Gingerbread Basement

Abandoned –
Like all dreams I once had.
The walls and the windows
And the roof and the door
Of a Gingerbread house
I never built.

Out of season
In the spring.
Overdue festivities-
Decaying celebration;
Bittering memories of the happiness
We could have had.

I chew on modest fantasies
While reality stales slowly
In the cupboard where everything
Gets half forgotten.

It would have been beautiful –
created together –
Remembered, even –
Our sacred sanctuary.

My appetite grows sweet
But consuming something
unfinished –
A crumble of a wall,
A nibble at a roof,
Has a guiltly aftertaste.

I salivate for the future,
My ideas restless,
My body too afraid of failure
To move.

Conflicted

He burped as the bomb exploded
Inside our TV set.
A lifetime ago-
But our hearts still beat faster for them.
I moaned as the wounded groaned.

As a pacifist
I always saw the enemy as an imagined one;
A friend
That’s found himself on the other side of the battlefield.
Like the man on the other side of my sofa –
We were supposed to be allies.

Soldiers sleeping in trenches, cold and anxious,
Companions keeping watch.
Warm in bed I asked for companionship,
Again.
Rejection answered;
No more cuddles for Lieutenant Snuggs.

In a silent war cry I moved away;
The inch between our naked skin
A vast no man’s land.
I felt him listening for clues
As I tried not to give away my breath-
Tried not to exist.

An attempt to make peace was requested –
But I resisted;
Stood my ground, gave no tribute.
I declined and ordered us to sleep.
Truce. No instant gratification;
A dangerous kind of peace.

I lie here with a deathly silence deafening me,
Keeping out watch for further threat
To my ego.
All is fair in love and war.

The life we live now

We reap before we sow,
But they weep before they grow:
Nine-month-old prodigies
Know most about the world –
They feed from wise wombs
In nourished isolation.

Meanwhile We –
The foolish, the optimists, the human,
Expect smoke to arise from
A collection of well-meaning twigs.

We distort the nature of things
As though order was an imposter.
The arrow of time points forwards
And we sit ahead of it,
Setting the clock so it will indulge
Our nostalgic tendencies.

And when the alarm never rings,
Our tears roll like the tide,
Trying to move pain toward beauty,
Drowning themselves to reflect the moon,
Inspired by the sun
Only to be evaporated by it.

Our illogical ambitions
Suppress our sense of direction.
The route to simplicity is too complex,
So we walk the well-trodden path to confusion.

Sleeping Soldiers

Many men:
Wounded soldiers
That never went to war.

Yet I still try to heal
Their rumored traumas.
Wrap bandages around
Their unspoken scars.
Soothe their desperate cries
In silent nights.

Sleeping soldiers
With nothing to fight
But themselves
In a defenseless world.

Put down your armor.

Jerez

I was drunk:
Dizzied by the fruits of freedom.
Sunsets, sherry, and song
Were all I needed.

Dancing in the streets;
Daunted by my ugly flaws
But embracing them anyway –
All those little turds.

Stumbling into bars,
Swallowing spirits that
Made a tear roll –
Where I didn’t want it to.
Made self-doubt show –
Where I didn’t want it to.

A cocktail of self-hatred
And happiness.
And it was imperfect.
And it was beautiful.

I, the archaeologist

We were at your place
Cleaning up a storm,
Happily sneezing up the dust
And sorting out the mess you made
Before you ever met me.

We read your history book of
Oversized suits, a broken church,
Handwoven scarfs scarcely laced
With the perfume of another lover.

It was a fun game: I, the archaeologist,
Collecting the pieces of you.
And then an unexpected artifact:
Behind the bed,
A silky piece of underwear
Untouched by the dusty hands of time.

the medium of mystery

Young child, I tell you with the certainty of my heart
That it is ok to be confused,
Ok to be lost in a maze of your thoughts
As long as your goal is, one day,
To find your way out.

Value these days of confused navigation,
Because they are golden;
Because true beauty can only be seen
Through the medium of mystery.

It is only when we find the answers
That things cease to be interesting anymore.
But if we never find the answers
We’ll never know what we were searching for.