“So what do you think would fill your hunger?”

She became acutely aware of his body the instant his question settled into the space between them.  His limbs were long and strong, and she wondered, not for the first time, what it would be like if he held her close, like a lover would.  Would he be warm, and would his scent wash over her with the power of an aphrodisiac?  Would his arms surround her like bands of steel?  Would she feel his heartbeat?  Would it echo hers?

Her breathing deepened, as she suddenly seemed to need more air.  Her lungs felt tight, as though what air was there was being sucked in by him.  And yet, all he was doing was sitting back, sipping his drink, watching her.  The smile that curved his lips made her suddenly aware of her own lips, and how they felt heavy with the hunger for his teeth and tongue.  Would his kisses make her wet with need for more?  Would they drag moans of delight from her parched throat?  Would he coax his way into her mouth and ravish her there?

She swallowed at the thought of his tongue in her mouth, and immediately a vision arrested her inner eye, causing her to inhale sharply.  If what she saw were ever to come true, he would not be sitting back in a chair across from her, watching her struggle to give voice to her needs.  If what she saw were ever to come true, she would be up against the wall, the air fraught with danger around them, the anticipation of his touch a palpable thing between them.

Like a portrait, the scene unfolded before her inner eye.  Her head back, so he would not feel the telltale rasp of shaved hairs on her chin, so he had access to the scar she could not hide that marred her throat where they had removed a part of her thyroid.  Or so he could reach the little hollow behind each earlobe, where she spritzed a different fragrance each day.  Or so he could begin in the valley between her collar bones and make his leisurely way down through the gorge between her breasts to…wherever else he wanted to go for his taste tests.

She could see him lift one leg and wrap it round his hip bone, because he knew it would go no higher — she was not, when all was said and done, a ballerina, but she was limber for all that.  She saw his hands wander over the flesh of that leg, felt his fingers admire the hard muscle of her calf as he traced its curved line down her leg to her ankle.  He didn’t seem to mind that it was no longer slender, or that her toenails were unpainted.

She could feel that same hand smooth its way back up the inside of her leg, to her inner thigh, where he played with the silky, darker flesh, made so by the rubbing of her legs together, flesh on flesh.  His other hand, while he was teasing her, steadied her on the leg left on the ground.  And as his hand did walkabouts upon her flesh, as he teased her senses, both their breathing hitched.

She looked up, and his glass was empty.  How long had she sat there, a silent witness to his patient demand that she tell him her most intimate dreams?  Could she reveal the need for tenderness that rolled inside her, and made her weep with regret at the certainty of its never being hers?  Could she expose her vulnerable heart, where fanciful romantic desires had made a home, despite her ruthless efforts to dislodge them?

Someone — the waiter she supposed — refilled his glass, and he sipped again, before placing it on the table before him.

“Are you ready to tell me now?  Or will you concede that what I told you is true?  Will you agree with me that I know you better than you ever imagined, and that I know what will fill your hunger?”

She looked him in the eye, a moment before lowering it to the vision of his body making one with hers again and again against a wall, in the resounding darkness of a rain-washed night.  Her vision assailed her; his passion and power and aching tenderness…his love disarmed her, undid her, fulfilled her.  He deployed his hands, his mouth, his teeth, his tongue, his words…nothing was neglected in her seduction.  The answer to his question was there, in the things she was seeing, the things she could never hide from herself, the things he already knew. 


Copyright 2014


Pablo Neruda’s writing space in Chile, from Alastair Reid’s book Pablo Neruda: Absence and Presence


And if I had a space like this

Mayhap the words would rush

The shores of my mind

Foaming with beauty and grace

And carrying the sounds of the lands

From which they came.

And if I had a space like this

Mayhap my heart would lose

Its constant creeping sorrow,

And I could share the wonder

Of the far horizons of my soul.


Copyright 2014


“I might be a little bit in love with you.”

You look around.

“Yeah, you. Is that so hard to believe? Or is it just distasteful to you?”

You shake your head.

“Don’t worry. I’m not asking you for anything.”

You smile.

“Really! I’m not. Nor am I expecting anything. I’m no fool!”

You gaze at me silently.

“You always were the quiet one. And you know what they say, don’t you?”

Your smile is wider this time.

“Yes. Silent river runs deep. I just wish I knew what you were thinking!”

You raise the drink to your lips and sip.

“I guess it doesn’t matter, though. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s not about me.”

You throw back your head and laugh.

A bell jangles somewhere, and I blink. Shit! This is getting worse and worse. I cannot keep doing this. Making up one-sided conversations between me and you, the man I’ve been crushing on this whole year is not the way to win friends and influence people. Nor you, for that matter. Especially since you don’t even know I exist. None of those gestures or smiles were even aimed at me, for goodness sake! These people must think I’m insane! it’s a wonder they haven’t called the insane asylum to come get me already.

I turn my eyes back to where you’re sitting with your friend. He says something to you, and you laugh again, and turn your head. Our eyes meet for the first time in recorded history. I gape like a fool, and then you break the contact. You call for the bill. I ease myself out of the booth I am sitting in, and hurry to pay for my own meal. This first real contact has rattled me. Rushing by your table, my head in a whirl, my eyes focused on the cash register, I fail to see you check me out.

Maybe I need to stop coming here for lunch, I think, as I rush out to my car. I can bring a salad or a sandwich with me. Or go to MacDonald’s. I don’t need to eat at a fancy eatery. It’s not like we know each other, and now that you’ve seen me, if I show up tomorrow, it’ll look like I’m stalking you. I ignore the voice that asks “Well, aren’t you?” Shut up, I tell myself. Just shut up!

I am almost at my car when I hear an unfamiliar male voice.

“You dropped this,” it says.

I turn around, startled, to see who is speaking. You’re standing there with a slip of paper in your hand. I look around.

“Yeah…you,” you say.


Copyright 2014

Afternoon Sky

Windswept clouds laze
Across the afternoon,
Swishing their flirty skirts
Like flamenco dancers
In wispy white.
The staging sky,
In baby blues,
Shows off the aerial dance.


Copyright 2014


You want to write of love’s offices, but find yourself hand-tied. What letters to tap on the keyboard elude you, for to write of love is to write of that with which you are as unfamiliar as you are of the depths of the ocean. No science can provide enough knowledge to help you write the things you think you ought to feel. Poems to the curve of his cheek, the brush of his hands, the depth of his voice, mean nothing coming from you…as you have yet to see or hear or feel these things in your own body. You cannot write of love because you have not felt or known or tasted of its sweetness. You cannot write because you do not feel the inexplicables which would tell you that you are there.

You want to sing of love’s beauties, but find yourself tongue-tied. What words to join together escape you, for to sing of love is to sing of that with which you are as ignorant as you are of the far reaches of the universe. No art can supply enough symphonies to help you hold the melodies you know you ought to hear. Hymns to the strength of his bearing, the pride of his stature, the wealth of his character, mean nothing coming from you…as you have yet to recognize or realize or comprehend these things in your own soul. You cannot sing of love because you have not sensed or grasped or experienced of its harmonies. You cannot sing of love because you do not hear the inexpressibles which would tell you that you are there.


Copyright 2014

Is That How?

Is that how love comes?
Intense, and all consuming,
Until some freakish accident
Unveils its hidden nature
And it begins a slow
And torturous decline?

Is that how love dies?
Yet sharp and deeply wounding
As a searing scalpel skillfully wielded,
Cauterizing flesh, excising the rot
Of a gangrenous, heart-
Ravaging disease?


Copyright 2014


White under the gray,
The moonish sun
Slips shyly behind black clouds
Gravid with rain,
The gift of life offered
With roars and grumbles,
And incisor-sharp flashes
Of jagged light.
The wipers can’t keep up,
And the goosebumps on my arm
Are Braille notes of delight.


Copyright 2014

(I don’t pretend to understand much about war, or why we wage it. This isn’t meant to extol war or sing the virtues of aggression. But I could not stop crying as I listened to the stories, and watched the clips on the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS, that told me more than I ever think about on a “normal” day . And for the first time, as I listened to my compatriot, General Colin Powell speak, I thought about how what people I never thought about did, and still do, so I can live an unencumbered and ignorant life. A broken heart once a year is an insufficient price to pay, a piss poor gift to give. It’s like thanks…too little, and mostly too late.  But God bless us everyone!)

Whatever you think of war,
Your politics
And righteous indignation
Can never take away
The cost
In human lives —
Both of the dead
And the living —
Nor the pain…
Nor yet the pride
Of service
Beyond patriotism,
Beyond right or wrong,
Beyond who started it,
Or who ended it.
Your politics
And moral outrage
Will never reverse
The gift that lives
Sacrificed to war
Have left us all.
“All gave some,
Some gave all”,
The song says.
On this day of remembrance,
I give my broken heart.


Copyright 2014

How I Write

There’s nothing different about how I write…unless there is, like when the keyboard or the pen is not enough to record the words and figures and tropes that tumble from my mind, fueled by the whispers of my spirit. Then I must write with sound to record the images and visions that haunt me.

There’s nothing mystical about how I write…unless there is, like when a character speaks through me, takes over my mind and soul, and pounds out the words through my fingertips onto the pristine screen. They search for their completion through my words.

There’s nothing magical about how I write…unless there is, like when events sweep me into their flood, and I am carried along in their relentless flow, washed by their clarity and depth. And what happens is as much a surprise to me as it is to all who read.

There’s nothing special about how I write…unless there is, like when the wounds and sorrows of my heart wage war against the joys and pleasures waiting in the wings to take hold and carry me away to the stars. And all that I can do is let them speak of me.


Copyright 2014


Don’t mistake
My devotion to you
For desperation.
My attention
To your needs
Is not a sign
That I can’t do
Without you.
My seeking you out,
My enjoyment of
The time we spend together,
Do not indicate
A lack of security
In my own company.
I am not looking to you
To complete me.
Don’t mistake
My feelings for you
For more than what they are.
Don’t imagine
That you mean more to me
Than I mean to you.
Don’t mistake
My innocence
For ignorance,
Or my vulnerability
For weakness.
We both know
What you are
And what I am.
Don’t mistake
My playfulness
For what you do.
I am not
A player.


Copyright 2014

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