my lover uses his words like a prizefighter- little more than a high school grad, with a Ph.D. off the streets, his life clearly tattooed; son of this city now, prophet
off the streets;
he’s teaching me to be more practical; tie good strong knots, block his punches, build a tree house out of tomorrows, we’re living on fingertip kisses & borrowed time.
my lover & I, here at the beach, leave our trail on the trackless open sea; we’re drifting galaxies, like the ones beneath that give birth to new reefs, here next to washed up fishing buoys- where this subway to the sea from LA seems long.
my mind drifts from this town of our lady of the king of beats & hippies & drifters, where we get lost in the crowd to long silences that come in the form of burnt toast & parking tickets stuffed in glove boxes,
to my sister-in-law now running marathons; running & running & running & she says she’s never going to stop; her son will stop running, for a minute, put his iPod down long enough to say, “I can’t hear you with this thing on.”
here in Venice, the sore spot of California, my lover & I pass vendors selling their knives & combs & coins & souls, here on the razor.s edge.
here I suddenly feel unbearably present, eyes wide open, ready for the other shoe to drop, like the story of two young lovers; a high school football star & his willowy girlfriend in a car on a country road; you just know something is going to happen around the corner & it isn’t going to be good,
further down the boardwalk, past the “what the fuck it’s just a buck” homeless princes on benches & suburban moms with graffiti charms, past pot seeds & love beads & drug trips & drum hips - past bible circles & grizzly old men who stumble out of bars in the middle of the day, blinking their eyes like they just came from underground - I realize my lover is everything I am not & though he says he needs me to do the things he does not think he can do, I tell him I need him to help me say the things I do not think I can say,
but like a boxer, he is teaching me & I must stand here, alone & tell my truth.