Posted in Poetry

To Forgive

I forgive you for hating me
I forgive you for having harder stares
Than my dad when I ate second and third
Helpings of sweet, buttery confections
I forgive you for saying worse,
Much, much worse
Than any underclassman
Who bullied or shamed me
In grade school
I forgive you for forcing me
To go to reparative therapy
Where a charlatan with a BS in Bible
Posed as a shrink
Eager to hear my confessions
Always asking me
To shut the door when I leave
I forgive you
For pushing me down
For never giving me any grace
When I legitimately and gracelessly fell
On my face
Like that night outside of Rumors
When I never should have drove home
I forgive you for living dangerously
For always telling me
That my soul was in danger
Until body, mind and whole self was there
I forgive you for a lifetime
Of sucking the life from me
And cutting all of my lifelines
I forgive you for pushing others away
With the same magnitude, used
To force me to my knees to pray
I forgive you for hating me
Without reason
Naked, weaving
In and out of rhyme,
And I’ll look you in the eye
And tell you to your face
Next time
I catch your eye
And your hard stare
From the corner of the mirror

Posted in Poetry

All Access

This is how
We celebrate life
Open mic
Open veins
Blood spills over on the floor
Maybe saving lives

—–

This is my 5th installment for National Poetry month. I am short one entry. Maybe one of these Sundays, I’ll write two. This is a shadorma. I am going to run out of short forms and be left with all of the long ones. All Access is the name of the open mic I host on Thursday nights. This is what we do.

Posted in Poetry

Etched

Fifteen years ago, she woke up and wore white
All was ready: the pastor, the cake, the dress
The girl who never wanted to have children
Would say “I do” to an overgrown boy. Love!
Sometimes it blinds us to the worst in others
Gone bad, held captive, we forget how to smile

Etched on my memory: her red hair, her smile
My tux black, my vest silver, my shirt starched white
I stood with her, and with him, before others
A night spent chasing every other dress
With Bacardi, and falling deeply in love
With anyone! Such is the way of children

I got drunk; he got high, we were all children
I brought the music to make the people smile
He asked me to pray, and I did so with love
I think I spilled yellow beer on my starched white
I never knew how to act when “properly” dressed
Or in any attire in room full of others

She wasn’t my first crush, so many others!
Before, after, such is the way of children
It used to be any pretty face with a dress
Or many a chiseled face, with a handsome smile
I always mistook exposure of pearly whites
Or crooked yellows for an open heart, or love

A year, and three weddings later, I found love
I cried that day, more than all of the others
Yes, even more than the veiled woman in white
We had a plan, we made a life, we had children
Thirteen years, I watched the fading of her smile
We inflicted wounds no god or shrink could dress

Slow change of heart, a sudden change of address
An old friend with the most familial of love
Picked me up, made me remember how to smile
But was I what she had known in the other?
Another boy, surrounding himself with children?
Or worse, like an old sweater, washed with the whites?

Break the familiar! She was not like the others
Love scattered, like adults throw candy at children
Etched on my heart: her red hair, her smile, her black dress

————
Another one for National poetry month. This is a sestina. Sestinas are one of my absolute favorite forms of poetry. This is the third one I have ever written.