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.

The History of an Engagement with φιλια (cont.)

A History of the Engagement with φιλια

Chapter I. Growing Pains (cont.)

Dear Glowing Girl: you brought me to the arms of God. This is virtue: you taking me under your wing and leading me to sing. Salt and pepper: our lives inextricably connected together. The way we passed the ball back and forth: four years strong. To impress: I trying to tackle you and you just a big grin. Glowing Girl, so strong: you brought me to the arms of God. When I flinch my hand: but you know the games I play by heart:  we passed our written confidences back and forth in classes. Our color, feist: you, white blond with a black tail: I, dirty gold with a red tail. Our laughing times, our wild eyes, our hands raised high: we grew strong together. Adventurers, independent: to be apart but never estranged for long. Glowing Girl, until I see your light again.

The History of an Engagement with φιλια (cont.)

A History of the Engagement with φιλια

Chapter I. Growing Pains (cont.)

But you I must speak little of. Only that we took a train home after the wreck–I rubbed your sore back and haven’t seen you since. Only that I loved your freckles and your hands but your mind was a secret chord sheet and, like I said, I haven’t seen you since. Only that you didn’t pay for my tea last winter and our conversation was general and, like I said, I haven’t seen you since. Only that you were a wreck and I got out of the car with an aching neck but still after we took the train home I rubbed your sore back and, like I said, I haven’t seen you since.

An Engagement with φιλια: Part A

The History of an Engagement with φιλια

Chapter I. Growing Pains

In the beginning, she, then we. German Tiger Girl, my partner in crime, for life. You and I, characteristically feline. Little lions on the mouse hunt, running over fields, chasing away the cafeteria days. Looking for that summer sun. We built our forts in swimming pools, in bedrooms, dream homes drawn on paper. You and I, partners in crime. Our young gold laughter in the sky. How you laughed when I blew flour in my own face. Would this be mονιμωσ, would this be rare. Permanent. When we picked up the phone, how many times we would say goodbye before finally saying goodbye. But then the day I moved, the day I cried, maybe a little part of me died. Growing pains, apart. I grew and bruised my knees over a gym floor and found Vivaldi. You grew and danced with rifles and found your first kiss. I know I seemed to forget the phone; ringing, dialed, only once in a while. But then a call out of the blue. My whiskers twitched and my voice seemed to fail. I could not be there. But still, I tried, I tried for summer, but I was removed. Did I bury our treasure? The world spun so fast for me. Those growing pains. My weakness, believing I grew the stronger. The ringing, the dialed, only once in a while. I drove away to the south to grow even stronger. A year and a half of this before I woke up and remembered to call you. Your voice was golden. My partner in crime, for life. Our final growing pains weaving us back together again. You still remember my birthdays with cupcakes, and you forgive my lack of virtue in my own memory. We ran into the summer again, jumping in the pool, laughing games in the middle of the night. And when I left again, I tried to promise us I would write the letters I’d never sent. I am poor with contact, yet bonded in virtue, and we are alike, we are partners in crime. For life. I am here and you are there and if I can just get this postcard with your name on it and send. May that be enough to extend. May our flame be kept, sculptured, mονιμωσ. So is this rare. Permanent. Partner in crime, for life, my German Tiger Girl.