Night enters tired and heavy
as a lover returns slipping in
quietly after a fight
words vanish with the fading light
as the day passes
cold silence blankets a sea
of buzzing of thoughts falling

years of solitude tick by
one at a time I learn
their names like the chapters
that dominate my youth
somewhere in between
the ache and the strain
is the eye of the storm
my center complete
and your face within me
buried beneath
oceans and tides
my shifting consciousness
wrapped around immobile

Above the water line
I don’t want to see
just how much you mean to me
is as far as I go
to get away from the sweet
curves of your voice
I only sink deeper into seeing
how much more difficult it is
to escape the space
of a bed that grows bigger
the farther out of reach
you slip
so I grip the loneliness by its ribs
between the sheets
and slow down the racing desire
until I am just holding myself
unfolding in the singular pleasure
of being intimately alone

lightning illuminates
without sound
her smile flashes back
through the mirror
a Me I barely recognize
wearing my face
in a mask of fierce tenderness
that spins and weaves
the shapes of images with words
Dakini, I
the Sight behind my eyes
whose primordial blade cuts away
the threads of illusion
that hook and gut
from the mouth of my sex
to my throat
a hoarse moan
of suffering the impulse
to devour until I’m free
of the story
another loveless sunrise
tells me
this is it
the it that always is

the morning’s commanding voice
comes through his words
croons and scolds me at once
for childish wants
it is needless, he says, if you walk
the path if renunciation
but he’s not entirely right
nor entirely wrong when
I want to merge into the warmth
of his laugh
the absence of all aggression
a place of joyful dispassion
I can live without the cravings
tired hours of darkness suppress
between the day’s demanding
firedrills, routines, and juggling acts
handling the reins
putting out the fires
taking the beatings
of all my mistakes
and then
I still find myself a mess
in that corner of need
I’ve confused for love

so I go back to my cell of solitude
over and over again

it’s the kindness in his voice
that reflects back to me
the alchemy of being
he teaches me to stand alone
but in unity
the best teacher I have been blessed with
pushes me beyond my head
and I just flex into growth
muscles developing slow

I learn to divest myself of
unproductive wants
strip down to the naked
questions seeking relief
beneath the placid surface
of my apparent tranquility
it’s the needs that spear through
with no endings
happy or sad
like icebergs restlessly crossing
ready to sink
unsuspecting ships