at the river’s side

a rumbling screech in the background troubles
the stillness in its flow.  stalwart reeds stand their
ground in the eddies; beer cans
litter the pools.  rock breathes its heat
up through my skin, siphoning off pain dammed
for decades and centuries: graffitied faces and
iron piercings, a railroad’s refuse. i pour my salt
water soul back into her drop by sad sticky drop,
the miracle of rushing waters salving both our
senses, smoothing our edges while a
midday heat hunkers down, sodden
steaming blanket with an odor of regret.

all innocence

a little thank-you note
to a stranger i never met
for the smell of a sweet cologne
which lingered on the skin
just above my waist,
ignored the mirror,
the doubt and the regret,
buried them  deep
inside the curled ball of me and the damp
expensive sheets where i fell asleep
smiling
hours afterward.

regret

This was the one I wanted to write,

the answer to all the riddles:

an orange nihilism;

a soundless bittersweet poison;

shallow breaths in a wading-pool;

hesitancy in an ocean.

This was my hand, stayed.

My heart, stopped and

hidden

from eyes that should have seen.

This was the song

I would have sung

if I had dared,

and all the dances

the rhythm was never right

to join.

This,

this is the shape of too much silence,

choked answers and hands played too close,

dense fogs of obscured meaning

throttled in surfeit of thought.

This is ambiguity all dressed up and alone,

different, somehow,

from what came before;

this, today, tomorrow,

a riddle with unshaded eyes

perhaps at last

leaving backward glances behind.