Love Poems, Poetry

For Phileo

This passionate arm
this burnt and featherless wing
this discarded veil
streaming blood and salt water
down her back.

This uncovered
mouth these
godly undoings.

Her warriorhood
her faithless offering
her purity portioned out
among the deathless
clamoring dead and deadly
clamored living.

my own heart also—
cruel and shining
as the capricious smile
of a golden god.


God Poems, Love Poems, Poetry

A Soft Place to Carry (poem)

He mended his side, his Christ wound
sharply, his face distorted by pain—
the needle a thick catharsis,
the catgut a chanteuse in loose stitches.

He dug out his liver first
to make a nest for his love
who made herself small
enough to crawl in.
Who made herself animal
enough to luxuriate in
the wet perfumes of carnage.


Love Poems, Poetry

Many Hours Passed Softly (poem)

We sat at the table with less light
you picked carefully.
Nervous, I walked around it the wrong way
I had walked around the car the wrong way too
before stepping up onto the curb.

I hope you didn’t see that.
I had trouble finding the door.

I padded through my cool bedroom
getting dressed, getting ready,
and stuck the mascara wand directly
in my eye.
I forgot here and there
which garment came after which—and
I tell you it’s a miracle I met you
with my bra on under my clothes.

Inside you found me,
dressed and made up with the same
kind of hot trouble that adorns your coffee.
I did one eyebrow darker than the other
but only worried about you noticing
in the fraction of time it took
for us to embrace
and stake our flag
through the beating heart of fear.

No self-consciousness here. No need.
Not one.

We held hands and spoke of esoteric things.
I will tell you the light was all yours
that attracted a witness prowling for converts
and a man with a chaos tattoo.
The prowler wanted to suffocate the light.
The tattooed man poked it curiously.
And I
sat looking with one dark eyebrow raised
loving you for it—
for your fire
for your shadows too.