thought
(or is it hope?) that the lattice serves as shield,
protecting the gentle innocence within,
armor against the elements — a matter
of perspective authentically mine,
beset with doubts until I’m out of view.

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Stuck in a vase

What intimacy in a rose —
unafraid to draw blood it
entangles (or ensnares) all brave enough
to reach (stuck in that moment)
for a thrill.

Its perfume no longer pricks
my nose (in moments overcome
by desire I stick my nose in)
bred instead for its petals —
so red (or pink).

I’ll let this rose rest in a vase,
passion burning in tepid water
(I must remember to change
the water) — safe from plucky hands
(and fingerprints).

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Scars

These memories may thaw but
they refuse to melt away —
stubborn stains impervious to
my meticulous clawing.
Blankets and band-aids cover scars
but the scorn burns — contempt
for what was and won’t be.

We lack agency in our most
chilling moments, coughing
against whatever fate has consigned
to us (Did I cough when
you left? That particular
memory escapes me) futilely
clutching a blanket for warmth.

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