It's better to look at the sky than to live there. Just a country where the thunder goes and things disappear.
They say bad things come in threes
but in the case of love I don't believe it
just a steady trend from bad to worse
lesson after excruciating lesson.
I paid a doctor to cure my love
but all he said was
Try to see the invisible
Look for the beauty in the world
that no one else perceives.
So I am lying on my back, gazing
into a hot Texas cauldron of clouds
looking for visions and hoping to erase you.
It seems to be working;
the clouds say many things but never
I see a deer lifting its head after
drinking, drops of sky falling from its muzzle
I see rabbits chasing a dragon's fiery form
and a salmon swallowing the sun.
Some shapes emerge more readily from the queendom
of my own imagination:
a heart slowly shredding in the wind
the spreading wing of a pterosaur*
a dog's ear flapping as if waving
from the sidecar of god's motorcycle.
They all come and go
shape-shifting like wizards
blending their furred outlines together to become
exactly what I want to see;
and I am reminded of the ways we tried
and failed time and again to soften our edges
to keep from damaging each other.
But in all the stories the clouds have to tell
I don't see your face
The face that was lasered into my brain
those fingertips whose prints
traversed the whole of me;
I can't see you
I don't feel you reaching for me.
It could be the person you were reaching for
was born in the kingdom
of your own imagination.
Maybe good things also come in threes:
our past with its indelible scars
the present which offers so much to forgive
my future that is wide as the sky
and peopled with souls who might
one day love me whether or not I soften
into a shape that doesn't bruise them.