WE WANTED IT ALL

We wanted it all, didn’t we?

We demanded magic

(as if spontaneity could be planned)

We demanded perfect freedom and safety both

(how had we ever dreamed

of corrupting natural law?)

 

We were the great believers

(It was our strength and

our weakness)

Who would have guessed

that the very love that

brought us together would

break our hearts?

 

And here we are again

This time in a rage

for peace

(as though virtue could

be assembled)

 

Even in the end

. . . We want it all

We demand a leaving made

of affection (as though poverty

was ever cured by

good intentions)

 

There is no redemption

in a decent memorial

(Charlie is still dead)

 

From “We Hardly See Each Other Any More”

I AM SADLY PROUD

I am sadly

proud that

the ladies  see

how beautiful he is

I never thought

I would say

this . . . But

I’ll pray that their

love will heal

him from

mine . . . But

I’ll never be

happy about

it

 

From “We Hardly See Each Other Any More”

EVERYTHING I HAD

Hard to believe it now . . . But

there was a time

when I would have given you

everything I had

. . . Trouble is

I did

 

From “We Hardly See Each Other Any More”

INGREDIENTS

So confused by the original

they only sang

on Sunday

 

The mystery is that there is

no mystery

 

Things mean what you want them

to mean

 

You can get what you give

this is the instruction

the trick is not to tell the story

like it wasn’t about you

 

The secret is there is

no secret

 

I can only tell you what I see

not what was seen –

the eyes are original work

 

From “The People Who Didn’t Say Good Bye”

Sharing 101

SHARING is not dividing up property

it is not giving something away.

 

SHARING is GIVING our part FREELY

 

Joy isn’t what we’re doing

JOY is how we FEEL about what

we’re doing

 

and SHARING is not when you give up part

of something because you have to

 

SHARING is how we can teach people

what is already theirs

 

Nothing true is diminished by sharing it.

 

From “The Cost of Living”   the new work of Merrit Malloy

REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT

My friend Jack

went to Heaven this morning

Wally called and told me

that he left the house

around nine o’clock

. . . He should be there

by now

 

We knew he was leaving

Lately when he took our hand

he squeezed

a little harder

than he used

to

 

We were all in on it

Each of us had an awkward moment

when we laughed too loud

or tired too hard

He knew why we called more often

He knew why we stayed

a little longer

than we used

to

 

My friend Jack

Left a big hole in the world today

All three networks used the past tense

as they pointed out his triple crown

and poured him into

history . . . But

 

We knew he was getting ready

We were all in on it

 

From “The People Who Didn’t Say Goodbye”

THE PLACE WHERE BABIES COME FROM

There is a place

Lower than birth

Below the seed

. . . It is where children

give birth to parents

. . . where the human is too true

to be good

 

It’s the place

where babies come from

 

From “The People Who Didn’t Say Good Bye”

A RESIDENT IN ABSENCE

The distance between us

is imperfect and

possessive . . . We are

nailed together by

a dream (yes, it was

amazing) . . . But

 

You knew I would come back

(I’m glad you didn’t

ask me to)

 

I might be better

(after all )

that I left still wanting

to stay . . . Than if

I stayed still wanting

to leave

 

The strangers circle

My mouth waits for them

like a bullseye . . . There is no

comfort in being

hunted . . . And my heart

is but a pilot

light

 

From “We Hardly See Each Other Any More”

THE GOODTIME GIRLS

We’re getting

older . . . You know that?

It doesn’t matter how

good a liar

the skin is . . . I hardly

ever kiss frogs

any more

 

We are still

explorers . . . the journey (now)

back . . . Who could have told us

then that we’d

be left with daughters

we couldn’t

understand?

 

We’re getting

better . . . You know that?

It doesn’t matter

that the cops get

younger

every day . . . We have lost

our taste for

civil disobedience . . . But

We are still

fighting a

revolution . . . The issue (now)

continues in and

blazes . . . Who could have told us

then that we’d be

left with lovers

we couldn’t

love?

 

From “We Hardly See Each Other Any More?”

JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE

I used to dream

about

driving a car

. . . I was never

going to

be sixteen

(Those last six

months were the

longest in my

life until

now)

 

I never thought

I’d be able to

have a quiet

drink without

offering

proof that

I was

born . . . (and

when)

 

And marriage?

. . . Who would marry

me? . . . A girl

who sleeps too

late and dreams

too much? (innocence

was my only charm)

 

I used to pray

to be just like everyone else

. . . I should have

been more careful

 

Funny how

most of what we don’t want

any more

is what we used to want

most of all?

 

From “We Hardly See Each Other Any More”

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