This Distance

when I feel that distance
this distance between us
I just look up and I see our fingers intertwined over my shoulder
and you whirl me around
closing the distance between us
with a dance

this dance
this dance that pulls me in close to you
just when I feel more than an arm’s length away
you pull me in and show me
what the distance is for

it’s for feeling that pull
it’s for feeling your arms encircle me
it’s for feeling you all around me
strong and there
and here for me

back to front
your hands on my hips
we sway
feel your heart thumping on my shoulder blade
you are here
so close to me
we sway
we sway
to the back and forth
the pull
and the push

chest to chest
your hand on my shoulder
my hand on your heart
we rock
fingers trickle down my back
and it’s those
those tender moments
that I come back for
when I am more than an arm’s length

and I know
if I couldn’t feel the distance
I wouldn’t know
what this closeness is for


that girl
so carefully
each step
heel to toe to
heel to toe
right down the middle
keep it in the middle
that girl
on the wire

she’s not gonna make it
that wobble
that jangle
that back and that forth
that unimaginable
of balance

why is she doing this
why is she all the way
up there
where does it go
what is she trying to
get to
what if she
back down to earth

what made her think
who does she think
why in the world
what has gotten into
that girl on the wire


keeping it in the middle
stepping that heel to
toe to heel to toe to
the fricken

on that wire


I saw that ghost girl
standing rigid like a spike
stickin up out of the street
she was lookin at me
she was lookin at me
that ghost girl is
black as night and
there’s a ghost in her eyes
a big white ghost
coming for me
but I stopped looking
and drove on by
that ghost bulged right out
to get at me
but I stopped looking
don’t want no part
of that death before death
after death after death

look down
put those eyes to safety
put those eyes to quiet
put those white eyes away from me
don’t keep following me
with those ghost filled eyes
those empty eyes
those big white eyes

who took your soul away
and filled your eyes up
with death
with that hungry
death before death?

you shoulda looked away
cause they got those eyes
they sucked your soul right out
and filled those eyes up with ghost

My Sweet Cherry

come on in
the wet is wine
lick my whistle
lips plum fine
sin your name
a cross my heart
‘n hope two dine
on love sweet
love’s sweet lover
hover over
red rover red
rover over come
again and
come again
‘n my home sweet
home sweet

collecting my bones

Blossom and Bone

you threw
this day out
in front of me like ugly dice

what an unimaginable hand
this day has dealt
but I can’t know
which way
I don’t know which way
to care about you
I don’t know the way
to get to you
I don’t know where
inside this horror this space this distance or place
where in this horrifying day
have gone

there is a collection of bones
you carry around
a morbid bouquet
of roses long dead
petals and thorns and stems
long stems
long tear trails and stories
long stories and years cut short
smoothly by the blade
of decision or whim
precision incision
to end them

they’re not flowers
not flowers you said
they rattle they rattle they rattle
not feelings
not that not that
too brittle too dry too unable to cry
they remind you
just here to remind
that you are not like them
not yet
not like them
not ended
not yet

if I quiet my beating
that beating
if I quiet my heart I can hear
that rattle that rattle that rattle
and follow the sound I will find you
in the boneyard of this horrible day
picking out new reminders
to add to that brittle bouquet

this boneyard
created by hands
on that blade
whose decisions
were made
whose decisions were made
about thoughts about choices of
which path to take and the steps
and the steps
and decisions
were made
to swing
that blade

cutting short
what might have been long
breaking down
what might have endured
putting out
what might have burned bright
to end
to end
to end
to ending it

and the hands that raised that blade
sometimes belonged to the bones
but many reminders you now collect
were decisions you wielded alone

know this
bone collector

as long as
I’m walking beside you
as long as
I’m smiling at you
as long as
my hand is in your hand
my bones are residing
with you

they are not for collecting
they are only to have and to hold
a warm tender living reminder
that you don’t
you just don’t have to go
you don’t have to go
to that boneyard
not yet
because you are not ended
not yet
not yet

you are
not like them
you are like me
I am not ended
I never will be

you are not like them
not cut short not bent down
not broken
not brittle not dry
you don’t rattle and
you can cry
you can open all the way up
you can dive all the way down
to plant a kiss on the floor of the ocean
and with only the breath in your lungs
can move clouds across the face of a mountain
and love with all the life in your heart
and dream about hope and believe in
or in something

but I don’t want just to remind you
I just want you to never forget
if you need to remember
or reach down and take hold
of my hand

because my bones won’t be piled with the others
they’ll never be rattling there
my bones won’t ever be ended
they’ll always forever be here
if you raise that blade upon me
if you choose that dead bouquet
if you wield that blade against memory
please gentle
gentle gentle as you swing
cause these bones will be
walking with me
these bones will be walking with me

come along with me
bone collector
put down that troublesome blade
come with me
memory gatherer
let all those dry bones
fall away

not yet will not follow you here

come collect me
into your arms
and I’ll remind you how to feel
come and gather me
gather me up
and I’ll remind you
how to feel
and I’ll remind
you how to