Monday, December 12, 2016

Remember to forget

Dear N,

I am stuck in the wake of us. I end each night in this room which echoes with our warmth. The packaging of my single serving days, sloughed off in each corner.

I remember the first time we wandered into this building, touring unit after unit, until we settled on the practical choice of our space. Its tall ceilings buoyed by grey walls and wide gulping windows, overlooking the Mystic River and its tapering green crown.

You intently studied each room, the windows and the all important view. I preferred the empty sound of a newly renovated building. The building manager's concise pitch rolled on, while I took pictures of you in each room. Your sharp profile gazing intently up; a pilgrim deep in contemplation.

It is freezing outside, and I am frozen inside. It has been over a month, and I am trying to rebuild my life. I am a duckling on a glassy pond, shaking, thrashing, forcing new life into my limbs and from my lungs; a little grey stone, hoping to be launched by cattail fingers to skip across the sky. . . The cold water holds me like a sepal throne clutching a dark crimson rose.

Do you remember our crane date? You wanted to see the harbor cranes up close, and I didn't want to be arrested for tampering with a sensitive facility. However the empty field right next to the port had an ancient crane, a red rust scaled miniature from the turn of the century. I am afraid of heights, but for you, we scaled the ladder to the crane platform. We sat together above the blue green water of the Boston Channel as cormorants dove and surfaced in the afternoon sun.

Upstairs, in the Boston Opera house, in the domed, wood-paneled anteroom just outside the mezzanine entrance, I reached out my arms to wrap about your lithe waist. You spun around, surprising us both, and we smiled, unable to avoid tracing each other's lips with our eyes. We leaned in, and kissed a warm and hungry mingling of tongues, a delicious smearing of lips, and the relieved sigh of bodies and limbs, delighting in their first time being entwined. As we pulled away, that moment turned into horror and then laughter as we realized your lipstick was smeared all over both our faces.

You know, you have been in my dreams . . . not as much as when you were in my life, but you are there. We are always someplace familiar. . . the kitchen, a restaurant, in bed. I almost never see your face. Then I somehow realize that something is wrong, and I urgently need to see your face. I reach out to touch your shoulder, but I slide off like a shadow at a sunset. I reach and shout. . . plead and cry. I usually wake up here, knowing the bed is empty.

I think it was the first day without you. When I returned home, the bed was unmade, and I had the distinct impression that you were here. Sleeping. I knew it wasn't real, but I didn't call out to you for a moment. A long quiet pause, as my eyes adjusted to the light. You don't need to be here, for my need to be here.

I am erasing you from my address book, so I don't accidentally drunk dial you, and plead like a senseless animal missing its cage because it is dark, and very big outside.

I remember the night I proposed to you. We were so happy in the trunk of my car, smelling the sweet summer rain, and huddled beneath the lightning crossed sky as we took in a double matinee. I felt so close to you, and I couldn't imagine a better time to ask. So I took out the little bundle of rings and asked you to marry me. You said yes, and then that you had thought this was the right time for something to happen.

I will stop here, because the rest of that evening was an awkward waste of words, and emotion. When we first met, you were so focused on mapping out what you wanted, and I was the lost soul, just recovering from the hangover of my failed marriage. Somehow that evening, I knew exactly what I wanted, and you couldn't spare the words to keep that "yes" intact. I can guess at the game, but in the end, we both lost each other.

I write because I hope this is a brick on my road forward. You, as with anyone who I loved deeply, will be part of me for the rest of my life. But I don't need you to be here to carry on. . . . the way your room in your parents home doesn't need you, to hang on to your childhood. . . just the light touch of a grey haired custodian, gently dusting away the fine sheen of reality that wishes to settle over everything.


I'd have forgotten

The street lights they burn. . .
how they travel the night
like our words,
our eyes, they will stare

there were ashes, they were curling,
like the curling of lips
while another day, waiting for light

And I ask you again,
not to tell me your tale
you may find me
but I'd have forgotten

Give me your words
though I've written no tale,
your skin
needs no written, regale

Sweet on through morning
when veisalgia fails
you'd have thrown me
with braved details

You got away
I never once heard you say
I need you
I don't need you
I need you
I don't need you
and all of those stolen refrains

our fingers entangled,
like vines will perchance
my touch's
only dance in your breath

I didn't mean to suggest
that I loved you the best
I can't write odes to each fallen robin

I remember you well, in the sweetness of dreams
But that's all,
I can't even think of you that often


a moments the madness
losing the flush of your kiss too fast

while hunting, someone caught my breath
  a music I forgot I knew
  we burned away the night in words
  of pleasure: movies and moet

your lips remembered mine, as night
would touch the dawn to brilliant light

you are the music in my mind

the softest marble of her neck
is where i want a moment to rest

how could we help but try again?
the darkness and your tender kiss


With a guttural diesel engine's roar
a great hound treads the road. . .
A countdown, our rolling new year's eve
to the station, when must part

In the forest of sleeping bodies,
we play two clever trees
Woven round each other, oblivious
Let the passing lumber men disdain.

Our hands were always lovers,
passionate, hungering, knowing one the other
An intimate origami of blushing softness and bone
entwined with all the longing of our bodies

Our lips excite the air with word
as with some breaths we joke and speak
come Closer, I will whisper to your skin
caresses you, with my breath, my heat

Closer, as words become secrets,
and trembling skin their parchment
Closer, my darling mine,
so we might share a breathe as one

Breathe faster, Closer and content
lips pressed hard, liquid as tongues
for our station approaches
like evening sun

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


I have been away, writing poetry for a woman who I loved deeply. I am going to replay some of the highlights, because regardless of where the inspiration has gone, my work remains.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Wish

I am a raven in her titanium sky

calling songs she could not recall.
"Love", untouchable as heart break
a pale drop of cream upon a fox's tongue

Did street lights blossom on your lash
and curve your cardinal lips?
Were those fireflies in your eyes?

Your lips remembered mine, as night
suffused a gentle dawn, in white.

As I shed feathers, to build her wings
please let her fly beyond the wall!
And then . . .  the river froze. For us,
and us alone. Our dance of days. . .

Do you remember me? For I wish,
to always remember you.

I would only wish I never met you,
so I might meet you, once again.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Quiet Things

I sway in a pale blue breeze of evening light
A stirring constellation of leaves
formed in the stillness that bottoms your cup.

I am father to the spaces between finely weaving words
my offering of letters from the hollow circus
of my battered, aching chest.

A silver service of distracted adulation,
strewn sweetly across your little white toes;
the ink with which I will trace our steps

Back to the preface, the one exquisite moment
when our eyes met one dreaming night
with streetlamp chaperons

and every part, ev-ery-thing hums
well-greased gears grind and spin
as we heaved, a drag of old burdens

we two, a hot engine of caresses whose roar,
crescendoed like amorous handprints
against the morning glass

the hot tick
of quiet things,
dreaming. . .
of wings.

Friday, November 8, 2013


We are fireflies, you and I
seeking one, the other in twilight

Dancing lightly down hallowed streets
glowing cinders, floating through the nights we make our own
as one idea flowers into another,
petals riding a breeze

We would still our dance and just smile
the kind of smile that  begins... everything

We are burning stars, you and I
encircling heavens with our spiral trail

A starry cotillion blazing all about
They are cinders flowing through the night we make our own
Whorling ribbons of light behind us
As we weave infinities with our star dust tails

We would still our dance and just burn
the kind of burning that frees everything

We are ocean and sand, you and I
Braided lovers, falling. . . one upon the other

Playing by cover of moon and star
We're glimmer cinders, falling through the night we make our own
Our waves, the quiver of a soul-deep kiss
And by your touch, the ocean is ablaze

We would still our lips and say nothing
the kind of nothing that means everything
All works Copyright 2013 Shou Yu Qun!