true north

true north

let’s sleep out back under the stars tonight
and let star collisions drop dust into our eyes like glitter
fingertip to fingertip our breathing slowly shifts and catches
this is our clean slate
let’s write and draw and paint all over this copy with thin tipped sharpies
and then put it under plastic in the book of memory
if you map your true north into someone else’s eyes
you get a little lost each and every time they blink
and inescapably turned around when and if they take their eyes with them upon leaving
your voice gets caught in my own throat
and while coughing I develop pictures from our camera
like a polaroid with dust around the edges
I can every once and awhile see myself inside my own mirror
but only when I’m not looking in my profile
and most times I see edges of women’s faces I haven’t even met yet
pain is like a blanket of memory
keeping you warm enough unless and until you move
and until someone else tries to turn the heat on
you left me all alone out on the back porch swing, swinging
just when I was getting used to the idea of how to keep you
your actual house and my heart are connected and I am taking breaks from thinking out back there still
I hear the sounds of floorboards creaking in the house I’ve always dreamed of building
but it was with our hands intertwined that every board got a nail originally
and I am falling down the stairs face first into the snow
face first into the choices I didn’t realize would ever lead to this to us to me
I would lay on my back in the grass wishing for another half
and when I found this half I sought I jolted up as if it was all a dream
when we made love I would sneak away for little moments and plan another bed built for two
but occupying only me looking on like a lighthouse keeper
a day when I would need to remember it and know that it all happened for a reason and even then some
I want to turn out our light tonight and meet another face and another hand or two on me
doesn’t everyone need some escape? the price and sacrifice of giving myself completely
and its scars weigh thick and heavy on me and my little heart
I told you I would always love you and I meant it
I just didn’t know that I would one day be laying here dying alone
bleeding out from the pain and death we never ever planned for it this wasn’t in my grassy dream
I don’t want to die alone holding your picture with grass stains on my jeans
but I can’t picture being framed with anyone else
so I am in a very disqualifying obstacle course, my heart split in half and uninsured
I am trapped in a cindy lauper song lyric before she gets out of the car
before she finds her way, always lost, but always driving miles with more to go
and I wish I never heard her songs before or sang them under my breath with you against your rosy cheek
as brooklyn blankets with quiet and snow I feel loud
against the grain of my own insane yearning
knowing how good it is every time but advertising for someone else to my urges calm
they say every snowflake is different and unique
and as the snow blankets over brooklyn tonight I must confess
I never saw snow like I saw the snow in you as you by the nightlight slowly undressed
I need resolve and I must resign myself to this
I need to carve out the lines of a record to put my own needle on
that this is my life now and my life doesn’t include laying prone in your arms again                                                                                  I ask the bartender for another drink
because I couldn’t swallow that last one, the recipe stinks
make it a double and cut my pain in half at least so I can breathe on my way home
I get more breathless just walking with my camera in the snow
always carrying around this heavy chest of memories
memories with you that were so few but each all snowflakes in and of themselves
I make a fool of myself trying to make snow angels out of leaves
forgetting that autumn has passed and so has another week of this disease
of missing all that ails me, the date we were last together tattooed across my flanneled chest
I miss driving so much I keep thinking I should drive north for closure
drive the route I did when I was so excited to see you I couldn’t even speak
but then I realize I would just want to mark the way to your house with my tracks in the snow
and I don’t have a standing invitation let alone an RSVP to show up at your door love doesn’t live for me at your address anymore there was that time that it snowed so bad and froze over and I couldn’t find my way out of town with no phone and perhaps that was foreshadowing of how lost I would feel losing you alone
I feel like that now that I could find my way back to you
but not back again to me and what happened already happened already
and maybe as perfect as we were as puzzle pieces we, after all, had different edges
the next time I drive north I need to drive north for me
keep my true north compass inside my chest where it’s been all along
the energy within the dance between the tree branches themselves and me
I would give anything to smell fireplace mixed with snow
and have nowhere to go just as light is giving up for the day
and feel the turn of a road like the spine of a woman’s back
maybe I can in a rearview mirror really see me again
and all that I came for when I still thought it was out there
in the empty field filled with snow and frozen life promises
my true north still lies inside
and in the embrace of the quiet of road meeting skies
just before slowing on a curve for a running animal all eyes in my headlights
the moments in between and the little shifts of energy are still my area of expertise
and even when there is no other body around I michelangelo the sound and stretching                                                                    of your skin over your heart and bones
can you still be a hopeless romantic even if you have no one to be romantic for?
I believe as an artist, I absolutely can
and when the next time comes around she won’t ever know
where it was I went when I left during our intimate seconds
but I went back to the little house I built for just myself the cabin in the woods where I can still watch
the falling of the snow even when I stop believing in the temperature of freezing water
and it is all my business who my roommate is and how it’s decorated
the tragedy of a love story without ending with two incomplete puzzle pieces crashing against the wrong ones for the rest of a lifetime and a place where I can keep all of her pictures still framed and hanging
a driver without a car a lover without a date a drinker without the bottle
a singer without a song a hiker without a compass a porch without the swing
a dog owner without a puppy an actor without a script a mrs. without the wife
a wedding day video without the wedding day a mother without a child a farmer without the farm
a painter without a canvas a lawyer without a case a ceo without the company
a performer without an audience a jockey without a horse a poet without the poem
I will be better off when I embrace
my true north can come true and be in that cabin in the woods I share with only you
deep within me will always live what’s true for me, my destiny, my true north


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