open-timepiece-exposing-cogs-and-gear-wheels

Ayre for Leah

1.

A boy & his first love

like a glimpse of a foreign city

on a far horizon.

 

2.

What brought you 

down the old French road

as I, an old man, bled life

from my skull, your eyes

all the grace of mercy

& tenderness, perhaps

more love than anyone 

could know in such

desperation, reaching

for your light as the world

seeped from me.

 

& from there,

we would meet many times again.

 

3.

Honestly, it seems helpless,

like sprockets in a machine

& we must mesh & rotate

in other directions, sync

with other gears, eventually

rotating back & turning

away again, this machine

that got running somehow

& nobody can turn it off.

 

4.

& honestly, when people

say love, they want some

thing for themselves.  Love

ends up taking more than it

gives, it is its own machine &

punishing rewards.  I cant

make it up to you, nor

you to me.  I cant carry this

iron on my back another step,

this inheritance bequeathed me

by I dont know what.  By me?

 

5.

I see you enclosed in petals

that wont open.  In pointed

teeth that clutch you without

biting all the way down.

& now I stand watching, helpless,

as the life drips from you,

knowing, perhaps, that theres

a way out, that the wounds

arent permanent, that the snare

paralyzing you is made of dust.

 

But my mouth moves & you

hear no words, I call & there

no one there to listen.

 

6.

You stand lovely in a white gown

under a palm on the sands

& each kernel is a crystal ball

where a camel marches deeper

& deeper into sands of crystal.

 

7.

If only I could be there

the boy thinks, seeing the city.

If only I could leave behind

this nowhere town.  If only I

could cross, Id walk there.

& so he left, & hes walking still.

 

8.

There you sit, a little girl

with her red dress frills,

your sensitive fingers &

petite feet.  Your index tip

draws along the enormous

pink peonys edge, a rosy, 

fresh aroma awakens you.

You spy a tiny ant crawling 

down into its welter of petals

to sip the nectar.

 

9.

hear my prayer

 and come 

 to my 

 severities

Sappho

 

Perhaps Im still that boy

who tried to love you,

& has never been able to stop.

How did I see you as if

the Pleiades lived in your hair?

As if the sparrow would 

land in your palm?

Was I always wrong?

Ive long wandered

in this hall of mirrors,

this masque for existential

bumpkins.  How you touched me

through these spiraling lives

like intersecting rings

in multiple pools.  I cant

save you, revoke what

came before, or even

send you away.  I only wish

you could see what I see

when I look inside you

& hear the deep night 

rain & touch the silk 

in your thoughts.  Like a 

dragonfly alights on 

a razor blade, Ive come

once more to revisit 

that place of sudden 

love for a stranger

truer than everything

that came before 

or after.

 

Boulder,

 8/10-11/20

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