A Love Supreme
after John Coltrane
The paraffin vapor trails from the heater,
and at the window, lilies and corn plants
slack like morphine-softened tongues.
Again, from downstairs the muffled sighs
rise from the neighbor watching porn,
and across the street the blue porch light
comes on, and the youth, like shadows,
slip in and out the cracked screen door.
The greasy sheen of the wartime-grey road
reflects the moon—a damp cigarette butt
orbiting the city slowly as if held by someone
tired from the day, someone who yet again
fades into his own, perhaps darker night.
The little blue urn with your mother’s ashes
sits by the spinning vinyl of Coltrane.
We stroke each other’s silence. You give. I take.
What we keep unsaid we taste on our tongues,
and we call that fate. You say, I’m crazy
about you, and in your blood-hot eyes I see
phone wires suspended over deserted miles,
a man sipping on one more glass of scotch,
the fluency of his tight lips, sleepless eyes,
keeping his and my shelved love
from crushing it by oxygen and sunlight,
the poverty of words, and I hold onto
what’s in my memory, and what’s in my hands.