love poems

thursday 1 july 02010 3:43pm
dolores park

in the park
under the sun, where once
i would have plucked
and shredded the grass, now
i laze
and caress each green blade.

wednesday 30 july 02008 9:27am

walking downtown to the morning's first class i find the back of your arm and nape of neck in the man crossing the street in front of me.

friday 23 november 02007 9:33pm
castro and 18th, the moon, and my heart

the sun was setting
and the moon had risen
at brunch.

"i can't stop looking at the moon
over your shoulder,"
he said.

so many tears on his shoulder
my face now a salted, swollen

and still we all shine.

tuesday 20 november 02007 5:52pm
walking north on fillmore street

whenever i grow still
you well up in me like water.

thursday 12 april 02007 3:32pm
on the 24 divisadero headed south

... and then i remember you. you! and every star in every universe dances to your breath, and in all existence not a hair is out of place

thursday 15 march 02007 8:27am

i rain a thousand thousand kisses on your everything. i wish that i could kiss you until your skin was gone and your bones shined clean and then i would kiss you again until your bones melted and just the light of you was left, shining, shining, shining.

tuesday 13 february 02007 9:33pm
in the livingroom

throwing rosepetals
on the fire.

wednesday 13 september 02006 9:15am
biking up beale street

sleepy, peaceful
after a long night of kisses
the air feels so thick i swim it
mind so light i wonder for a moment
if i am awake
or dreaming
it doesn't matter.

thursday 10 august 02006 7:22am
morning words

once a friend's daughter gave me a little bell. just a little silver bell, the round sort. i dropped it into the little bag of handy things (lipstick, bandaids, nailclippers) that is always tossed in whatever bag i'm carrying. it's been there now for ... oh, my... i remember the house we were outside when she set the bell in my hand, and it was seven years ago that i lived there. i think a lot about what i carry with me, and try not to carry the weight of unnecessary things, but this little bell, it's always there. i can't tell you what exactly it is supposed to remind me of, but it's very important.

you roll around in my heart like that these days.

friday 14 july 02006 8:56am
morning after

i've had many orchids. after the blossoms fade, there is the little plant. i save them, and i try. every few days i carry them all to the shower and bathe, fertilize, talk to them. none have blossomed again, until now. i've been watching the buds get fatter for weeks. i moved it recently to the bathroom where i can see it so many times a day and feel the changes. this morning, the first bud began to open.

that last sentence is maybe the closest i can come to saying something about last night.

tuesday 11 july 02006 7:51am
in my bed

and some days, still, it’s like this:

lying in bed
so small pressed against his back
oh his warm back

his black hair is tied in a knot
i stroke it, and know
though i cannot see

that forever is written
on the back of his neck
beneath my lips

for me, where i will see it
at moments exactly like this.
i stroke his hair

and softly, softly so as not to wake him
i weep
and weep for death, for the beautiful ones

who have gone.

thursday 18 may 02006 8:53am
pink lilies from m
for m

pink lily after pink lily
wide open
widest open
every fat petal spread
like your tongue

friday 21 april 02006 1:59pm
route 29, outside calistoga
for leah

i saw a brown horse
with three white socks
in a green meadow
with white flowers

and thought your name.

friday 24 march 02006 1:19pm
for james

i shimmer like a horse under his praise.

saturday 21 january 02006 8:09pm
in the mirror
for d

six purple marks
on the front of my left shoulder
where your right thumb fits
over and over.

thursday 22 december 02005 6:50pm
the long dark night of winter

for a long time my best attempt at defining love was something about two beings becoming attuned to one another, resonating at the same frequency.

when steve said the story of how he recognized sara, he said that they went out dancing one night, and were like two magnets turned in the right direction.

right now i could say love is when you see someone in the full glory of their being. you see that this is god.

with james, it is different. i see in him the divine glory, and also, i recognize him as myself. and so many people i have loved, he seems to contain them. once, i started to say something to him about when we went to the prom, which was ten years before we met.

sometimes, i cannot remember which memories from my childhood happened to me, and which happened to my sister.

james says that he lays his hand where my shoulders need because he can feel it.

sometimes, my mind slips for a moment and i see through a crack into a world i recognize from dreaming. i can see that this world is alive, and someone who seems to be me is living there.

memory is stored in the present tense. when we see the memory through the eyes of now, we recall it through the filter of me-now. but sometimes, we get inside the memory. it's all right there.

every moment is eternal. everyone is god. nothing and everything is real.

how can anything be wrong? why do we forget?

thursday 24 february 02005 5:15am
radiance: a tiny love poem (for james)

in loving you, i host the vibration of you within me, like hanuman with rama and sita in his heart. my love for you becomes one with you and i am one with my love for you, and we, in our entirety, become a single shining. it emanates from me. i shine like a small me-shaped sun with the radiance of us: me and you and our love. i am illuminated from within. this light warms me and holds me safe, always, all ways.

sunday 2 january 02005 8:02am
as wild horses the wind (for india)

in the first days
it was as if, having been freed from her body
there was now a little more of her
in everything else
and everything
tasted like her.

the air, especially. the wind.

my home is ringed by mountains, this place
i call my home is ringed
by mountains
and sea.

in the first days
i would look out at the mountains and see her
in the wind in the long low clouds
above the mountains
along the sea

light, like brushwork, the energy of her
rushing along the horizon
her mane

the wind

and everything

tasted like her. as the days go by now it's more that she
tastes like everything, rather
than that vivid flash when she first got out, now
i feel her, so lightly

lighter now, but


* the title is this piece is from Joy Harjo's "The Dawn Appears With Butterflies"

friday 26 november 02004 7:47am
the ninety-nine beautiful names of god

second-hand black cast iron pot
fancy grease-stained stainless steel kettle
wooden spoon

pale rose silk pajamas
lace-trimmed sheer white silk dressing gown
unwieldy organic unbleached cotton kimono

scratchy bar of oatmeal soap
almond lavender liquid soap
sesame oil
almond oil
lavender oil
jasmine oil
sweet orange oil

dried up old husk of something unrecognizable
bit of bright green moss
flame-shaped hunk of moss
spanish moss

staghorn fern
mother’s fern
maidenhair fern

dried up old cherry tomato that rolled under the sideboard

tart green granny smith apple
fat thumbprint cherry tomato
double-fisted turnip
wilting beet greens
fresh crisp spinach that jason picked on tuesday



sky framed by window
redwood framed by window
mountain framed by window

dawn in the bedroom
sunrise in the windows of the houses on the hill
sunset in the kittycorner kitchen windows
sunset over the mountain from the bay studio window

the full moon setting behind the tower on the mountain
james waking me to see it
james on the back porch photographing it in the middle of the night

his bathrobe
his white shirt
long black hairs in the bathtub in the bed in my clothes

on a train to sacramento while he was on a plane to hawaii
each of on our way to a wedding
i found a piece of his hair
on my favorite black bloomers
and i tied it around my wrist
and wore it there
all weekend

it scuffed the tiny hairs of my wrist and whispered

leopold the fat tabby maine coon yowler lover belly-hanging snuggler
oceana the tiny kernel in the bright halo of fluff, sharpest softest

and me

green jadeite mug from grandma
round olivewood tea scoop from sara
great-grandma’s shearling hat
grandma’s doilies
james’ grandmother’s quilt
great-grandma’s china
the antique haircatcher that sat on mom’s dresser when i was small
mom’s big twig basket that a carload of deadheads drove for me from new work to california ten years ago when i couldn’t fit it in the moving box
and they delivered it
light-colored basket i found on the street

card catalog from the old main library
medicine cabinet i found on the street
sideboard that came with the house


and sleeping softly

friday 30 april 02004 4:15pm
on the train to santa barbara, while he is en flight to hawaii

i found a piece of his hair on my pants. tried and tried and at last succeeded in wrapping it twice around my wrist and knotting it there. it tickles the skin and tiny hairs of my wrist. it's on the left wrist, and speaks to me there, like a whisper, of james.

monday 1 december 02003 7:53am
at my desk

this morning when i say love, i mean
that my garden is quietly absorbing yesterday's rains
growing greener, more lush
and my cunt aches from having had
and from wanting
and that something in my heart i cannot name
but only point to
burns, burns, burns

thursday 23 october 02003 2:34pm
after kabuki, for sara

what i find myself cherishing today is the silence, sitting inside that big wood room, like being inside a tree, and knowing you were in there too, or knowing that you had left. or not knowing; moving wet through wood and tile rooms and water and steam knowing that you are about, that we are together though we are not together. your hands all salty sliding across my back, and your back all saltyslick under my hands.

friday 4 october 02002 8:34am
morning after

on my shoulder, in the place just below my collarbone and just before the head of my arm, there is the faintest impression of your mouth. no one else would notice; it just looks like a place where my skin is a little redder, a little veinier or something. but i know it doesn't usually blush right there.

wednesday 10 october 02001 8:50am

i woke an hour before the alarm went off, and spent the next hour cherishing small things:

the way the curve of your lower back and ass fits into the hollow of my hip and belly.

the side of my hip lightly pressed to your ass, and the sprawl of my leg close to your leg against the bed.

how that felt if i let my ankle touch your foot.

how it felt if i moved my ankle over.

how it felt if i put my ankle back; playing with the current between my leg and your leg.

rolling over again, curve against hollow again.

onto my back but slightly lower, the long flank of my thigh against you.

awake and cherishing, and drifting into doze, and awake again. words flitting through my mind like birds, "flank" and "hollow" again and again. your still soft breath in sleep.

i considered waking you to make love, but decided that what i really needed was this, the simple nourishment of your flesh against mine, effortlessly, just the utter rightness of the proximity of you. i did not touch you with my hands, did not want to wake you, i was loving the sweetness of your stillness and my quiet. waking in quiet and joy to your body and my body, to me and to you, the thing that makes most sense to me in this life.

just before i got up i let myself roll over and stroke your hair. i am fond in sleep lately of your temple, and of your sideburn at the corner of your jaw.

today you were facing away from me, so i was loving your left side.