Catch your breath

Catch your breath, my dear,
let down your hair
and stare into the lens,
whilst men like me fend off the need
to overshare, but fail each time
to find resolve, and so divulge
how none could ever try compare
to your elven beauty; from now till death,
you’ll have to remind me
to catch my breath.

Everything I am

Is it so much to ask
for you to bask and fawn
at what is drawn from deep,
and seek to understand
the man who made it so?

Is it so hard to know
how far the throws may fall
if none at all are caught
or sought to be retrieved
for me, for you, for us?

Is it so dire to lust
for eyes I trust to find
the truths confined in words
they heard whilst listening
to everything I am?

Nothing at all

I often dream of losing it all
to fire, flood, or fleeing,
and romanticize my deportation
back to my homeland shores,
where I’d buy a house near the Cornish sea,
in an unassuming coastal town
that’s tucked away from tourism,
and huddles boats in coves.

Maybe one day I’d paint them,
on a whim, when words are not enough
to capture how they bob about,
in no particular hurry,
with scars along their bellies
that mark of a bolder past
where they had purpose beyond their staying afloat.

Retired to the curiosity
of those who wonder where they’ve been,
what they’ve held, and what they’ve seen,
they’re anchored for eternity
in the salty chill of an English port,
whose only sweetness comes in tea
that steams in foggy windows,
lit by yellow lamps for reading,
with faces propped on chins in hands,
dreaming out across the water
to top the waves with wonder.

Cresting and collapsing,
our sacrificial offerings
are washed against the rocks and lost
so we may live without those needs,
those fantasies and fallacies,
that try to trick us out of time
that’s better spent distilling rhyme
from dreams (not fears) where kingdoms fall,
and you’re left with everything,
which is nothing at all.


Breaths caught
like lumps of bread;
hiccups hop, and jump, and spread
from throat to lungs with bated dread.
My mind turns to Ohio.

Stomachs turn
like private sorrow,
churn and burn and fear tomorrow;
for either side, it’s hard to swallow
the color of Ohio.

Drinks poured
like loaded guns,
cocked, rocked, shot, and flung.
Show me the man who says he’s won,
and I’ll show you Ohio.


The sugar scrub reminds me of
the sand between our toes;
thrown back to when (on wooden decks,
as summer came to close)
we set up chairs, and passed around
a light for our cigars,
puffed clouds into the balmy night,
laughed hard into the stars.
Our voices echoed out to sea,
and bounced upon the waves.
Though long thought lost, it came to be
our laughter was engraved
in sentimental memories,
brought forth by little more
than everyday simplicities
that reminisce the shore.

The maraschino and I

Sometimes I’ll leave it there for days,
scared to touch it, for if I do
I know how I’ll be tempted – no,
demanded by the crystal
to stuff it full of ice
lace its skin with sweetness,
and douse with golden poison…
straining into its smaller cousin –
decadent, and invitingly chilled –
a single, large cube begs to crack,
as I have,
under the spill of viscous concoction.

I raise my glass to the maraschino and I,
drowning in our sorrows.


What is it you see
when I bare myself, torn open,
pins holding back the flesh,
heart pulsing, shuddering in electric air,
lungs shivering, exposed and rapid…
I strain to see you,
to read your expression.
I scream out for it.
What is it you see?

What is it you hear
when I pour and pull the music from my throat,
dig words out my gums from the raw, sharp root,
eyes watering, glistened with agony;
I’m desperate for it to sound like the truth…
I cover my face,
striving to zero-in on your voice.
I beg for you to tell me.
What is it you hear?

What is it you feel
when I force your hand through my chest,
ribs cracking, organs displaced,
fingers splitting through sticky blood….
I wince, twisting your knuckles to pull you deeper;
even if it kills me,
I need to know what it is you feel