Hibiscus Dreams

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It was

a fever state,

hot and delirious;

being in love.

 

Love was a febrile hallucination, a trick of the mind.

Lurid colors, vivid imagery, rich emotion,

desperate beauty;

a haunting vision

that can’t be unseen.

 

Our bodies were tumid fruit

that ripened

in the sultriness

of love’s summer.

We gorged ourselves on textures and tastes;

the enchanting sweetness of lust,

the decorous tartness

of impatient longing.

The sumptuous spice

of passionate encounters.

The bitter sourness of ugly hurts,

dark moments that crystallized

into insidious weeds

and took root in the space between us;

that gave the kiss of death

to our hibiscus dreams.

 

In the cool blue light

of nighttime,

I feel inside myself

for you,

caressing the empty spaces

where your memory lies;

teasing at the edges of loss,

touching the pleasure that remains.

 

I blossom endlessly with wanting,

love’s eternal flower,

red petaled,

bright and pretty,

subtly fragrant.

I am one

who dreams of you:

the bee

that stung me.

We Watched A Falling Star

 
 I was so tender-hearted 

when I loved you,

years ago in a Northern hamlet

by a glacial lake.
My hopes for love 

were still intact then

noble and sacred edifices

constructed from an ancient narrative;

grand yet vulnerable 

like the Buddhist statues at Bamiyan

before they were destroyed.
We watched 

that star fall together,

one night when we sat

in thoughtful companionship by the lake edge.

Deer crept stealthily through the pines behind us

and we watched it

swirl across the sky 

like 4th of July fireworks,

then plummet.
Now my heart knows

what can happen

to majestic things.
Though I no longer hope

for you,

I still 

remember

everything.

Dark Pleasure

A dark pleasure.

You were the one

to lead me

into this shadow dream.

You beckoned me

with your penetrating stare,

your high cheekboned haughtiness,

your eyes impassive and stony,

your cheeky necklace of carved bones.

You tantalized me

with omens and portents,

with aggressive kisses,

pretty words full of poison,

seductive lures.

Until I surrendered

eagerly

to your naked depravity.

You hijacked my body

like a thug,

breaking and entering,

violently taking over,

until all I wanted

was you.

Then you were an inside job.

You were inside me

and I needed you

to stay

with me.

I sought primal wholeness

in you,

like a snake eats its tail.

Like a shaman eats

the vine of the dead,

seeking completion

at the edge of the abyss.

La petite mort.

You annihilate me,

my lover,

yet still

I soar.

Dusky Rose

    
Do you still drink

of my succulence
in the hot July heat 
of a faraway dream,
my ethereal scent of geranium
rising from your night sweat,

a fragrant, poignant memory?
You know 

my taste is sweet,

that of plumeria honey.
Flowering in the sensate garden 

of my bed,

I turn towards you,
in vivid sleep.

You are my beloved ghost,
cradled in the flourishing vines
of my arms.

You may see me

as a Venus fly trap,
cunning and expedient.

But I am not that, no.
I am a dusky rose,

carefree and forgiving.
A beautiful flower,

unwittingly planted

in the dark soil

of your mind.
Pua Nani.

In Love With Language, For Wuji

  

He was a man

who was bursting

with effusive poems,

a boundless outpouring

of ornate articulation.


He fell in love

with a poetess,

a skilled doyenne 

of his cherished art.


His garrulous lines

sparked with passion

for her careful starkness

of expression.

His pointed declarations

yearned for the soft edges

of her sinuous metaphors.

His pen,

engorged with ink,

burned

to mark

her page.


All poets 

are essentially 

in love 

with language.


Our poetry

is birthed

from the ecstatic romance

of our lovemaking

with words.

Oestrus, This Birth

 

 I made love to the desert,

to the pinyon pines,

to juniper smoke and dried lavender,

planted my seeds there

in the springtime snow.


I sang to blue cornmeal

and Mother Spirits.

I danced to the gnarled riffs of blues guitar,

cradled myself in the music of bluegrass hymns,

slept with the ancestors, 

huddled in woven blankets.

We laughed through hardships,

warmed our hearts with stories.


We were native to each other.


Wildflowers 

of a graceful future 

blossomed from my womb,

intrepid dreams with deep bulbs

for roots.


I left these plantings,

these beautiful parts of myself,

like frozen buds,

there, on tribal land,

at the peak 

of a sacred mountain.


They tended to themselves 

in my absence.

They grew, 

with inchoate longings.


They were souls

that shimmered in the high desert starry night sky

waiting to be formed

by the magic 

of love.


They were medicine spells cast 

like lines

in the subtle poetry 

of the otherworld.


This year,

destiny bloomed,

a green shoot

in springtime.

The seed of your body 

nestling inside my rich and fertile ground;

my sweet scent 

of geraniums flooding your senses.

I am thawed,

warmed

by your raging heat.


This birth

will come

to be.