Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Good Death

There is such a thing as a good death. And a bad death. I've seen both. Hah! I've seen so much death, left right and sideways that Lethe has knocked me down and covered me as easily as the Atlantic in January or July. This is not my death we are discussing, for once, that will be soon enough I am sure, but death as an abstraction, death that I have witnessed.

Oh, I've seen. I've seen close, I've seen so close the Eish crept out between the lips I pressed shut, crept out and snaked around and kissed me. I've known death from the other side of the world, when all I could do was nothing, nothing, nothing to help or console, heal or be healed except rock like an autistic child, banging my head against the wall so I wouldn't feel.

A good death. What is a good death? A death prepared for, expected, welcomed, longed for even, perhaps with your loved ones around you to comfort you and each other. I want a good death for me, but that will be alone, just between me and the lightpost. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to talk about myself, the ego train never leaves this choo-choo track does it? It's not all about me although in some sense every word I write is a reflection of me. Me and the lightpost. Or the support beam. The cinderblock wall. The water way down below, swollen river calling me.

It's about Jeff. My beloved Jeff, my snaggle-toothed, 5 ft 6-1/2 inch angel with the most beautiful black ringlets I've ever seen, at lest until it fell out in clumps from the meds, great handfuls of hair, trails of hair. Hansel and Gretel tried to follow the trail of hair, but the birds took it to weave into new homes for their chicks.

If the birds got a hold of one of Jeff's boots, they could house the whole covey there.

Jeff had time, or at least e knew how fast the sand was running. The blessing? curse of knowledge, that odd gift which resulted in god but perhaps not shekinah abandoning us in Gan Eden, knowledge which opens one door and shuts another. That is what all knowledge does, opens doors. Who admits that it also closes them? Who has that courage? Courage is touching the sacred, holding it, evaluating it. Where is it sacred? Is the taboo, the profanity in the object or in the touch?

The holy of holies will turn you to ashes. I have tasted ashes, worn sackcloth. Am I a holy vessel? Or am I a contaminant?

Sixty days. Sixty days after our mother died, fifty-five days after shiva ended, thirty days after sheloshim, thirty days when we were supposed to breathe deep and know that we come out the other end of this tunnel, and it doesn't matter if there is light or no light, all that matters is coming out the other side.

Oh god how could they? How could they kiss him on the forehead and send him home to us, wounded creatures that we are? How can we take care of him when we are don't know how to take care of ourselves?

He was so beautiful. But you know that, you've heard me say it any number of times, that David's bashert was the most beautiful creature I'd ever seen. A sun everyone wanted to touch, to be burnt, scorched, rendered into an offering fit for a god, or rendered as an offering to a god.

Is there a difference between being an offering and being transformed into one? Aaron's sons were struck down, nothing was left. My sun accepts, catharsis, transforms into a part of the whole, a better part than it was to start.

If you knew him.

If you'd met him.

He had as good a death as it is possible to have, if you can wrap your mind around the concept that any death being a good death.

I'd like to die like Jeff. Oh, not of AIDS, not from medicines that poison while they heal, not from some long wasting illness, not surrounded by people either. No, I'd like to die peaceful, here. Knowing that whatever I had done or not done, the decision was made and all I could do was accept and sleep. I want the freedom of irresponsible, of escape. Jeff had everyone who loved him crowded into a hospital room, a minyan which sang his eish to straight to heaven, to the right hand of god, to join the rest of the thirty-six who awaited.

I still have the flowers that were on his night-table. Twenty-one years and I still have the flowers.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tell Me Lies, Sweet Little Lies

My head is spinning
"I'd tell you but it would hurt"
and guessing games don't?

"You just don't get it"
How many forked tongue lies kiss me?
Why do I love you?

New toys for baby.
Slots, twats, cunts. Touch, lick, fuck, fill.
Jerk. Ass. Turd. You? Me?

But's its okay now
Late night, alone, you smell me.
"Hey are you awake?"

No more dreams of you.
Don't know or care when they stopped,
it's good that they did.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

One Door Shuts...

"Don't go. Don't leave. It's still early. Not even midnight. You're not a pumpkin." He pushes a few stray hairs back from her face, an excuse to touch her. "Put your keys down. Here." He takes the keys and puts them on the bureau.

"It's late. I have a long drive." She reaches for the keys, leaves them lying there. He takes her hand, kisses it. "It's a dark night."

"Cloudy, covers the moon. Stay. Leave in the morning." If she leaves now, will she come back? Will I see her again? Will it feel like this? Fingers twisting her hair around his fist, I can't stop kissing her. I can't.

"Stop. I have to go. Really." The keys poke his neck as she kisses him. "I have to go home. I do." She lets go of him and sits up. He stands, then shakes his head, takes the keys and puts them back on the bureau. Clicks the lamp to a lower setting.

"Stay." He bends down, kisses her breasts, her belly. Slides his hand under her dress, touches her gently with his fingertips. "Stay. Don't go."

Eyes closed, hands knotting the coverlet, she leans back. "I have a long drive. It's over two hours." When the words and actions disagree, trust the actions, and oh god, I want to stay. I don't want to leave, I want more of this, more of him, it feels so good, but I promised. I swore I'd be home tonight and oh god, what is he doing now?

Kneeling before her, he bites her, pushes her thong aside and tickles her with his tongue. Looks up, "Stay." Licks her again. "Please stay." His face is haggard in the dim light. "It's too late to drive. Stay."

"I really have to go." He pushes her back, lays on top of her. Kisses her neck, face, mouth, tasting of her. "I do, I promised I'd be home tonight. I am so not doing this, I'm not. I can't, it's too new. I have to leave."

"Stay. It'll be okay. It will. Stay with me. ‘Come live with me and be my love, And we will all the pleasures prove, That valleys, groves, hills, and fields, Woods or steepy mountain yields.' Let me make you happy."

"You quote Marlowe to me?" She runs her fingers through his hair, tightens them. Smiles and kisses him. "The light makes you glow."

"A poet for a poet." He strokes her waist, slides down and buries his face in her again. Feels her shudder, fighting every sensation. "Stay, love. Stay. Look, you're striped," the light through the blinds patterning her. Takes her hand in his, twines their fingers while his other hand caresses her, his mouth still probing, kissing her. And after, kissing her mouth again. "Stay. Please stay. I'll do this all night, make you happy."

"I have to go."

"I can't let you do that, not unless I know." A car passes, stereo blasting, lights tracking across the ceiling.

"Know what?" Holding his face in both her hands, she kisses him, licks the side of his mouth. "You're covered with me. Know what?"

"Will I see you again? Will you come back?"

She turns away, straightens her clothes. He puts his arms around her, tightens them. "Tell me. Tell me yes, that I'll see you."

She shakes her head, picks up the keys again. "I can't. I can't know. I shouldn't have let you do that. I, I, I, I don't know what you'll think of me, what I'll think of me. I'm not ready."

"Ready? If you wait until you're ready, you'll never go anywhere, ever. It's all a mystery," waving his hand at the window. "As for what I think of you? I think you're beautiful. Outsides, insides, ephemerals. Beautiful. If you could see what I see... You can't wait for your life to begin, it's happening now, out there, in here, every minute. There'll be excuse after excuse. Stay. Don't wait."

"I have to go home."

"I'll be your home. Walk with me, beside me." He rubs her fingertips against his cheek.

"I don't know you."

"You will. Stay." He kisses the top of her head, her shoulders. "Anything you want to know, I'll tell you. I won't lie or sugarcoat it. You need to know me. And I want to know you."

"You want to know me? I'm not so pretty."

"So? I want to know your flaws. They make you you, special. Stay."

She shakes her head again and pushes him away. "No, I promised. I have to go."


"And what?" But she smiles, kisses him again. The keys press into his back.

"Take a step. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

"Like this?" She takes a step closer to the door, away from him.

"No, like this." He moves in front of her, blocking the door a bit, kisses her forehead. "Stay." He sighs. "Fine. Let me walk you to your car."

She unlocks the car, opens the door, sits down. He kneels, touches her arm. "You'll come back. You have to come back. Or I'll come to you. I can't stand the thought that this might be it. I've never... I've dreamed but I've never..."

"Hush." She puts a finger over his mouth. "It's okay. I know. But I need to think." What am I saying? Think? I need to escape.

"What you need is to feel. You think too much already. Let yourself feel. If you knew what I feel, what I see, here," placing her hand on his chest, "you'd stay." Takes her hand, turns it over and kisses the knuckles. "These hands, what these hands do, I want these hands."

"You don't even know me."

"I know enough to want to know more." She nods. "Tell me you want to know more, that you're not going to shut the door. Or if you are, that you'll open the window. I'll climb in your window, we can drive off into the night together." He stands and looks up, resting his arm on the doorframe. "No stars tonight. Stars would be cliche, I guess. Just a crescent moon peaking through the clouds. Stay." A plane flies over, red light winking steadily. "I wonder where it's going. Let's go see the aurora borealis."

"Silly. I have to go." He folds his arms over his chest, nods his head, defeated. "I'll come back. Or you come to me." Did I say that? Does he mean it? She looks at him, wanting to read his expression but his face is turned to the ground. She bites her lower lip. I wish I knew. Please let it be so. She turns the keys in the ignition, flicks the headlights on, puts the car in reverse. "When hurlyburly's done, when the battle's lost and won." Even if it's so, that's today and what about tomorrows? Too many tomorows. She blinks the memories of not-tomorrows away, all the pretty lies she's been told.

"No hurlyburly. No battle. We've both had enough war. You'll really come back? Maybe tonight?"

"Really truly, but not tonight. Now move before I run over your feet." She backs out of the driveway. He walks to the curb, watching until she makes the turn onto the main street before he goes inside and lowers the garage door.

Entering his room, it is an alien place, cool, dark, empty. He'd never noticed how empty it was amidst all the clutter. Lays on his back on the bed, staring at the play of light across the ceiling. Moves his head onto the pillow she leaned on a few minutes earlier, one of her long hairs curled there, wondering if she meant it, if she'd be back, if they'd ever see each other again. Everything was against it: socio-economic strata, religion, race, geography, all the indicators and guidelines typically used to predict a good outcome in relationships were wrong.

"Doesn't matter. Don't care." He mutters to himself, holding that single hair to his lips. All I know is, I want that flame, that fire. Oh god, I don't even have a picture of her.

He wants to call that fire home. He wants her like he's never wanted anything before in his life, and he has had life by the gallons. Determined to make it happen, "I'll build a fireplace to shelter that flame, feed it, make it grow. And then I'll build a home around it to keep it safe, a home with lots of windows to let in the light and air so it never feels stifled, strangled from lack of oxygen."

Lying there, taking one deep breath after another, he pulls up the blind, tilts his head to see the cloudy sky. Please come back. Please come back. If wishing can make it so, let it be so. Star light, star bright, there are no stars tonight, wish I may, wish I might, have a dream come true tonight.

The occasional car passes the house, headlights flickering across the ceiling, but wishing doesn't make any of them turn around, pull into the driveway, ring the bell.

Eventually, he falls asleep.

Dream Lover II

i had dreams about you last night....
and yes i can touch myself, invoke the feel of you,
texture of your skin on mine,
pressure of your mouth, hands, cock sliding in and out of me

but it's not the same

not the same as having the heat of you
swirls of your fingerprints tattooed on me
angle of you lifting me up, against you,
torsos melded together
voice whispering in my ear
'tell me what you want' when i cannot think, let alone speak

not the same

Aches and Pain

Anxiety, tinged with relief, every time I left him
wanting to be needed, hungered for, naked
bittersweet of knowing I wasn't, that I fell short
Slanted eye that measured me, snipped me exactly on the line
There is no shoulder on this highway, no room to drift.

And now?
My ache is me, wanting to be where I am,
knowing I am and that I am enough
Just me.


Wisteria roof, bits of sky peak through, small salt breeze
She sniffs, smiles, face speckled with light
Hard concrete bench, my hand inches from her thigh
If I touch her, is she real?
She covers my hand with hers.

Late, moon's glow on your face
Cotton sheets still warm, hold your scent...


"I love being with you
I love feeling you
I love the way you make me feel
I love how you look when you do that
I love the things you say to me
I love everything about you."

but you don't love me.

Shift Gears

Every hair follicle open
turpentine, sandpaper, fire
strip off the layers.
Raw flesh ready, new
I kiss you.
Felt your eyes wander, looking for someone
the grass is greener everywhere but here
Your saliva coats me, forms a scar.

Rip the scabs off
I'd rather ooze than be soothed
be alone than be placated

Find new gears, fast enough to fly
Be seen by eyes that look at me
too fast to be held.