your body is
the poet’s voice
the painter’s brush
the musician’s instrument
your body sings
of all your tongue
is too clumsy to share
of passionate subtlety
and the darkness of the well
of bridled desire
and the vast freedoms of living
one more day

your body articulates
the unconstructed self
naked as a flame
straining to penetrate
aching to personify revelation

your body is
your voice
and is never silent
not even in death
which is, to begin with,
your initiation into
the insatiable chorus

Gravity is a Circle

Gravity is not only for galaxies and stars
in their slow circular descent
like marbles in a drain
not only for worlds and cold stone
slow dancing into seeming stillness
not only for death which begins calling
all things from the moment of creation
exerting destiny without exception
so that living and dying are synonymous

can you feel it now, gravity,
in the way your foot falls to the earth with each new step
or in the way your eyes find it easier to close
and also, in the way your heart beats faster
when you descry a voice on the wind or catch the scent of the night rain

I know that gravity entreats upwards as forcefully as it drives down
Because I have felt the pull of a single human imagination,
and I, irresistibly drawn in, like Pandora, like Eve
drawn in by you dear artist
(for what else should i call one so generous with her vulnerabilities and oceanic in her curiosities)
drawn in by the promise of divinity
how shall I inscribe the ‘falling into the sun inevitability’ of our brief moment
how i have burned to withdraw my own masks
how I have cascaded into the boundless question
learning the satisfying taste of never ending hunger
and the quiet strength of the unknown

we find ourselves, once again, pulled into the massive center
where even light is too heavy to shine
and our human heart is pressed like a collapsing sun
once again, we are being drawn through the veil
contracting in preparation
for the next great leap,
a prelude to the inexorable dance

The Embrace

The Embrace (a poetrait)

I embrace myself, perhaps too fervently
else my arms would be too often empty
this then is my solitary song of triumph
I embrace myself

see this woman, subject and object
dispenser of judgment, repository of desire
see this face, cheek bones, lips and eyes (no stranger to tears) watching, signaling joy,
see my joy, it is not unreal (and beauty?
whether by shape or joy or some other aspect; this privilege, this burden; am I not beautiful?)
I am
this body: arms and legs, neck and womb,
my breasts, my arms, and the soles of my feet
entry wounds and exit wounds (each sacred, each profane)
this home
my body my self, because I am no mere resident
but much more

I taste the world and the world knows me
I dance upon the earth’s back; my toes caress her
I roll in the grass and kiss her neck
I enter her and hide in her womb and thus
am born in profanity and thus egested in holiness
Joyfully, I shout “I am alive”
and too, joyfully, whisper “I am alive and my life shall not be without meaning”
and the universe vibrates with my voice

I embrace myself,
too fervently at moments when joy is insufficient
while I wait for an answer to all my frequencies
for that sweet kiss in return
that golden braid connecting me to some
(and here is the heart of my search, the center of each
step and stumble forward) other
I embrace myself against silence, against the heatless void
against your embrace
while I learn to surrender standing



odd angles

i am at angles, legs akimbo
arms hanging lifelessly
watching towers rise and fall and rise and fall
attached, no
not attached, not remembered for the work underlying all such rises and falls
see the cultured vee shape of my feet at rest and the toes like sentinels waving their ascent to passion

you are at curves
falling always falling away, rolling this way and that
shameless in the flowing flowering loosening restraint of thighs over thighs over pillows drifting always down, water and the moon inventing dance and song at once, as though the silence had never before been broken

we are at odds, the evens left quietly, without ceremony on the mat, the cat batting them down the hall, down the stairs, out the door, into the street for men in suits to stumble over in greed, for little girls to scoop up in their arms like dolls and then lay them carefully in the gutter to sleep

oddly we lay, unevenly pushing or pulling or burrowing deep in the folds
(yes, we are singing, tunelessly, with meaningless words and shapeless gestures;
yes, we are dancing)
and so achingly do we extend our necks and curl our fingers that we unwittingly invent new shapes to hold what cannot be contained
until, both our bodies suddenly agree,
as though by happenstance, a serendipitous turning of the inside out
dying as though all the suns in history had died at once
until, we are no more


eleven, twelve, thirteen
balls rolling down the high street
elegantly, sashaying together
in no hurry, seductively glancing about
to see if baseballs or golfballs might be checking them out
colorful, tight rubber
seeding the earth with glitter
they avoid the football field
“those guys don’t know how to roll”
its the bowling alley for them
they are very young
and ten-pin balls are
so very worldly

behind a curtain

behind the curtain
a vague shadow, human shaped
“get out” I mouth soundlessly, then shout
“Get Out”
children in my wake
they ask to know me better
and here I am, so protective
screaming at apparitions
I am too scared to ask
what a ghost might need in my shower
the children are crying
because I am scared
the ghost is a woman, I know
not violent or even angry
it can’t be their mother
she’s not dead, true
but she is a ghost
or pretends to be
why am I shouting, why are
the children crying
they are grown, have children of their own
and I ask again
what kind of father do they need