Puka Beach

I remember a photo of us,
you and I,
all smiles and innocent
of a night
yet to come. Behind us
the surf was unruly,
violent, the
sound of waves
crashing in
a lost memory. A vast
space of sky
and sea huddled us
together, as if
our bodies, our lives,
were too big
to fit in the lens:
you and me,
at a singular time,
on a singular frame,
were held so close
so briefly.
What were we before
any sign showed itself?
Unprepared to enter
the same fold
of warm, white sand, we
were drawn
each into each, lost
in the other,
under a distant, jealous moon.

// Aug 2017

Secret of the Sun

There is nothing surprising about the sun.
It comes, brightens this dark side of the earth,
and leaves, just as it has for a million years.
And while it still burns even when it is night,
and while it goes on to unlock the beauty
of a flower, like a million others I was blind
to its total simplicity and predictability.
After all, our lives revolve around it, so do
thousands of creatures fleshed out of this earth,
all circling the sun as one colossal organism.
Six months ago, I have decided to awaken
at the electric blue of dawn, wrap a blanket
around myself, put my slippers on, and walk up
a long staircase to the rooftop, where the sun
would slowly rise as a circle of naked radiance.
Some days it hides behind smog, clouds, rain;
Other days from across the sea or mountaintop
its steady warmth tears through fog and haze,
and draws peels of mist from the skin of trees.
Wherever I am, the sun gives without question,
births an infinite wondrous things, and destroys
as easily with the flick of a tongue. And while
I have seen the sun a hundred times and
marveled at the shades and shadows it stirred,
it is only at this hour that the sun gazes back
at these eyes whose pits lead to vacant interiors.
Day by day, the sun comes to shine through
and illumine the dark, unreachable chasm within:
that claw of guilt, that blow of shame, that lust,
that perpetual replay of persecution and burning.
One by one, the phantoms dissolve and disappear,
and in their place a lightness of being settles in.
And when I forget to get up at dawn, the sun
in its utter stubbornness and radial affection
continues to rise in the drowsy eye of my dream:
a perfect hole of light, pure and silent, coming
ablaze in the clear sky of my consciousness.

// Jul 2017


As night drops from the edge of dawn,
his silhouette rolls out from the sea,
curling in the surf across the horizon,
ripping blue water from cold sky free.

Kite-strung, he is the primeval child
tamed of brutal wind and ocean rush,
breathing in salt, drinking in the wild
sea spray, feeding on swells and hush.

And as things catch that divine hour,
night shade warms slowly into gold,
like a fine man growing ever younger
the more the world turns a new day old.

Gently thickening, his wind-forged body
bottles in the stars and escaping night;
with sun-bared skin he is starkly darkly
in the milky foam and the rising firelight.

Toes sunk deep in the sand, I am stunned
that half the earth rests on an empty vault
until my darkling spills his purpling band
of a thousand starry grains of salt.

// Mar 2017


When an echo
rounds a cave
it leaves behind
a sound engraved.

When a leaf
falls in the wind
it carries through
as though winged.

When a pebble
drops in an ocean
it ripples out
rings in motion.

When a glance
breaks all distance
it blurs everything
but this instance.

// Nov 2016

A Lover's Exam


If I open your heart
will I smell the air?

If love speaks through tears
what makes an ocean?

Does dreaming turn you
into a silhouette of a mountain?

Are fireflies the dust of lovers
climbing the air?

Why does the world go quiet
when I press my ear upon your heart?


How can night
pale to your darkness?

Why is your mouth
full of dew?

What makes the substance
of your absence?

How could you touch me
when I wanted to be touched?

How are you real when you are not here
and unreal when you are here?


How can your eyes open
more beautifully than any sunrise?

How many weddings
have we had?

Will I get to find your hand
among a thousand starfish?

How does your kiss
birth words from my mouth?

Do I need permission
to colonize your heart?


Why do birds have no shadow
when they fly too high?

Why is the morning hiding
behind your smile?

Why does the sky mourn
when I forget my dream of you?

How can I feel
your kiss blown across oceans?

How did your shadow become
my favorite shade of black?


Does the moon
write about us?

If you lean your ear onto my ear
will you hear the ocean?

Will we hear
one ocean?

When I have a heart transplant
will I recognize you?

How can you answer a question
that just crossed my mind?


When we die will we
rise as one wild flower?

Why do you look away
when you cannot tell a lie?

How can our bodies remember
when our minds forget?

Who were you with last night
in your dream?

If a forest is burning
why did we start it?


Would you drink water
if it reflected the moon?

Do stars sleep
under you?

If things had names
what would you call my absence?

Does the world need hate
for love to exist?

When clouds watch us
do we change?


How can a simple kiss
feed two complex souls?

Why do you cry when you're happy
and laugh when you're sad?

What are moons doing
in your fingernails?

What weeps as an old man, laughs
as a child, and kisses like a bee?

If we drowned in a river
will we become river?


Would you live as a fish
in the lake in the mouth of my volcano?

How would you find me
if I turned into echo?

If rain floods the earth
will we become islands?

Why are bees
obsessed with flowers?

If we bury our feet long enough
will we grow roots?


Will your tongue
trace my silhouette?

Would the sun be jealous
if you loved a mandarin?

If you kissed me
will it be summer?

What is there to hate
if every human strived to be a lover?

Would you love dung
if it sustained the earth?


Why does true love
disembowel the soul?

If the moon fell towards the earth
would you catch it?

If stars fall towards us
will you watch them with me?

Would an egg yolk
make you sad?

Would you always cry for me
if your tears smelled of roses?


Would you kiss my belly if I were
pregnant with the moon?

Why is the tongue hidden
behind two lips, and a full set of teeth?

Why are roses more fragrant
when they're long past dead?

Why does your hair keep growing
when I don't water it?

Why can't I play with your hair
when the breeze can?


If a cat only had eyes in the dark
what is your hand doing on my breast?

Is lava
the blood of stars?

If we only have stars to give us light
will we become silhouettes?

Would my heels crack if I danced
all night with your ghost?

Why do we need rings
when we have wings?


What story did the fire tree say
to the fire hose?

If everyone were suddenly blind
would we love differently?

Could I caress you if you were
moon's reflection on the ocean?

Would you do to me
what the sun does to a mango tree?

Would you rather call yourself diseased
or a hero if you died only for love?


Will distant planets hear
the pulse of your light?

Would you crop circles
across sunflower fields?

Will the earth's heart beat again
when another earthquake strikes?

If a typhoon picked us up
which country would you like to go?

Do cherries age
into cherry blossoms?


When the sun goes down the sea
does it turn up as the moon?

Why are your tears
saltier than your sweat?

Did you propose when you
offered me a heartleaf?

If your body was made of salt water
are you a pocket of ocean?

Is the dark side of the moon
a different night?


If your voice had a body
would it still be you?

Why do I hear birds sing
only when you're not around?

Will I ever get healthy
after being sick of love?

After death, would you rather be famous
or be buried under a flowerbed?

Does wine taste sweeter from a glass
or from your lips?


If passion disappeared
what would it make compassion?

Is this your heart or are you
disguising as an avocado?

If love liberates
why does it bind us?

Would you rather be trapped
or released broken?

Are memories stored
in the brain or in the muscles?


Is the lagoon full of mist
or did you just kiss my eyes?

Why does your wound
match with my wound?

Do scissors become sad
when the blades are separated?

Would you rather be burnt
or caged?

If our shadows were so long
could we eat clouds?


Why build laws
when we can grow a heart?

When you slept on the shore
how did the sirens receive your snore?

If our lifetimes were a blink
what would you remember?

Would your darkness and my darkness
coalesce into dusk?

And then would we empty
into the night?

// Nov 2016