Put your ear to the rails
just to hear it buzz
a train is coming
and always was-
it won’t stop here
nor will it wait
so pack your bags
do not be late
we’ll run alongside and
hitch a ride my dear
it will take us
somewhere far from here
we’ll only look forward
and never back
our past will be
just a set of tracks.
Some people think the most important
thing to say and mean is
I love you
but I think something that conveys
so much more is
I’ll be there.
I’ll be there when the dark skies roll in
both in the happiness of evening and
for the tremors that grip you
in the late night hours.
I’ll be there when I love you beyond comprehension
and even when I do not like you very much.
I’ll be there when you’re on top of the world
and by your side when you hit rock bottom.
In celebration or in misery
you will never have to be alone again.
Please don’t tell me
that you only meant well
in my experience
meaning well doesn’t end
with a city of on fire and
a girl at the top of a
staircase leading to nothing
trying to remember where
she dropped her heart
before the chaos started
and everything was lost.
You could tell that she used to be water.
It was in the way that she moved or
laughed and you knew without a doubt
that in another life not so long ago
she used to be the waves in the ocean
or at the very least the perfect orbs
of dew on blooming dahlias in the
gentle hazy glow of the rising sun.
You knew it in the way that everyone
would change and grow in her presence
that she was used to being part of a cycle-
of something bigger and grander than
anyone could give her here and it
was not hard to tell how much she
loved you but it was only a matter of time
before she was needed somewhere else more.
She was fluid and she was free.
I went to visit Death at
the dive bar where he
bartended part-time to
ask him to spare you.
He and I had travelled
in the same circles so often
we could be loosely defined
as kind of a friend-of-a-friend.
I sat and ordered two fingers
of whiskey over and ice and
offered to sell him my soul
if it would keep you safe.
He laughed and told me
that a soul like mine
would not cover even the cost
of the drink I had ordered.
But he did let it slip
that you would not meet him
until much, much later
according to the Fates.
As I left the dingy tavern with
Death’s whiskey on my lips
his voice followed me out the door
‘I’ll be seeing you…’
We are the ones who
fall asleep with our pens
still in our hands and
papers all around us
trying to scribble
a few worthy words
(a meagre offering to
the late-night gods of prose)
before sleep consumes us
and our transcendent ideas
become lost like pennies
tossed into the well
of unfulfilled wishes.
If you want to be happy
please stay away from me
at all costs.
Do not put your heart in
my hands because I have
never learned to be gentle.
Both in the way that I love
and in the way that I leave
I always end up breaking something.
While watching you I couldn’t help
but be reminded of a nature
documentary in which the jaguar
stalks its guileless victim.
The way your eyes followed me
trying to determine the least
amount of movements it would take
until your satisfaction of the kill.
But little does the hunter know
that I am a lion in sheep’s clothing
and it is always the lion that
enjoys the rule of the feline pride.
Whispered voices try to comfort me
and I say that I am doing fine-
I do not know how to miss
something that was never mine.
We were both forces of nature
on opposing sides most days
a chess board just for us of
attacking and counterattacking plays.
I can remember both the good and the bad
and find sleep with ease tonight
without having to wonder if
the decisions I made were right.
You and I were veterans of funerals
and you were ready to take your turn
but I’m still here with a whisky neat
thinking of you while I enjoy the burn.
I will wear a black dress once again
but without your hand to hold
amongst the tombstones I will know
it is a privilege to grow old.