December 3, 2011

“Where would we go if there
Was nobody but us left on Earth?”
You asked me. I shrugged.
I told you it didn’t matter,
As long as I could hold your hand
When my final breath left me.

Even though you hated them,
I always loved your eyes. There was
Something unnaturally reassuring
About one green and one blue;
A beautiful marriage on the
Spectrum of light that took me
By surprise when I first looked
Deep into them one evening.

Neither of us had seen the signs
Warning of winter’s loose grasp
On the frosty lake two miles out
From your back porch.
It was one of those risks you take
As a teenager and then, as an
Adult with years of mistakes
Sitting regrettably under you,
You shake your head and think
My god, what were we doing?

I’ll never forget that sound:
The easy creak and the ice flow
Separating just enough that
You slipped down into the lake,
Your last breath taken in a gasp.

I dove down after you, into the
Coldest water imaginable.
It wasn’t the temperature that
Bothered me the most, I think.
It was the impenetrable silence.
Our frantic movements should
Have raised a cacophony there,
Ripping the silence into shreds,
But it was perfectly quiet.
My lungs burned as I surfaced
For the first time, and I tried to
Take enough air for both of us.
The lake had grown too murky,
Or there was some current that
Had stolen you from me, for
Once I sunk down again to look
For any sign of your struggle,
I was met with a blank canvas
Of midnight blues and greys.

The firemen said that I was lucky
To have escaped the collapse.
I didn’t scream, though I admit
The impulse was there.
All I knew was the ache of cold,
Shattering my bones and stealing
Half of every breath I took.
They found you two weeks later,
Face up against the bottom of
A thinner layer of the lake’s ice.
Your eyes were still open, and
I could see the surprise of the cold
Had consumed your final moments.

An open casket wasn’t an option,
The time underwater had not been
Kind to your pale skin. Had it not
Been for my need to identify you
I might never have seen those eyes
Ever again; one green and one blue,
Perfectly still and gazing at some
Point on the horizon, past all
That we will ever know.


Feeling Nostalgic

December 28, 2008

an evening of bliss and regret
I remember barking out the window
through downtown Seattle
and sleeping under a desk

the best dream I have ever had
Spiderman pajamas and curly hair
I had met the love of my life
and her name was Ruth

a decision that needed to be made
you held my hand and walked me
through six months of what could never be
now you’re back and I’m scared shitless

the discovery of a new world
sword and shield in hand, I ran into
endless battle and made new friends
in Oklahoma and New Zealand

an afternoon in the April sun
who would think that something
as innocent as sidewalk chalk could
make a guy like me a threat?

a chance to return home
two magical days in the California sun
running through Tomorrow-land
living like a child once more

the longest night of spring quarter
somehow I ended up at the Ballard ER
thank god for paramedics or else
I would have lost a friend

a chance at love, freckles and all
we flew in the face of everyone who
thought it wouldn’t work out
she smelled like summer rain

speaking of summer!
it’s almost as if the days getting
longer expanded my heart
in more than one way

a few days spent by the river
we had crossed a few by the end
climbed a mountain and enjoyed
being men in the wild

coming back to that big blue box
old friends and new, it wasn’t ever
as bad as I made it out to be
plus the discount rocks

the second hardest decision
I would make this year, I just wish
that it had been in person and not
by text message

a welcome urban escape
checking out underground art
and grooving to a flawless concert
by my favorite band

a major transition, in a couple of ways
not only a new roommate but
some lines were drawn in the sand;
lines I knew I would have to cross

the late bloom of a spring flower
something told me that you knew
I know I have an awful poker face
and it wasn’t even the dreams

becoming a Roman!
perhaps more than just the lingo
picking up their mannerisms, like
leaving my mark on the world

reading a few books, after all
I had finished Rand and wanted to
immerse myself once again in
Tolkien’s Middle-Earth

the end of the quarter brought
more than just the end of classes
saying goodbye to a friend hurts
I wish that hug had lasted forever

stuck indoors, all my friends
immobilized by the blanket of
surprise December snow; at
least it was a white Christmas

they really ought to think of
a name for this week between
Christmas and New Year’s Eve
it’s a perfect time to reminisce