Oklahoma

Picture of Oklahoma

Hell beckons me home where the promise of comfort soothes my restless feet and calms my aimless heart. The demons speak in familiar tones reminding me that I belong to this desolate, dying land where only the slightly insane can exist but never live. It is here that generations regenerate the myth that this is somehow  a reality worth preserving.

It’s a strange and difficult place that grips my throat and clinches down on my gut, a constant reminder that it is both my lifeline and my impending death.

Strangers

While I could not cry in front of you,
I cried once for you – in front of strangers.
But then again it could have just been
the vodka, or life’s regrets – perhaps
it was only allergies that caused
such a commotion of compulsion.
Who knows what God’s thinking in
these rare moments of humility.
I suppose we all must pay our dues
for living and dying and breathing
and trying. Who knows but God,
the devil and that damn song
that keeps playing in my head?

Sitting at Powell’s

I sit in this bookstore
where I feel detached
from the young and
too young to be the old.
Miles away, memories
come in with the fog
and rest their toes at
the edge of the water.
The only promise of life
is the sound of fury
from beyond what
only the lost can see.
I can only hope my
ghost is always there,
walking the shoreline
and dreaming, neither
young nor old, but
timeless in this melody
that never leaves us.

A Catch in My Throat

There’s an emotion rising in my eyes, a catch in my throat, a whisper I cannot shake found in these halls where I connect too much with your ghost, a figment really of a girl on a beach, toes in the sand and that smile I remember most, among so many senses I cannot forget.

I took for granted she would always be there when the sun set and the sun rose until the day she wasn’t.

Denied and Deprived

And before I die I assure you I’ll cry over that first kiss, denied and deprived over many oceans and beyond anyone’s notion of what could have been, preventing what should have been.

I suppose it all comes to its destined end, despite our legacies, our family, our friends. For the heart wants what it wants, when it wants. You can fight it, just can’t hide it from the places deep beneath the places you hide from those who cannot reach it.

Unfinished

When you feel like the rules are different for everyone but you, and the world keeps changing except for the view, close your eyes and hear the sounds from that place long ago that spoke to your youth.

When nothing turns out like the dream you chased but never followed through, and it seems your spent hopes and layered dimensions are all but wasted on someone you once knew, close your mind to life’s whimsical wisdom that only altered your youth, to find again the one voice that always spoke the truth.

It’s the silence we feel in the noisiest of towns, the vibrant fragrances we taste in the dullest of mouths. It’s knowing when something is too much or just not enough. It’s beyond our hearts and in our guts. It’s a love we left on some beach for a path we followed but in which we never believed. It’s knowing where you are is a place you don’t belong and where you aren’t is a place you’ll never go.

When you feel as though it’s unfinished and over at the same time and something that took forever is done in the blink of an eye, never forget who you were for awhile before you figured out who others were not. 

Between silence and a whisper,
I find magic in the moments
of snow on rooftops,
fresh under my feet and in
the remnants it leaves
on the strangers I meet.
A ghost among them,
I’m very much alive,
sure of my fortune,
I fly rather than run
along this path of mine.

Near the lake, I pass an
aging couple, gracefully
breathing in the fresh snow.
To my nod they respond
with a kind return.

I pause to contemplate. 

Along my path, I meet
young lovers full of
dreams, a gap between
them, they wait on timing
and love to embrace the
moment that could change
everything forever. 

I pause to remember. 

The lady in her late forties,
looking seventy, for
reasons kept secret,
I see her life behind her as
misery gathers in her mind,
sticking on her face, a
stunning darkness in this
wintery white surrounding.

I pause to mourn. 

I watch a man on his boat,
flying all sails out
between the flakes.
In him I see the adventurer,
inspired by the peace around
him, while still confronting
a past he welcomes on
this lone journey.  

I pause to dream. 

And then as usual and
without warning, the one
who haunts my dreams with
light in her eyes and freshness
in her smile, finds me here,
where she cannot stay
unnoticed in this moment,
a snapshot destined to
forever flood my mind
with promise and hope. 

I pause to regret.