Jedi

On the day you get into your first fight,
you tell me that now you understand
Darth Vader, how he reached
his tipping point,
and never came back,

and how the dark thing
welled up inside you
until you shoved harder than you ever knew you could,
how the other boy flew
three whole sidewalk squares,

and with the red blood
still wet on your lip, you apologized to the boy,
before the front desk buzzed me in
to gather you up, you had already
found your way

toward your own peace.  So together
we clean quietly the beginnings
of this new and storied scar,
Darth Vader never came back, you say,
but I’m a good person,

so I’ll recover.

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For Mary Oliver

There are teachers
who make a home
in your mouth,
teachers whose words
fly inside thoughts
before you make them,
whose soft hands,
or so you imagine,
hold gently your cheeks
as you drive
toward a different horizon,
perhaps terrified,
and feeling alone,
which of course you never were,
since that day long ago
when white nests
of wild feathers, she wove
in your pockets.

In a Blink

Last night, as Jupiter
danced with Venus,
I thought of you

and you and you,
and all the lights,
in our varying

brightnesses, depending
on the day,
or early dawn as it were,

and how,
when we come together,
and move apart,

it is enough
to break a heart,
or open one,

these many arrivals
and departures,
while Antares

blazes on, a light
that left for Earth
600 years back,

such a long time
and short
time ago.

Falling Star

Just as this bed faces the window now,
just like we turn toward the night
where lace curtains hang like they’ve always hung
since people first learned how to hide.

Just like I want to turn toward you,
or how sometimes I might go inside
when you get home so late and I’m looking away,
still the words that you say, and the way that you say,

and the hands that you lay, the space just melts away.

Look how it’s all been forgotten,
how we all forgot something again,
we are trying to grow up and we’re trying to grow old,
and we find ourselves right where we’ve been

before, there were so many answers
from the suit men erupting like fires,
so we stand in the face of the answer man
and the smoke and the jokes and the liars,

and the forests are burning like pyres.

Just as I need to turn toward you now,
just like your arms hold me tight,
and we make a new verse to replace this old curse
for the poets who’ve shown us the light.

See how I’m learning the same thing again,
and this might always be how it goes,
so we do it all over, except this time it’s better,
and the night comes again, and the light comes again,

thought I’d walked through this door, then discover there’s more.

In a moment last night, in the dust of a dream,
a vision through half sleepy eyes,
but real as the truth, or the words that you say,
or the voices of those who will rise.

With love on our side, between curtains flung wide,
a star cuts the sky like a knife
with a trail so bright it erases the night
as the mountain erupts like a fire,

and the heat of it burns like a choir.

Under the Sky

News drops like a rain,
like autumn’s last leaves
coming down on the roof.
They do not stop, these
moments of revelation,
the good ones, and the
hard ones, too.

The sky changes all day,
where once there was light,
now there is shadow,
warmth before and now
we reach for blankets
and for one another,
which is to say

let’s do this together.