Eyes wide open for the Fall —
it’s a season as well as a fact.
We can’t exchange
these tired carrots of our bones
for brand new pencils in a box.
Consider this a thank you note:
I’m grateful you refuse to skip
the parts of life that tell
our eyes a bomb was here.
All our ankles, all our knees are arguing
with Waterloos of daily chores.
I think of times when touching toes
were take-for-granted music bars.

Five days after surgery,
I roll your socks in condoms
over wet erections of your will.
Vacuum while you shower and dress,
squint in case I’m missing dirt.
Bending down to pick up soiled underwear
could snap the fragile paperclip.
Standing is a stale cracker under weight.
Cheese we were becomes a scar.
We talk apart the wars that won —
go home to rest a thicker shield
as bullets build behind our backs.

These front-row seats of death we own
would make us pale applesauce if not for
specks of cinnamon, of being there
as hours grow bruised, become the worm.
As years play tricks, as menus fade
where sweaty glasses parked their rings,
I ponder how lonely the path would be
without your footprints next to mine.
From bookends sliding down a shelf,
we learn to meter what remains
on pages with their binding loose.
So this is how agape reads —
the seed that makes the jam the jam.

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