Why can’t I speak the truth?
Why can’t I unburden my heart?

You find it childish perhaps
but it leaks out from you all the time
in those passive-aggressive remarks

in the way you isolate yourself

and talk to everyone through
a thick see-through wall

I was sick alone
but with you
the case is terminal


Touch of silver in moonlit space
Cobwebs, darkness, lines to trace
Ages that have worn you well
And lingered in places where they dwell

Smell of parchment worn and thin
Moisture, dryness, and moist again
Rends you till joints ache and refuse
The simplicity of a once youthful move

Yet, warmed by fire and cooled by ice
Fingers that have tempered nice
For touches both sure and gentle
Along thin shoulders just to settle

In camaraderie and love, born of the fear
We hadn’t expressed ourselves to those dear
For we all, travelers, will move on from here.



I knew an old man who collected buttons:
puce plastic, mother-of-pearl, teal craftings.

Some were large enough to cover half your palm,
others small enough to pin on the waistcoat
of a bumblebee.

When I asked him why, he said:

“My mother was a seamstress
who was never proud of her profession.

But she mended the seams of my pants
whenever I split them in rough play.

She sewed buttons on my sister’s dresses
when we couldn’t afford better fabric
and still she sparkled –

a mosaic of stars.”