Where Does Everything Go?

Where Does Everything Go?

Atomic displacement

A Feeling someone

left the room

just before you

got there

Not a scent

Not a wayward

strand of hair

lingering among the dust

not a thumb smudge

on a tumbler

A Feeling

Deeper than skin



that hasn’t stopped


When the Feeling


Where does it go?

Everything stays

Water to wine

wood to fire

Skin to putrefaction

All collected in the


The missing element

unbalancing the scales

Something goes

Love to apathy

Hate to acceptance

Grief to nostalgia

to melancholy

to despair





Not every particle

walked out the door

Not every element

covalent bonding

Not everything


The ones behind


not everything


If You Can

Photo credit: C.K.

Let me know when you get home-

if you can.

I’d like to leave by 5 so get here by 4-

if you can.

It’s cold out here. Grab my sweatshirt from the chair-

if you can.

Just hold me again-

if you can.

Maybe can is too much.

Always asking for one or another
and then qualifying…

if you can.

And you don’t even hear it.

Of course they can-

can call and come and grab,

if they want.

Maybe they don’t want.                                                                                                         Maybe they can’t.
Maybe they’re tired ,
of calling and coming and grabbing
because you ask for it all the time,
expect it every time,
and never consider,                                                                                                                              for a time,

if they want.

Maybe that’s why-

why this whole tangle started,

opposite us at opposite ends of it,

the bite and the working ends of the rope,

knotting, twisting,
getting farther apart
with the same length of thread between us.

if you can,
they can.

But You wouldn’t.
You don’t want to
You won’t ever want to.

But that doesn’t matter
because if you can,
they can.

Even if you don’t want,
they want,

and you not wanting,                                                                                                                   doesn’t make them want less.

Neither has anything                                                                                                                                 to do with can.

The converse, it has only to do with want.

Maybe doing so many cans
makes their want
that much more acute,
makes the want so much brighter and sharper,
and makes it ache so throbbing
and incessant that it veers from


to want…

to need;

that space to
see and feel that

they can
so they will.

And you did.
You made it through
like I made it through
that messy war we made together.

Then you found it,
the real it,
not that make-believe
shit we heard about.

And I love that for you ,                                                                                                                    not you for that,
but there is still                                                                                                                                something that
is  loved
which is irreplaceable
even if means crying
a lot
and smiling
a little.

We can do both.

But I do want.
Don’t need.

And I’ll be here.
If you want, or don’t want,

Want, if you do.

Need, if you must.

And please stay-

if you can.




Just Stay There


Bridge to staying.

Just stay there.

I’ll get back to you.

You’ll stay there, right?

Quiet and well,
ready and smiling,
engaged and giving.

But don’t be too.

Not too quiet,
then there’s something wrong
and I might have to fix it.

I want you well.
I like your face
when you’re well.
But not too well.
You don’t want to look
distracted or involved.
And I need my wellness.

I need to be full.

Ambition achieved

Talent realized,

Dreams in pockets.

I’m ready.



I want to play.

You’re beautiful
when you smile.
Do it more.
Just for me.

Best for me.

Be engaged,
obsessed and driven
but I need your attention.
I need to share mine,
that’s how I live and
create and validate.
But I need yours most.
You make me better.
And you’re already good.

that can never be too.
You have to give.
I need your mind
and your body.
Your talents and
your trials.
How do I know that
I am good
if you don’t give that to me?
How do I know that you’ll
stay, that
I’m not left in place
while you move
and become?

But not too.
Don’t give too.
Not the hard and the dirty
the ugly and profane.
I need you to stay right there,
and if you keep giving the
hidden, corrosive things,
I can’t stay.
I’m fragile and your acid
will burn and dissolve me.
And I don’t want to disappear.

I’m more and whole and
I want to be

So you stay.
And tomorrow,
maybe I’ll stay.
And the day after,
we’ll see who’s left.

See what’s left.

See what stayed.