Strange bird, are you happy hurt?
When the sunrise tangerines over the horizon,
you’ve been small and sleeping through the sticky
predawn, done sipping whiskey,
gone for all but the noon day sun.
There are days I don’t know you,
knowing that my knowing is a fiction,
a trick of the light, all gobos and gels
casting green shadows and shapes across
the stage. There was never a day when
I knew you. I knew your skin,
the smell of your hair. Others would call
that love, but I call it solidity because
I don’t believe in love, wearing New England
like a stoic shirt of chainmail, and the only
thing I know I can love is a blank page,
blue rules on 8 1/2 x 11, and I can love it
until it’s covered, graphite grey, crosshatched
and pen scratched, love it until it’s filled,
then fickle, I find another. But I am
content to call you friend and say “love.” I am
content to let other words stand in when I
mean “warmth.” Isn’t that
what love is?