When You Lap My Feet

When you lap my feet
With your soothing song
I want to dive into your wetness
To see how deep inside our souls
I can swim.

I walk towards you step by step
Until your song drowns the noises
Life makes of other people’s living.

I could stand on your sand
A foundation slips away
And never fear a thing
Then watch the gull fly
Over your shimmering skin
Aloft in freedom
Finding inside a sustenance
That brings life
Only your deepest flesh knows.

I am briefly jealous.
Until I hear your song again
Singing for me
Alone in the surf where you end
Always giving me a loving caress
That froths as it fades
And surges up, again and again.

You deposit gifts on my earth
Broken shells and drifting weeds
Only I can see as my treasure.
Here, the smoothed rock…
There, a flattened stone
For me to return to you in skips
Like a man remembering his boyhood
Or a boy still dreaming of what story
He will tell when I return inside you
A love as persistent as the moon
That pulls you rising
Across the quiet of a solitude
That together we understand
As a language spoken
Throughout time for this moment
Awaiting us since the beginning.

Teak Arms

Come and nestle into the nook you chose
Along my gunwale. Rest. I wrap my teak
Arms around you to fend off night. Trace your
Legend between stars, twinkling as they do.

Today, you sacrificed ashes of life
To the Father tormenting your journey
Home. The dust will not heal your wounds or His,
But appeasement will blind him long enough –

His people invite you to the Phaeacian
Feast to hear the substance of your toils.
They lift you up on deck of their swift ship
Sail you home to the Faithful and Longing.

The planks of my own arms, softened by tears:
A bee sting, a disturbed nest on the path
Where you, child, excavated tiny stones
The earliest memory of journey

Are strong tonight – we have no place to be.
Our journey awaits the rose-red fingers
Of Dawn to wrap around your heart again
Teasing tiny sparks from dark, inspiring

Another stop, another mile of miles
To go before you sleep again in this
Nook of my gunwale where I will wrap
You, once again, safe in my soft teak arms.

Meet Again Where the Boardwalk Begins

This moment twists in on itself
A cruel freak show contortionist
Who stares agape, tear-carved
Deltas from his made up eyes.

If only it would twist into a pretzel
With lots of salt
That we’d eat with mustard.
Two kids on a boardwalk,

Gulls stalk,
Their fingers’ taffy sticky
Stuck together,
The sweetness like glue.

“Tell me everything,”
They do not see people
Beside them, counter them,
Bump them, watch them.

The ocean inside their hearts
At once calm, at once stormed.
They find their turtle shell
And build a home inside.

This moment twists
Like a contortionist:
The boardwalk ends,
Taffy shops close,

Kids depart, apart
Long enough to make up
New ocean creatures,
Aloe their sun burns.

Image: Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, Dolles, painting by Ray Sokolowski
Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, Dolles, prints in 3 sizes, painting by Ray Sokolowski

Peaking Through Chrysalis

The butterfly lives
Just
The right
Length
Of time.

(Don’t we all)

Now we are two butterflies,
Peaking through chrysalis
At a world we once ate
Now we are to pollinate.
Our eyes see God in flowers.
Our flesh carries seeds.
We stick to one another.
We have become:

A world
I cannot imagine
Without you.

Two butterflies
Dancing on air
As was
Certain.

With a nod to Tom Robbins’ Another Roadside Attraction

Angel’s Metamorphosis

image: Michael Parkes
http://www.theworldofmichaelparkes.com/cm/Home.html

the sky, today,
penetrable and deep,
I reach my hand
into its perfect blue
in search of a star
when found, its light
warms my open palm
azure drips off my arm
until a puddle floods
our spot of the earth
where we begin to play
with our new toy
above us an Angel plays.
dancing, metamorphosis.

Now she is a Carmen Miranda teddy bear

Now she is a flying saucer.

Now she is you.

sleeping naked
in my arms
my hand traces
constellations on your
satin skin
stretched, tingling
on the breast I linger
touching the nipple
reaching to the universe
part of the Woman,
loved wholly
dancing with angels
whose gentle purr say
life will renew

‘This umbrella tires of holding up the rain’

This umbrella tires of holding up the rain
Her waterproof nylon grown thin,
Ribs starting to bend to the wind.
A tired whisper: “let the rain drench you.”
Wind blown sideways like the sky
Asking for directions,
Falling to earth looking for suture
To heal us, our stars and their stories.

This umbrella tires of holding up the rain.
It beseeches me to close it and look up
At the patterns raindrops make falling
Like a web of stars torn apart,
Looking for a new storyteller
To mix the tonic God pours down on us.
“Wrap your arms around me,” she says,
“Let the story fall on its own.”

Umbrella, I tire of holding back rain.
Open me up and let me catch it.
This mystery falling I can no longer solve,
So choose, instead, to break the patterns
Allowing the water to resolve its story
In rivers tumbling like children to the sea.
Holding my collapsing ribs,
Holding frayed skin together,
She accepts the rain inside.