Thursday, April 30, 2020


how do you know when something’s over?
is it the silence? or the constantly raised voice?
is it the lack of touch?
absence of flowers?
all-too generic cards?
does it happen over the course of years?
months? days? hours?
or does it only take a moment?
i never know. i only know
when it’s over i am lost.
i wonder then what seed was planted,
and how good the soil is.
whether i should dig it out, or
watch it grow.
whether I have the correct tools.
whether I have the resolve.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020


to be honest, i’m tired 
of your bravery.
i’m really not impressed.
you fuss and preen
and squall like a child
who only wants more.
so let’s call it something else.
bravado, perhaps? fear.
let’s unpack that
privilege. peel away the skin
and poke around at the exposed
meat of your weakness.

these days we must all
be more brave.
we must find those
courageous few –
the helpers
someone once said.
we should ask them to teach us
how to lift stones
with a different purpose,
how to engage in conversations
with an open silence, how
to sit and wait with brokenness.
remember whose you are.
who are your people now?
they will not look like you.
find them quickly –
hold them close.
tell them all your secrets.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020


they closed the road today.
there was no warning –
they simply closed it.
i went outside to get the mail
and the road was open.
i went inside and read,
wrote, listened to music,
and when i went back outside
the road was closed.
this is not a metaphor.
it wasn’t overly inconvenient.
they left one lane open after all.
now you can only travel one direction –
which isn’t so bad
once you’ve determined
where you’re going, and
how you want to get there.
admittedly, it feels like
i’m constantly driving in circles.
which is not a metaphor.
it is merely how we must travel now.
arriving from one direction
and leaving in the opposite,
remembering which view
is the one we leave behind,
and which we keep before us.

Monday, April 27, 2020


i thought i had gotten used
to distance. i found myself
far too practiced at removing
intimacy; a determined body
that moved at my bidding,
created shallow vulnerabilities
words would reveal while
really only hinting at pain.
or fear. we can walk alone
inside the shell of our lack,
trust only the rhythms
we can control ourselves
and hide from every desire,
hope an intrusion piercing
the skin. bounded by this
decision i found myself in
a valley, i found myself walking
in circles, i found myself
wandering too close to you,
lost in wonder as you close
the distance between us.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Kobe smiling

I had a dream 
in which I played 
Kobe one-on-one. 
King’s Court
one shot only.
He lets me start.
I back him down
on the post, pull
a dream shake,
use my body
to make space,
go left hand 
off the backboard.
That’s the thing 
I love about basketball.
And dreams.
Anyone can score
at any time.
I back him down again, 
right post this time.
turn to the inside,
roll back to the left,
fake the fadeaway,
then up and under
with the right.
It’s not the first time
I’ve played someone
6’5” or 6’7”.
I’m not afraid.
It's all about fundamentals. 
Okay then, Kobe says,
and passes me the rock,
gets low.
I go left again,
spin and cross the key,
put up a shot.
Kobe shoots; scores.
He sets up again 
at the top of the court.
Without hesitation,
shoots a three.
I can’t stop that
You afraid? I say, 
Meet me on the block! 
So he does,
200 pounds pushing 
200 pounds down low;
I give him a shove or two –
hand, forearm, chest.
He makes his move,
fakes inside.
I know he’ll spin back –
I’m ready for it, 
smack my hand downward,
strip the ball and
turn and shoot. 
I turn to look at him,
and first he looks angry,
then incredulous.
He shakes his head: 
Old Man Mamba, 
he says,
and smiles.