Try your best to remember the sun is just another star

you entered          —          slowly.          interrupting

The first time we met I stood peeking out from behind the incense cedars and you were cloud-scattered sunlight flickering through the branches.
Told me your mother named you Spear-Strength and I returned that my mother named me after the cold Pacific White Waves.

Traces of Apollo in your blood fire springing from your brow and I notice you pop out a cigarette to light whenever we get to the top of a mountain. Curry recipe in your hands and spurs clicking the ground at your heels with a red paisley cowboy kid look in your eyes. I seem to keep getting in your way in the kitchen.

smelling of:      smoked paprika     fresh-baked bread     basket of wildflowers

The steel carabiners clink together like wind-chimes hung from our waists.
Tied in to the stony crag where I hear you say I’m strong.

After three years I’m taking my vengeance on the split granite dome and when I finally reach the top I find you waiting like Sampson fast asleep but you jerk awake easily when I touch your hair and I start to wonder why I have the tendency to want to wake you up.

figure-eight knots         eight-spotted          american forester          american kestrel

Tying feathers to my elbows and ankles I’ve got a nature to run into the sunset clouds to keep my legs from getting too restless at night.
I know that in the end I’ll be running back through the doors every time but you’ve got a different type of restlessness don’t you and when I do come running back through the doors sweaty and red like I’d been chased by one of my recent nightmares you jump up with your guitar playing like you wanted to make me dance and singing like “It’s okay it was just a bad dream just go back to sleep.”

And after the day you told me “I know what it’s like to fall through the ice” I started thinking about how I could tell you that I know what it’s like because I’ve fallen through the ice too.

alternative folk    //      bluegrass punk     //     americana     //     new wave post-hardcore

Taking night walks to the docks to clear the noise from our heads got me thinking about the day we met and how you looked at me like sunlight.
But you’re not the sun are you at least not in the sense of the springtime sunlight warming our faces but more like one of those pictures captured in space that we have to dim to see on a screen more like one of those pictures of a rough molten sphere so turbulent it bursts in flares at least every other day and I’m catching your reflection glances because I’m the moon phasing full churning up the tides into this rip current catching us red-handed.

When we dance we light up the sky.

the same           universe            for the brief           —

So we will mostly undress.
You started asking me about where I got my oceanid veins and I said it’s all about learning to kiss the face of chaos to catch a pure breath of peace but that’s when I started to remember I needed to come up for air.

See I’ve got this wild habit of keeping my foot off the brake when I’m driving the downhill curves and (I think I’m getting better at it but) every now and then I crash (turn and burn) and now (for five straight days) you’ve set forest fires on my mind so when you find the words to ask me how I slept last night I honestly gotta say that my spine aches from whiplash and I honestly gotta say that I’ve felt it before (hit and run). All I want to hear you promise me you won’t leave without saying goodbye.

please          watch your step! on         your way out of           the garden

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Cedarwood

Semi-precious stones, shattered by
cedarwood branches, soaked in
meadow-kissed rivulets awakened under the dawn horizon.

Framework of tissue, skin, and bone:
the clockwork of gaze.

And you were looking at me.

Post-Cognitive

I wish he didn’t ask.
How’s it going with you and…?
Gleaming Herakles tilts his lynx ears toward Orion.
I hope the glancing-eyed Archer is too absorbed in the sport to see.
My pallor, draining into shrugged shoulders.
Leaving a gaze cement, mechanical.

Since when is this July?–my hands are so cold.
I’ve been praying I could maybe feel that summer breeze, been praying the Earth would stop spinning so fast.

Why does she have to spin so fast?
She just keeps spinning and spinning…

And if there’s anything I’ve learned.
Forward motion doesn’t pull over to the side of the road for anything.
But, sometimes, you can lean against that gravitational pull–
Step one, walk to the kitchen after the game and make a cup of tea.

Which, I was hoping you’d be there, watching me pour the boiling water.
Watching me feel proud of how I don’t want to burn myself while I’m pouring the boiling water.
And see me use the steeping roots you gave me.
The calming Kava and bright Licorice.
Letting the steam curl to my face–

But I am alone.
Step two, walk to the amphitheater, sit down, and breathe.
Breathe in the steam, Breathe like she taught you.

Breathe In one two three four Hold one two three four Breathe Out one two three four Hold one two three four. Breathe In one two three four Hold one two three four Breathe Out one two three four Hold one two three four Breathe In one two Hold one two three Breathe Out one two Hold one two three Breathe

Herakles arrives in his Shadow way.
Not gleaming so much.
He sets the oak roots of his legs at almost right angles.
Sitting behind me like a tower.

How is it, really?
Don’t really know
All right, you don’t have to talk about it

I feel like I’m hitting my head against a wall
I’m sorry to hear that
Sip the scorching tea.
Is that supposed to help

And then I: Flash Flood, Flash Flood like I know how

The glancing eyes the careful steps the shoulders turned away the vapid smiles the waning conversations the fresh smell of Lemongrass the Earth spinning the Sun just not caring the uninterrupted nerve endings the frustrated nerve endings the trying to go hunting the promise to find the creek the tugging towards the Ocean the two years ago in my apartment the therapist’s couch the empty hands the music’s cackling decadence the tossing and turning at night

God I hate this song
He says.

It drips like the condensation on a cold glass of water.
It burns like the fire Leo stokes in the pit below.

The music, the Earth spinning–
Trigger

Herakles looks at me like a river and says,
Come on, let’s get out of here

First Sight (Vega’s Narrative)

When I glance     back
      to see      whose footsteps are
nearing–

I see a boy      both
     dark      and
bright.

Striding       in
     a quiet       confidence,

his rich brown wings       enfolded        behind him.

He’s      coming
      closer.

Nightfall, or simply falling

.

the right word never arrives when you need it but i’m not sure i actually knew it in the first place.

the functional ability to balance resides in the vestibular system,
and mine laughed at me while i teetered on a boat dock in the middle of the night.

perhaps scorned that i tried to call it ‘the limbic system,’
the ironic Captain Memory,
or perhaps because i let go of its hand on purpose.

nightfall / simply falling / falling asleep

most everyone at some time or another
jolts out of sleep,
seized by the sensation of falling.

but that night i swear — my heart pounded so hard — i was buckling into a bottomless void at such a violent speed…

well i have my own theories,
considering the potential terror induced by the occupation of the inner-ear,
suddenly reconnected
out of context.

still haunted by what you said about falling.

it’s funny how we think that gravity is spiteful in the way it makes us keel and collapse,
when really we’re the ones trying to leave its constant embrace — only to find ourselves yanked back into its arms.

neither you nor anyone i’ve ever met has loved like gravity,
and i still wonder whether or not i should count myself fortunate.
some days i find myself envious; that attempt to hike Half Dome inflicted a day-long plague of thoughts about how much i wanted to hold your hand.

and when you did on the rainy streets of San Francisco — i could barely talk about it,
could barely talk about how sad all the art made me feel,
could barely talk about why i just needed to sit in the upper room of the bookstore and read poetry about coping with the death of loved ones.

nightfall / rainfall / or simply falling asleep

i just wanted to tell you that — every once in a while — i’ll fall asleep with the tears,
remembering the hollow withering i felt as i sat at his bedside and watched him die.

and i just wanted to tell you that — three years after the fact — the right words finally arrived.