black and white photos

ventriloquists in a box

whisper of the past

Advertisements

october leaves

me breathless

I can hear you

speak again

inside fractured

shades of when

in the wind,  you

breathe again

We reminisced about growing up

on Blanchard Road.

I remembered sneaking peeks

of the neighborhood kids playing

kick the can

from a blue rocking-chair on the porch

above the garage, hiding in the shadows

of the old oak tree with my pile of books,

high above the street.

I planned my escape to the countryside

with a mouse and a cricket from Times Square,

while he produced and directed Star Wars,

alone in his room high above the porch,

his empty triangle space-ship hands

flailing and poking air, at war

with each other, in an epic battle

between good and evil where no

one was ever hurt.     

We laughed until

we cried.

the note said

there is no need

for peripheral plot

or overloaded metaphor

for timid parentheses

or non-committal ellipses now

no need for passive-aggressive footnotes

hidden below the surface

no eyes will condemn

the truth

such forgiveness and humanity is

reserved for the dead and dying

 

but wait I am still here I am here

holding the book fragile

and afraid to see my literature stripped

bare to meaning

and now without notice my editor

has left me too she passed away

and buried herself

with you eternally devoted

unwilling to preserve

my sense and sensibility

 

is she with you sharing secrets

I can feel her vicious slice

bleeding me cutting away the kindness

of literary discretion and excising the

punctuation that stapled me closed

exposing the wound and the tattered diary

hidden within

tear-stained yellowed pages a pressed rose

and the leaves of October

that never faded

because I always loved you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She sat beside me

and watched me struggle

as I attempted to build

an empire from broken glass and tears

with retaining walls and a moat in defiance

of the tide.  

it will never be strong enough she told me

but there is nothing more you can do

it will soon be gone and I knew that

she was right.

I wiped the sands

of make-believe from my eyes and cheeks

and we sat together and watched the ocean

swallow the kingdom, leaving only wet

clumps of a childhood dream, an illusion

at our feet.  

follow me she said, and I walked with her to the edge

of the water. We stood ankle deep in silt

and broken shells. We stood in the only silence

that can be known on the edge of the water,

the kind of silence where you know

you are not alone

and never can be. We stood together,

worlds apart for what only seemed to be

an eternity.

 

Gentle swells brought children dancing in the surf

singing and playing the games that children play,

unknowingly conjuring spirits and speaking truths

they have yet to learn

                                          ring around

                                          the rosie

                                                         a pocket

                                                         full

She smiled at me and took my hands in hers

and we splashed and stumbled in circles

once, twice, three times

                                                          ashes

                                                          ashes

We all fall

And I knew it was time to let her go.

 

I turned away, holding in my hands the remnants

of her that had woven into my fingertips

and walked back up the sand

to my daughter, who was waiting for me

with the ocean in her bucket, waiting to build

sand castles.