Poem: Dare

[Author’s note 4/4/2023: This poem has remarkably long lines that worked in my previous site formatting but I’ve just noticed break very oddly now, even on a full laptop or computer screen, much less on a phone or tablet. I’m marking line endings with a slash, temporarily, until I come back to fix it someday. I’m reluctant to edit a poem just because of online formats, which are fickle things, but the world moves on, and format matters. Suggestions are very welcome.]


33 34

Peaches, peaches abundant, the fruit maturing. How to select the best one?/
Outside in the sun in the middle of an ancient desert, baking in oil/
with basil, vanilla, wine. The basting brush strokes, strokes/
painting into a corner that leads only to new rooms to fly out to and paint./

So many./

The eaten peach will be lucky. But where to eat it when it’s found?/
So many questions, fears of another loss: no mistakes. The phone vibrates again,/
again calling her inside. First bad back, first nerve pinching, first declaration of time./
So many loves. So vulnerable. What if he’s lying? Is he lying? What if he’s telling the truth?/

Voice and breathe confident, longing, believing, scared. Beauty in view, woman, deepest heart./
Which matters now? Which will last?/
Children are true. Others are judged. Her skin bruises, deep bruises, marks, marking, her fruit sweetens./
Choose one now. Now. Decisive in desire and denial—choose no./

Miss I know everything better, and so she does./

47 48

I know nothing. What is it? Yogurt and berries now. Fucking yogurt and/
berries, really, and somehow happily. Oceans are falling outside, the sky releasing to punish the rich ancient/
mountains, oldest on earth, with wind, rain, base roars that echo through/
children and aging men. And still the world stays bright./

Is it safer inside? Love is a surprise, rebirth leading to new birth, but first joy, always joy./

At breakfast today the little girl—almost 2?—at the table next to mine glances at me/
as I glance at the little girl—2, I think—at the table next to mine. Our eyes hold together. We smile./
Nonexistent loss meets the tangible: would it have been worthwhile? But time runs out/
and murders creation./

15 years of bad backs, a settled routine. Strong in relationship, vulnerable at its frays./
The forest calls. The phone stops ringing, the light fades. Accept your beauty, yes, but accept too/
what the world knows. Knowing doesn’t stop the fraying, the frays brittle with fears, fears of mistakes, loss./
One mistake, two, not enough, so many. Choose, lose—choose yes anyway./

But the best one, the only one, is the one who chooses you too./


Peaches sweeter than wine

I welcome your comments and engagement:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s