You Sleep, I Sleep, I Love You

Your bus will not be here
for six or seven hours
and I am restless,
I have not rested, I am just
so ready to see you again.

I have not seen you in weeks,
but I have seen you every night
in my sleep, every night I wake up
to your finger tracing love letters
into the back of my hand.
You keep me awake; I love you

and tonight, I want you to hold me
and tell me what you want
our future to be like until
you sleep, I sleep, I love you.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.

The Unwanted Spring

The weather crouches
and readies herself to leap
into the basin of warmth and rain.
She loosens the towel of winter
at her waist and lets it fall.

I wish I were a lifeguard.
I wish I could loose a shrill blast
from an orange whistle,
seize her wrist,
close the pool:
lock us on the cusp
of the last cold snap,

all because spring is coming
and all the days of it
will slip by
with you in your city
and I in mine.

My hand is empty.
How can I walk
through the garden
and show you
the fresh buds ready to burst?
the purple gillyflower,
the pink ranunculus,
the white lisianthus
with the tips of her petals
dipped in paint?

The bees like little doctors
have begun their rounds,
and today, a grasshopper
tanned his long legs
on the porch rail.
Pause the seasons
until you are here
and I can share these
little beauties of life
with you.

I don’t ask much.
Let weather only wait
until we are together again —
then she can dive,
then can spring wash us
in hot greenery,
in the blossom of the sun.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.

My Favorite Gas Station

There is a no-name gas station
on the north end of town,
11.9 miles out of the way,
out past the corner where
John Roe sits all day in the sun,
spits tobacco and sells onions
and oranges out of the back
of his rust red pick up truck.

There are bars on the station’s windows
and jars of pickled eggs on the counter,
right beside herbal male enhancement pills
and crack pipe roses. Pork rinds.
Refrigerator egg salad sandwiches
reserved for the brave or foolish.

There’s an old condom machine
in the men’s room, two feet to the left
of the pocket knife graffiti that says
Half a roll of paper towels, no soap,
and the faucet just trickles,
no matter how the handle is set.

The attendant has a face
like the inside of a cigarette.
She runs a hand through
brown grease pit hair,
charges 5 cents more per gallon
than anywhere else nearby,
and she never says a word.

There’s no good reason to come here.
There are better gas stations,
closer, cleaner, less treacherous,

but you ought to know
that every time the needle
on my fuel gauge leans towards E,
I drive up, pull in past the jagged potholes
that get deeper every month,

to suck on hot petroleum fumes
and top off my tank,
listen to standard unleaded
slosh down rubber hose,
and to enjoy, for a brief moment,
that I am a little nearer —

that for these few minutes,
you are 366 miles away.
You are only 366 miles away.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.

Why I Hate Reading Maps

I have unrolled a map
onto my kitchen table
and put one finger
where you are and
another where I am.

The space between
is only inches. That close,
I could feel you breathing.
I could reach out and
run my fingers through
every strand of your hair,
touch your lips and
barely need to move.

In the corner of the map
there is a guide for judging scale:
every inch a hundred miles
full of roads and rivers and trees,
the guide a sharp reminder
that you are where you are
and I am where I am,
inches apart.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.

What My Heart Wears

My heart wears yellow sunglasses.
My heart wears satin in blues, wears all the hues
of a flower garden bloomed in finger and paint.
My heart wears galaxies in shades of bruise.

My heart wears cedar faces, my heart chases places
magical and strange, my heart wears card games.
My laughing heart laughs, wears song after song
until my heart sleeps and music plays on.
My heart wears long into the night.

My heart wears dizzy the flesh and scent of orange.
My heart wears dizzy in love.

My heart wears wind, wears sand, wears stars,
wears the thousand tail lights of a thousand cars.
The thigh of my heart wears fire;
the hip and shoulder of my heart wears plum.
My heart in my mouth wears desire,
my heart moans slick with desire,
my heart wears my mouth,
but my heart goes north while I go south.

My heart wears away like away is a dress,
and my love for my heart is not little or less
for my heart being elsewhere and away.

My heart will wear yesterday until yesterday becomes
the next day I hold my heart in my hands again
and kiss the lips of my heart
and the throat of my heart,
until I wear my heart and my heart wears me again.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.