Do Not Tell Me Otherwise

I was driving home this evening

Thinking of you.

Not about the surreal reality of you

Nurturing your father as he lay perishing

Before your eyes

Instead my mind selfishly wandered to the last moment

I held you in my arms.


I am thinking of the instant we touched

Just an instant.

And I am remiss to tell you

That pain is distal, and from time to time

It must flow through our tears

And wiggle into our skin

Weighing on our bosom.


You did not say it.

Don't go.


Your body did.

And bodies never lie.

Only a mind can do that.


My heart raced

And I held onto you.

Not the way I wished for

Or stayed righteous for.


I was

And am

A man with too much pride

To have recognize the creature in my arms:

A dreamer

Holding a dreamer

Dreaming up the lies that waited for us

Under our beds and in our closets.


I'm facing the truth now.

And I say this, so that you will hear me then.

My marriage was failed.

Yet I held onto it as a fool.

Cherished it.


But–with a word or two

(If you had spoken them aloud)

I'd have faced the consequences

I'd have pressed you to that wall

The way your body whispered to me.


Take you down.

Fall to the floor in a heap.

Leaving this universe

Less, one forgotten wish:


To deny my hands


My arms

My chest

Your hips

And lips

And breath

And breasts

And legs coiled around me

And your nails in my skin

And the moisture of your mouth.

Do not tell me otherwise.


All of these poems and more can be found HERE in the anthology “A Cartographer”.