My mind is your screened porch.
You sit in my imagination
on the daybed, reading.
The outside door inaudibly taps it’s frame.
Wind moves slowly in the trees,
almost overborne by freeway sounds.
My mind is your dining table.
You glance up at me,
unable to hold gaze for long.
The candles flicker, we taste our wine.
I feel heat pouring from you,
your desire, your reticence.
My mind is your bed.
I trace the hollow of your back
fingers brushing your skin.
Time slows, then resumes.
Outside this space, birds
sing, flutter, fly.
My mind is our space together.
Between us lies transient lily pads.
We walk across them, feet submerged,
almost falling into the pond.
Flowers open, close, we continue.
Everything stretches out ahead.
My mind can only barely contain
the thoughts of you, the touches of you,
the ways you open me, willing or not;
the impossible peace
being with you has created,
unexpected, cherished, my being remade.
My skin remembers yours
the way a puddle remembers the storm,
the way a shaving remembers the chisel,
rememberings that are not thoughts,
your back to my hand, your head to my shoulder.
My hand remembers yours
the way a pecan remembers the husk,
the way a chameleon remembers its color.
My lips remembers yours
the way an apple remembers the branch,
the way a cloud remembers the ocean,
the taste of you, sharp and sweet,
heels pressing my back.
My eyes remember yours
looking up through your hair, silver and purple,
the way an owl remembers the vole,
the way a sumac berry remembers its own tartness.
My heart remembers yours
the way a pinion remembers the wing,
the way this poem remembers, dimly,
Decades spent longing for another life
anything but the one I inhabited
wondering where the border could lie
how I could possibly cross
if and when I discovered it
one day I suddenly stood there, at the line
the signposts were her eyes and hands
at the last, all it took was to walk across
each new crossing comes
just as unexpectedly as the first
a tiny spiderweb between two blades
of grass as we sit talking
the twitching of the bluejay’s tail
perched in a branch overhead
the look in your eyes
when I tell you I love you
I remember how it felt to stand
on the other side, certain
change was impossible
now I make forays back
retrieving parts of me I left
Almost no one, even those I thought close
has followed my out of my old life.
For a while, that made me sad
so I stopped thinking about it
Then the people I missed became dead seedpods
floating away on the wind
when I brushed against the dandelion
I turn and a whole field of flowers
is stretched out
gold and blue
And you come behind me
your arms circling
your head against my shoulderblades
in the old country I had no love
now I have the love of three women
and friends more than that
I am bigger than I can understand;
each time, each time you touch me,
I finally recognize myself
You stand at the sink.
I’ve dropped off fresh bread;
I come up behind, close,
my arms around you,
one hand cupping your pussy
through your shorts;
you take my hands
move them to your nipples
your shirt is thin and soft
we have an afternoon date,
not soon enough
Your head is on my shoulder
you are deep in sleep breath rhythm
hair against my face.
Wind is whipping the branches
of the pecan tree outside my room,
dead pecans showering the patio slab.
My arm might be asleep,
or I might be walking, awake,
into an unknown room,
fear dropping away, your hand resting
on my chest; in my awake dream
the room is paneled in oiled pecan wood,
you sit at a table in the center
eyes shining, the dinner I cooked last night
still in front of you; everything an amalgamation
of what has been, what will be;
I stroke your hair and you murmur
sleep-words of care and freedom.
How I got here from where I was
how I was able to walk free of abuse
how I found you and her and her and him
is a mystery, a blessing, a grace.
I no longer find the Divine in everyday
except in the touch of your hands
the embrace of his arms
the feel of her lips on mine.