Anchorage

If my anchor had a face it would be yours.
There are so many stenciled anchors
in different shapes and sizes
found on wrists and necks
and the small of your back.
They are badges of some sunken safe haven
caught in stand-still.

But each thing has an opposite,
and for anchors these are feathers;
anchors are not conducive
to flying away.

Anchors have hooks and they
burrow like swollen ticks.
With heavy weight they lock
their ships at harbor,
though the vessels strain
with empty sails
for the stretch of blue beyond their ports
and the cold, shapeless freedom of the sea.

You are the anchor and the chain
as the wood of my ship
creaks and groans,
pulls against that ancient device
which holds it in place.
With each desperate tug the boards grow weaker,
the salt bites at the railings,
and the tide drags out while a shore creeps ever closer
with a smile that is
sharp rocks and jagged endings.

You are my anchor
and with red-rusted fingers
you cling to a wasteland
where the churning of sand reveals nothing but
the remnants of rocks long dashed to nothing.

You wrestle the winds
and the currents
both wicked and fair
as I struggle towards a sun
nestled close on the waves
of a shifting horizon.

You will choke me with your iron leash
unless I saw you away with the last of my strength,
leave you there in the tumbling dust
of an ocean floor,
so that I might fill my sails
and do what great ships were built for,
which is sail towards the cloud-covered sun
with its faint promise of light.

you are all doors

Wine-soaked lips
and peroxide heart strings.
Run your fingers down
a stranger’s spine
like a Grecian column.
Root out familiarity
like scraping clinging ivy
from the walls of your home.
You are all doors
and no chairs.
There is nothing solid
in your walk,
in your speech,
a bald-faced cliff edge
smoothed of all purchase
through careful sanding.
Tender moments take place
between the negative space
of two bodies arching
away from one another.
A glass left overflowing in the sink,
biting down on sour fruit,
March overstaying its welcome,
kissing you with the lights off.

and the last one for tonight…

stars seem untethered
but even they are bound by their own form of gravity
and we think north is up
but the universe has no such relativity.
we can walk on the planet’s underbelly
and never might it occur to us
we are hanging from the world in a different direction
than yesterday.
stars don’t know ‘up’.
stars don’t know Newton’s theories, falling apples, rotating satellites.
stars don’t know we draw lines with our fingers
between celestial bodies,
shaping sense from senselessness,
numbering infinity.
stars only spin
in their cosmic designations,
born,
burning,
and dying in a
flattened ring of light
as they were always meant to.

Nighttime

We crept out at night
clutching at fistfuls of damp grass
and cool soil.

As our fingers tore up ground
long undisturbed,
we crawled our way form the treeline,
leaving tracks like rivets;

bodies dragged through the mud
into the view of shapeless stars
that pulse and spit and spew
toxic star stuff
from which we are to form worlds
with bare, unwashed hands.

I’m In Like With You

I don’t want to shout my love from rooftops.
I don’t want to wrap you up in warm blankets,
hold you in my arms
and never let go.
I don’t want to place my thumping heart in your out-stretched hands
and let you care for it,
let you cherish it,
let you bounce it on the sidewalk
like an egg you aim to crack.
I don’t want to wake up every gentle Tuesday morning
to your smile or your thoughtful frown
or your tousled hair or your
steady breath.

But I do want to say this:
I like you,
let’s get coffee.

I won’t say I’m drowning in your eyes and their hazy soft green,
or that you’re my sun and I am just
a pale blue dot revolving around
your sphere of light.
I won’t say I can’t sleep in the weight of your absence,
or that you’re the thing I think about
before I drift away.
I won’t say I start trembling when I see you walk past;
fingers, arms, lips, stomach,
all the organs whose locations I forgot
after passing my 7th grade science test.

But I’d like to tell you this:
I like you.
Let’s get milkshakes.

I don’t think you’re a half of my whole,
don’t feel like you’re a segment of the clementine of me
whose loss would make me imperfect.
I don’t think you’re church bells,
tantric mantras,
Talmud verses,
holy pilgrimage,
and if I lose you, I will not fade away to nothing,
gripping tight to something
never meant to be mine.

But I’ll tell you what I do think:
thought I cannot honestly offer you
immortal love
or sugar-sweet clichés,
I really, really like you.
Let’s go get drinks sometime.

Coastal

If that hooded figure came for me now I think I might
kiss every pale white finger
like a friend or a lover come back at last
to carry me with capable arms to a place
void of heat and of cold,
where my eyes are closed forever
and we’re drifting,
drifting,
suspended in oceans.

When we slip into the water
from the windless coast
the heat remains unchanged;
the only difference
between water and land
is that now

we float.