tickling her toes – three slow graces part 2 – a poem

tickling her toes – three slow graces part 2 – a poem

Tickling Her Toes

My soul cools off.
I am a fine musician
I travel around the world.
Our fights from
the perspective
of a bird in a tree
outside the window.
Our love.
There is not one
devil in here.
Moments not facts.
I roll off sweating and happy.
A spiral downward.
Half-days.
I have been writing
this book for years.
I must live the final outcome.
I do not know it.
Each time I touch you.
Upon entering another
fine gridlock.
Panic.
The heart of the labyrinth
the evolution of a relationship.
Not one devil.

We never separate.
She goes to work.
Each morning the same shower
the same shrinking soap.
Her wet hair smells wonderful
invigorating, as she leans
over the bed to kiss me.
Still dreaming.
Breathing.
I do not remember
the smile she had.
Any second now, any second.
Just wait.
Go.
I know she is leaving.
Morning coffee smell.
My cup, empty on the window sill.
Cat purr.
Closed eyes watching
as I fall asleep.

Reading this back.
Painting in words
a very young marriage.
Dusty bedposts
where hands never rest.
In a sacred cave
I saw as a child
I used to go and sit alone
when things got to crazy at home.
Each fiction waits
within the truth of this.
There is nothing.
The hot sun has baked my skin
and the heat goes on for days.
What fear should we have of sex?
In all directions at once.
Abandon old roads.
Waking up in time to put down
a few words before rushing headlong
into weekday work jam traffic pause.
Life is first, then writing.
I can seem
to put this feeling down.
Love. That’s it.
Yes.

Wanting to live
a thousand lives at once.
As unreal as each of these sentences.
I just made them up today.
A dream of a book.
Will the peace and quiet
last longer this time?
Inexpressible images.
The steamed mirror
reflects no fatigue in the morning.
And electric razors don’t cut my skin
just burn it a little.
Keep this in mind.
I’ve got only notes now.

Prose or verse
cannot convey these suggestions.
There is no logical sense.
Children sometimes live
in a world of dreams.
And adults.
I couldn’t send you the letters
I wanted to
the feelings melted and dropped out
as the thought of your reading them
quickly, skimming really.
Now the feeling has passed
and you are gone.
I’ll put this away.
How did I get off the subject?
If the notes get lost
I will write them all over again.
Isn’t the rain comforting from bed?
I can feel my way around this ink.
The lawn
the garden
and broken sprinkler system
dribbling in the rain.

Ticklish between her toes
I love to rub her feet
after she has fallen asleep.
Overwhelming fear.
One step further
and we would begin a life.
Another life.
This reality
not just speaking about it.
Feelings not facts please.
Losing my voice.
Still fresh memories
night sighs.
My desk piles grow deeper
more delicately balanced
the poems get tucked under bills
insurance premiums.
I must be off to make a living
before I have time.
Kiss goodbye.
You stay in bed now.
Before I can open any of them.
I’ll put this all away
not think about it anymore.
It’s late now.
The rain’s stopped
it seems I’ve been waiting
for hours.
Dark.
Writing one sentence at a time.

three slow graces – john mcelhenney
© 1990 john mcelhenney, all rights reserved

GO TO next Three Slow Graces – Part 3

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