After the Rain

It rained in the desert
the night before you left this world.
I should have known.
We all should have known.
When the heavens open up like that,
they’re taking something back in return for the blessing.
Something or someone larger than this life
with a spirit that could not be contained.

Little did we know,
your handstands
were really just you, holding up the world
for the rest of us to taste.
You did not belong to us.
You gave us back ourselves–our yearning,
our determination, and grit—you lifted us up
to meet our own challenges face-to-face.

When the rain stopped in the desert,
you were gone. In the time it took
a shooting star to fall to earth.
Gone, but not without leaving
your imprint across the world.
It is within us.

When we sing, when we dance in the moonlight or
run on the beach, when we smell fresh linen,
or wear it soft on a hot day,
when we write a poem for the person
who inspired us more than most.
Thank you friend, for opening up a window
to the words and a world in need of poetry.

Can you see from that view,
your growing legacy in the flame
of every candle lit in your name?
For you, who brings us to life over and over again
even when this part of yours has come to an end
too soon. I give you a poem. You gave me
the rain.

Coltrane and Rainy Days

Cursor blinking on the page

unfinished labor of money, not love

while lost in a moment of Coltrane

always back to those honeymoon days

where it was cool and rainy outside,

cool and warm inside, barefoot in blankets and books

philosophical political purposeful conversations,

nights filled with red wine, the soft twinkle of

patio lights surrounded by passionate minds and

laughter, the burning of more than just candles

between us.   Another time before children,

before the fast-forward of life and cymbals

banging, before beds were strictly for sleeping,

before bright lights.  Maybe it was only a moment

or something we saw in a movie once

where Uma Thurman played me, and Brian

Greenberg, the light skinned Jewish version

of the brown and beautiful you,

but without the conflict.

Lost in the lazy piano and hot-blooded

trumpet, I can see those artist hands

of yours against my white arm

resting on the slow breaths of your chest.

Music drawn to a sad close,

I hear it– flashing cursor, pinging email,

stacks of paper.

But this day; this life,

was meant for so much more.

Where No Living Thing Should Grow

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York;
                       ~Shakespeare

in blurred mirages rising from the desert floor
where no human should see herself reflected
seasons do not come and go
as they could not bear to follow her there
where no living thing should grow

autumn refused to pack up the leaves
who could blame her
when brown is the only color this land knows
it rolls in on nuclear clouds
choking our dry throats and hearts

nor could winter survive
year round summer rays attacking any snowflake
who dares attempt to hold tight to parched ground
he too chose to stay where powerful blusters can
not be weakened by mercury rising

spring, such an accommodating fair haired friend
rather than say no outright, she teases
with a few weeks of bloom and blue
only to rush home quickly to greener pastures
leaving little notice she once blossomed here

we brace ourselves and take cover
for the raging wrath of hellfire burst forth
summer nearly six months of the year
still beating us with its heat stick in October
trick-or-treating in shorts and bare shoulders

missing the seasons is more than a lack
of something from yesteryear
it is a soulless march of walking dead
over scorched earth seeking to wash away their sins
in color, leaves, rain, and snow