I loved you in the darkest of night.
And somehow I expected the imperfect light
of the moon’s crooked smile
to light me up like daybreak.
But you were a lame sunrise.
You were a harrowing curve
and I was scattered as broken glass.
I was scattered as change spilled from your hand,
rolled across the hard, tiled floor.
I was a head’s down penny
and my copper had lost its luster,
so that even then,
in my weakest moments,
I was not worth the effort
I am ready to spill my skeletons,
open the door to the proverbial closet
and watch them perform an irreverent
skitter-dance across our bedroom carpet.
They will two-step in the moonlight
shining in jagged strips through the
wire screen against our window pane.
They will sing a false swan song
with lipless mouths and bones that
rattle as change in your pockets.
They will twist up on one another,
like a bow around a present,
and I’m giving you this gift,
because it is no longer possible
to keep them in my head.
I am dragging them out from under
the piles of old neglected things
that hinder our ability to speak freely
and humiliate what is left of our love.
I am giving you faceless truths
and praying that the melody of our past
is enough to string us back together.
There is promise in the new year, in the fresh turn of the calendar page.
There is a resolute melody of positive change and growth.
There is hope lingering in each little, numbered box.
There is a conscious resolve hanging on the edge of that shining Time’s Square ball, that pushes us forward in happy motion.
And yet, let the dates fly by until another birthday approaches.
Let the candles pile upon the cake and watch death’s shadow creep, unwelcomed, unbidden, to leave a black mark that mars this passing of time.
It’s amazing how we view the passing of time, how certain events leave us feeling hopeful, and others simply remind us that we only have a short time here on this earth. I hope you all have a wonderful new year and that you are living your life to the fullest.
Of few things am I certain,
but that there is something magical in the Christmas holiday,
and perhaps it is only the sparkling paper
and cinnamon scented kitchen air,
but you, I find, are transformed in these moments
and I see in your smile the boy you were
before you lost enough to turn you into the man you are.
We’re all standing.
We’re standing with San Bernardino.
We’re standing with Paris.
We’re standing with Planned Parenthood,
with #GunSense and #GunControl.
We’re standing with #BlackLivesMatter,
and we’re standing with #NotInMyName.
Hell, we’re one hashtag away from becoming
the nation that stood for everything.
We’re all striving to be Lady Liberty,
statue-strong and docile.
We’ve grown accustomed to the rinse and repeat motions
of shootings and suffering and grief and standing.
Another life lost,
another prayer given,
another hashtag made,
and then it’s all forgotten.
We’re so busy standing with everyone,
we never take a step forward for change.
I want to stand with Paris.
I want to stand with Beirut.
I want to stand with Egypt,
I want to stand and stand and stand
but I’ve hit my knees
and forgotten how to pray.
I know in a few years Paris will be a grainy photograph
stuck to a thin page in some history textbook
with the caption
“Attack on Paris by ISIS.”
They’ll wrap up all the heartache and loss into
five words and
Fourteen years of the War on Terror
takes less than fourteen pages
and it won’t tell you that everyone remembers where they were
when those towers fell.
It won’t show you the things we all lost in those sands.
Maybe it’ll give you statistics.
Two or three lines to describe the casualties.
And somewhere among those numbers I hope they add in
the loss of my marriage,
the loss of the ability of a man to father his children,
the loss of the love that was once held by two young people
crazy enough to dash naked through the snow
and lie for hours on the grass as if no one could see them.
I hope they add on every family like mine,
the loss that can’t be packed into a wooden box
and marked with a number
and a small white cross.
I hope in all the political shit
piled into the text of these next history books
it says that we stood united
in fear, and loss, and pain.
That we stood with Paris.
That we stood even when our knees gave out
and we stood when we forgot how to pray.