Even in the coldest days across this city
he has a warmth that you can seek
even when his bones are cold.
You have a warmth that only comes out of your skin for him
You reach across the pillow
and touch his smile;
he draws you in
until it touches yours

Is this love? Many a time you’ve asked.
It’s not a question needing an answer
but more its source. Why do you wonder
when this feels so good, so much better
than anything you felt before
or anyone has ever brought your way
and put down long enough to convince you
that they are here to stay
that not every lover will eventually leave.

If this is love, then you love him,
in a way that no one ever loved you.
You begin to feel
that sense of solidness,
in which you can close your eyes,
and there he will be, in the very darkness of your soul
lighting it up.
And if you call his name the universe will respond
bringing you a warmth
you can count on
even in the coldest of days
and nights

Little did you know that you would think of all those days, one day, when the sun finally came out, and everyone was gathering ’round the street performers singing “there will be an answer – let it be” – this would be the moment when suddenly you realized the answer, or better, the question, and in that very same moment, already let it go.

we made acquaintance
in this remembering, and forgetting,
and unforgiving
of the unjust treatment of the heart,
its irregular beats, to a rhythm that did not exist
until you walked into my life – i took you in
but you got afraid –
of our mutual vulnerability, so you ran –
and for what? an ounce of safety? (or, the illusion of),
or the mistaken belief that us splitting apart
would bring forth the peace which we once searched
in one another?
what do you hear
in the concave footsteps you had left,
taking that terrible moment of tenderness
away from me, away from us,
away from when you needed me most?

We are of striking similarities
underneath all the differences
in how we look, of remarkable uniqueness
across these things we share in common.

The language you use to access your emotions
speaks to the way I, too, have felt
where we’ve witnessed the beautiful, the unspeakable, the terrible, the sublime,
the realities of others popped up against ours,
and the truth we know to exist, the fundamental truth
of who we are, as a species on Earth, cohabiting, co-creating, co-observing
among others,
yet destroying – all by ourselves –
the very things that make us human
that make this world your world, my world,
a place where we only stay for a time
when we have a lease on life,
from which we will leave with nothing,
not even fame, which only lasts
for as long as history lasts.

And who writes history but the immortal,
those who aren’t always willing to let go,
as the current of time inevitably progresses?

We are all immigrants
from one life to another.
We cannot be banned from time,
from the nature of life, and death.
Nor can anyone resist
the natural order of things
always looking to restore themselves toward balance.

Power, possessions, privilege
are only means to and by-products of anything that is ever worth it.
If you have forgotten that, don’t you remember
the love you might have for your own family,
and friends, and whomever you choose to love,
the happiness you wish upon their hearts and faces,
and the pure joy of a beautiful child
who just learned how to crawl this earth
for the very first time?

We want that too.
We want our families and friends to unite
We want to discover the grand beauty of this world and life
We want to communicate and understand and connect and love our brothers and sisters
regardless of, and given, the many ways we write our words, shape our cultures, embrace our gods,
because the human race is one
and this planet is one
and the universe is one
in our inextricable connectedness, our diversity,
and our desires for life, liberty,
and the pursuit of utmost happiness.

Live with love.
Think with love.
Lead with love.
There is always a path away from hate,
anger, or fear.
It is never too late
to be on the right side of humanity.

I keep thinking about the road,
the way it led to that open sky.

We could have been anywhere,
but it could only have been California
where we were so small, surrounded
by the mountain ranges of Malibu
until we reached the Pacific Ocean.
At Point Dume, I thought, if I kept swimming westward
I would eventually reach home.

We could have been anywhere,
but it could only have been California
where stucco homes colors of late morning sun and lanky palm trees and the purple blue jacarandas blooming
took us through every day into evening.
We could have waited for the sunset
but it came and left so quickly
just like we did.

There is no time like LA time,
when the water flows into the sky.
We walked along the waves
washing our steps into the fine sand,
the winds gliding down our backs,
and the world before us opening, blossoming
into a moment.

I could close my eyes and smell that metallic saltwater of Santa Monica –
so much sun, so much life,
so much California
so much you.
Ask anyone and they would say
the kind of memories you make in LA
would always carry that sight of the trees and the lights shining through the leaves
and the scent of the sea
and the way it curves around the mountains.

On most days,
you can find me in the 02138
working away;
taking a walk at lunchtime;
listening to the river flow,
the people come and go,
the city’s wild geese growl.

This land is not my native land,
but I’ve grown enough love
to call it home. Home: a memory
carved and buried deep inside me,
not unlike the aftermath of a surgery
splitting one wide open: examined, explored, and altered,
in one way or another,
before being sewn back altogether.

We are those sewn-back identities
immersed into a society of multi-way split,
taking part and taking apart,
looking for ourselves while looking for love,
calling it by different names,
seeking someone who is unlike us
and yet is exactly us
in the things that we deem matter the most
to the happiness that is meant to last longer
than the time it takes to start everything over.

them college days
so far away
as if time did no time in memories
leaving behind only yesterdays

you are young, oh, you are young;
the world is in your hands;
you are fierce.
you live as if
you will be back yet again.

what do i tell you but smiles
and wishes upon you the soaring high
of spirit, of passion, of desire,
for we all are only here, like this, once.

every what-if belongs to a time
you have not yet known. i love you,
i wish to see you grow
among your people
where you can be children
and you can become adults.

each of life’s graduations
is but a reminder that you are still riding the current –
sometimes along it, sometimes against it,
and you will fall and you will get up.
and your hearts will survive
being broken a million times.
you’ll feel like it’s all over a million times,
you’ll feel like you’ve found what you’re meant to find a million times.
and one day it will all fall into place –
the puzzle you have been solving
without knowing it even exists.
you’ll look back to this day
and nothing in the world can replace
the smiles and tears under every cap
the way the wind caressing your gowns
as you say goodbye to the moments you will never forget.

so smile, graduates, and remember how you feel today,
because you’ve lived a kind of love that only exists
because everyone else has also been in it,
whether or not you have truly known one another.
the feeling palpitating within your chests
as you walk in lines, as your names are called, as you listen to the last speech, as you throw your caps up in the air –
feel it everywhere, let it stay with you forever,
because one day,
you’ll be where i am now,
and wish nothing else but to be able to be around
my graduating class
all together again at last
before yet another start
of another life.

one day, he woke up,
and the day felt like a thousand others.
he reached for the phone and texted her.
she did not respond.
maybe work was busy, he thought.
the day went by. he put
lots of creamer and sugar
in his coffee. the coffee spilled
over the counter, dripped
onto the floor. he sighed and
wiped it carelessly, so it smeared
into brown patches and lines.
he got a book and started to read.
then he put it down and grabbed the phone again.
still no reply from her. he sent another text, asking
where she was. maybe she was very busy, he thought.
the afternoon arrived. he took a nap.
got into a bad dream. something happened,
he forgot. he almost always forgot why
he had cried hopelessly in such dreams.
she still did not write him back.
he wondered if he should call her.
but maybe not.
she got annoyed when work was busy and he called her and she could not talk right away, for she would not stop wondering what it was that he wanted to talk about. and it would probably lead to a small argument, which would lead to bigger arguments, which would end up with her being in tears and him feeling guilty, which would end up with them trying to make it up with sex, which would end up with him not being able to come, which would end up with her feeling upset because he could not come, and him feeling incompetent because she could not come either, and them being all melancholic and what not, and so on and so forth.
so he decided it was best not to call her.
she did not come home at the usual hour.
he kept glancing at the door, peaking his ears to noises from the street
the way a dog waited for its owner to be home at a certain time.
with every passing minute he grew more and more worried.
he texted her again. then immediately after called her.
and he called and he called and he called.
it kept going into voice mail.
he hated voice mail. he left her a few messages.
no responses.
she got home a few hours after,
looking tired as usual. apologized for being late.
said traffic was bad, then she got too hungry she
stopped at a diner and had a quick bite.
she wanted to call him but there was no reception.
her phone was acting up.
something like that.
he did not really smell food from her
not that he had enough time to take a sniff
for she had gone straight to the bathroom
to take a shower. when she got out,
he was sitting at the table, staring into the air
into nothing. her scent was soft, familiar,
and he could feel her smile and gaze upon him.
she sat down and kissed the side of his forehead,
asked him if he had eaten dinner.
he said he was not hungry. she took his hand,
placed her head on his shoulder, and closed her eyes.
they sat still for a few minutes. then he asked
if she wanted anything from the fridge.
i would have some apple cider, she said.
he got them some apple cider. they drank it.
then she said let’s go to bed.
he followed her. they got into bed,
turned the head lamp off, kissed each other good night,
and closed their eyes.
he wondered what was on her mind.
she wondered what was on his mind.
and they kept wondering
until they both
fell asleep.

written 30 November 2010