Within Close Range: Candied Abandon

Something scrumptious always simmering

in an old enamel pot.

Looks to have cooked a million meals

one hopes will never stop.

But as delectable to me as these savory delights,

Nonna and Papa’s home is a sweet-tooth paradise.

A candy-coated, chocolate-covered, fantasyland,

with countless confectionaries ever at hand.

Coffee candy, toffee bits.

Circus peanuts, caramel nips.

Cookie tins with crescents that melt on my tongue,

leaving powdered-sugar fingerprints wherever I’ve gone.

In nightstands, TV stands, and cabinets, wall-to-wall;

in boxes, and pockets, and purses in the hall.

I scan all the shelves for a glimmer of color

through crystal candy dishes in a glass-front cupboard.

On a table right next to the velvety green couch,

I find a lidded coffer that has gone untouched.

Chasing my greedy reflection over the mirrored table top,

I see no misgivings, as I reach for the box.

Those would come later,

when at the dinner table,

Nonna pressed me to eat,

but I simply wasn’t able.

Which is simply

not

done.

Float

Let me float

in the warmth

and the dark

and the quiet.

Let my weariness subside.

Let me float

away the aches

away the worry

away the want.

Let weightless be my guide.

Let me sink

in the drink

of nothing to do but float.

Let me breathe

long and deep

gotta hold that strong, clear note.

Just keep still

feel the pain

release its grip

on aging limbs.

Fill my chest

with long, slow breaths

letting go and letting in.

Watch the sun

begin to rise

casting red upon the skies.

And as the red seeps into orange

find peace and calm

in the water’s warmth.

From orange to yellow

paler than butter

let myself BE in the pillowy color.

And as the yellow lightens to blue

and the plug is pulled

and the gravity, new.

Take the weight.

Feel the cold.

Face the day.

Be brave.

Be bold.

And keep afloat.

too bad

you wouldn’t lift my broken heart above your selfish wants

so sad

my anguished words swatted at like tiny, pesky gnats

so sad

the years i gave my all to thee

so glad

extending branches of our tree

so glad

but when my give had given up

so bad

broken and tired i sought your love

so sad

each member of my precious clan

too bad

took the next exit out of town

too sad

leaving this trio to figure it out

not mad

not sad

some times still bad

but glad of the love that’s stuck around

an ode to jim

raise that crucifix nice and high

plant it in your neighbor’s eye

hold that bible in both hands

smack with it your fellow man

twist each word to stoke your fears

of Muslims, Blacks, Liberals, Queers

live your life a real shit

a few short prayers and that is it.

forgiven for your evil thoughts

forgiven for your selfish wants

forgiven for the love you scorned

forgiven for the pain you’ve born

surround yourself with frightened sheep

you are who you are by the company you keep

say your prayers each day and night

your dark deeds still won’t find the light

by sitting in pews and mumbling prayers

searching for peace through all the thick layers

of wrongful acts and shallow words

of broken promises at each turn

sanctimonious and self-loathing

in your dark yet depthless world.