i’m ok being your boutique

i thought i should tell you that i rather enjoy

the more and more i know you

and you come to know me

when what ‘should’ happen is

the bell above the door crinkles upon our entrance and

we make our way among the aisles of each other and

we find cracks or

excuse me the fabric bunches here or

the color here it’s faded now that i look closely or

wait is it supposed to sound like that i’m not so sure

that never happens what happens is
oh yes i am even more sure
this is what i want this is
what i came in here for
no i don’t need the receipt
i will not be making any returns.

most likely at topsail though i’m not sure

when i was eight

a wave caught me and dragged me under

well actually she swept me up from the ocean floor

my feet and body entirely unanchored

and

i was entirely at her mercy

she rolled and dragged me and my body was not my own and she owned me

but

she took me

and so i fought free and she has never claimed me since

the ocean herself the world’s most powerful muscle
not even she could take and keep me

and you

you own me like the ocean
you catch me in your teeth
and shake me about and

i want you to.

it is a joyful thing.

that’s all.

a figure eight of sorts

‘this is odd’ he said aloud

‘how do you mean’ she said

they were planets, by the way.

‘it seems i am orbiting you’ he confessed a bit shyly.

‘well come to think of it’ she mused ‘i seem to be revolving around you as well.’

‘your gravity is wonderful’ he whispered, a red tinge in his blushing atmosphere.

‘so is yours’ she smiled.

i still struggle with childproof bottle caps

i hope it’s ok

that at the age of 33

hairline at low tide

and with a mortgage

and more debt than i’d like to admit

and ok big handsome muscles, fine i’ll admit it

and laugh lines in the right places

and callouses on my hands that catch on paper towels

that what i want to be when i grow up

laugh at the idea of ever considering myself ‘the’ grownup in any room, and

have we discussed how i love words becoming different words
or parts of speech when a space is removed and
we bring them together?
it’s kinda romantic, like how you and i become
we.

i will work out. my workout was great.
        (verbal)         (noun)
you could have every man. i want to be your everyman.
                          (qualifier, noun)                    (super noun)
when i am grown up, i still won’t be a grownup.
(verbal)                      (damn right, i wont)

ok, sorry, maybe another thing on my list

about myself is that i get excited about

inane intricacies of language and stories, and

what i want to be when i grow up is

yours.

sunny fall thursday around 5:45pm

I will bring you green grapes and flowers

When I come home from work.

You can loosen my tie at the door

And silence my ‘hey, baby’

Or muffle it at least

With your lips and tongue.

It’s been a long day
Any day apart from you is a long day

Leaving my now untied tie and bright red bag

To thunder to the foyer floor.

Don’t worry the flowers are out of harm’s way,
swiftly deposited o
n the stairs behind you,
as we’ve crushed enough sunflower bouquets
between us.

scarlett

i think that you are perfect

because you are my daughter

and

the fact that like your father

you cannot and will not

sit still but for so long

and

how the sun moves over your face

when we walk or take a drive

and

you choose then to be still

when we are moving, still

because what my daughter wants

a daughter perfectly like me

is company accompanied

with freedom and mobility.

i love the way you push things
your use of leverage is excellent
i love the way you swat your tongue over your lips
when you say ‘mahmahmah’
i love the way you so gently take things into your hands
before smashing said things together with unencumbered joy
i love each and every part of you
shoes strewn about the foyer
remotes lost and found and lost
your tired face your hungry face your chubby face

when you start to sing along

and hold pitch as best you can

head resting on my collarbone

when i am singing you to sleep at night.

i think that you are perfect

i hope of me, you think the same

and feel that way in twenty years

when i’m hobbling and lame

ok, i’ve already got bad knees
but i don’t let on when we’re crawling
on the kitchen floor
in hot pursuit of one another

i think that you are perfect,

a title you will not lose.

i think that you are perfect

something that rhymes with ‘lose.’

love,

dad

two poems, short and unrelated

a cartographer of sorts

others see the map of me

but you’re the one who drew it.

***

‘after this, let’s get $8 candy apples.’
i said

i think it’s over

she did not turn entirely to face me and said over her shoulder

i’m not leaving yet just in case

i didn’t hear her because the words tangled in her cardigan and were then entirely swallowed by sudden ricocheting booms of the grand finale;

storm of glowing embers over the ferris wheel.