Your lips are eloquent

As they touch mine

Speak to me wordless

Lines of love

To be absorbed through

Skin. I feel the sharp

Points of your mustache

Scrape my philtrum

Prick my heart and cause

It to open as water cascades

From my eyes.

Silent Retreat


In the dark I feel you slip away.
Like the blood seeps from an abrasion,
scarlet droplets collect.
You bleed out of me.
I cannot staunch the flow.

When you arrived in the dark
you came with no sound
as the flames of candles
illumine the night, halo the air.

Now in the dark I feel the silent retreat.
Without explanation you go.
Forever. Assuming my body had contained you,
I am surprised at the leaving.

Real Life Is Stranger Than the Blues or Politics

Morning Glories

In the dream he stood across the room. His voice embraced her before he did. Face to face, his arms held her. The full-body clasp of lovers.

In the days of the Iron Curtain, when cold war was warming to conflagration, their second encounter, by chance, in a café, over blues. Who knew talk of conflict in Romania could be foreplay?

Their first encounter. In a bar. As the blues played. Where she was made spectacle. Kidnapped to the dance floor, compelled, she danced with a rude partner. Freed, she sat, sulking in the dark.

His voice embraced her before he did. “Would you like to dance? Not all men are cads.” They did. Dance. As if they had danced before. Many times. Many places. With the blues simmering.

From the café and the fall of Ceauşescu they progressed to the collapse of Russia. In a mountain cabin they “gave them something to talk about” the day the bear died.

At sunset on the deck, sipping beer, his voice embraced her before he did. “The Russian people want this.” From the radio, he spoke. Of conflict. Of resolution. Of achievement.

Off and on. For years. They met to talk politics. To hear the blues. To dance. Always, he held her. No claim on the other except in Brief Encounter.

Until this morning in her dream when he claimed her with his embrace.