As a child, earnest
As a late-day water lily bloom
As a hopeless romantic
Thrive despite the shallow
Give the coolest shelter
Live to love and fight
To be free from such rules
To grow in the coming dark
To rise from it all each day
Shine spilled everywhere
Once again, I’m left to grow
A beautiful mess
All I ask of authenticity, as I swirl it across my palette
Simply this: Stop tasting as nostalgia might
Some genteel trip down memory lane
A life my children cannot revel in having once lived
Become balanced again, more perfect in this place
Tannins, stripped away
Smooth-sweetness, shine through
No reason my heart ought beat
Save you, who saves me
From nothingness, thinks me something
From absence, brings me present
No reason, no logic
But perfect sense
One would ask, “Wouldn’t it be lovely?”
Driving down gridded streets that sometimes wound East, then South.
Thinking of shutters painted contrasting colors, or perhaps altogether removed.
One imagines children’s summertime voices.
Carefree and popsicle glee, front sidewalks their territory.
As it should be.
One seems perfect there.
Small and yellow, with miles and miles of welcome.
Surely big enough for whatever weather.
I want to kiss the liquor from your lips
And your need for it
I want to escort the pain from your blue eyes
To help you see again
That American Beauty of a wife
Those sweat-stained boys
Who think you are their life
The all of us who need you
Tending to the dream
From deep in the dark
Remembering the breath
Hoping much too hard
To bring you to life
For that’s what you loved