A Gift of Presence

we write only what we know
the verbs wake us, keep us awake
with their incense

they surround us, their incessant
songs waking what once was night
now morning
now lunchtime
we write only of our narrow view
while bukowski paened his whores
and his liquors
we pain only for our shadows
these are not friends, at night i drink with
a hundred acquaintances
while my friend is dead, asleep
all his verbs now gifts to outlines
that remain


Well, we were young
And turtlenecked all through spring, then it was
Summer on a turning millennium;

And when we turned
From one another, way back when,
It seemed like youth was always a safe excuse
To have been in love:
The heart darts and pushes
Past the curtains
Of sunshine, a furred critter
Suddenly wild.

Then, my friend says we can’t be it all.
I’d like to know why not (though
the logic is irrefutable),
A short fall cuts to a long winter;
The things in between
Were made in opposition.

The millennium no longer young;

Well, then there was that slow day so many
Years later

Wondering if this cat twisting
On my chest was a thing
Or if that other thing
Had ever run past the gardens
Into those wicked billows of sunshine.