Indoors

I don’t hate the way it obscures the view,
how I open the blinds only to be blinded still,
because I wake up high in a low-down cloud,
shivering on the balcony,
peering over the edge, I’ve less fear than usual,
as if the sky had brought the ground to meet me,
promising a soft landing
all the while filling my lungs with crisp, wet air,
as I breathe out soft little clouds of my own in the chill.

I don’t begrudge how it makes us hide our skin,
bundled up beneath layers of cotton and down,
because your gorgeous smile still peaks above the zipper,
eyes unhidden and softly aglow,
reminding me of what you harbor
close and warm under your gaze.

I don’t long for the end of foggy winters,
the washed comparison and cooler tones
that clears my windows of dust, bugs, glare and streaks,
leaving me to survey, whimsically, with tea in hand,
curled up with my summer, indoors.

A trap

Clouds form behind doors,
deep-set in hills, like eyes in brows.
Hums leak from edges,
cause ripples of air, like heat on roads.
I’m drawn to it.
Blood pressure infused with gravity,
it weighs on me
heavy silence, like thick-laid snow.
Words wait there, I’m sure;
snared and bear-trapped, deathly glow,
laced with poison,
rigged to blow.

He leaves a mark

I wish one time you’d scratched me,
and left a mark I could look back on.
But you never scratched, did you?
Your mommy kept your nails short
so that even when you greeted us at the door –
both paws stretching up onto our thighs –
or when you clambered onto my shoulders –
tail swishing, always purring at your efforts;
that funny little parrot-dog you were –
the only marks you left were on my heart,
and in your tiny trails of mischief;
knocking greeting cards to the floor so you could put them under your feet
and skate about.
What cat does that?
What cat trusts so wholeheartedly,
stretches full-length, draped across his mama’s belly and chest,
arms raised,
‘asking a question’,
his own belly exposed,
toes pointed,
and falls asleep in that position
as the rubbery hums take him?

But they took you too hard this time, buddy.
Too soon.
They took you deeper than any of my pleading rubs, nudges, or words could rouse.
I promise you we tried, Apollo.
You knew – and inspired – the truest love.
Sweet prince,
my buddy,
you marked me good.


Dedicated to our sweet boy cat, Apollo, who passed so suddenly and unexpectedly at 3am this morning; a cruel theft of half the time we should have had to love and be loved by this beautiful little dude.

It’s been only 14 hours since we lost you, but I have never missed anything more in my entire life.

Sweet dreams, buddy. I am so thankful for every moment we had together.

– 23 November 2019, 5pm

Slow at Jo’s

My streets
are damp and puddled from overnight rain,
lined with trees and coffee shops
glowing from the dark corners of morning,
decorated with yellow and blue lightbulbs
hung like a tiny county fair,
green, wood frames holding the glass in place,
a home amidst the high-rises,
bigger on the inside than seems possible from out,
coffee refills,
egg sandwiches,
and time.
How does it do that?
Hours emerge from minutes
like stripping back a Russian doll.

Time slows down for Jo’s,
and I, for one, could use some slow.

I chose to go down

I wake outside of myself
slipping from my body as easily the sheets;
I cannot tell if I’m naked,
or if that makes sense at all.
I’m form-less,
but I am me.

A courtesy glance at the still-asleep,
I feel no dread or sadness,
though it may be the last time I see them.

Sinking through the floors and walls,
I pass diagonally to the city streets,
overshooting a little,
my chin resting on the tarmac
like an infinity pool,
watching the rigid concrete of my old existence
spill over the edges,
the hills,
the horizon.

What does it say about me,
that as soon as I were free of form,
able to soar or launch through space,
that instead I chose to go
down,
and down?

I allow myself to draw ever-further
to the fiery core of this earth;
the closest thing to home.
The fire is all I know.

Impart

I hope that one day I’ll be wise,
walk slowly through the trees,
and listen to the breeze
as it bustles leaves upon the path,
clearing way for another truth
that took a lifetime to muster.

It hits me, with simple, clear conviction,
putting a stutter in my stride,
but nothing more dramatic than that;
a wry smile,
and a small shake of the head.
“Where have you been?” I say,
aloud.

I must get home. I’m burning up!
I am a man who holds a great secret;
for that is what truth is before freed,
before having the chance to pass it on.
I’m desperate to,
and I’m terrified of my death finding out
before I’ve even had the chance
to write it down.

Suddenly, I feel so mortal –
eating spaghetti in an expensive shirt,
red sauce and chinos;
I’m fixated on the threatening stains,
making them ever more likely,
of course,
like swerving into the headlights
of oncoming traffic,
like becoming weak-kneed or unstable
as you peer over a sheer cliff.

I faced death many times on the way.
I greeted them each, politely,
with a tip of my hat,
never slowing down
or holding their gaze,
for fear they’d engage me in conversation;
that’s how they get you. I’m sure of it.
“Haven’t you had enough yet?” they say,
an outstretched hand beckons.
“Come; it’s time.”