Poem: Dare


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 breath 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

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