A Poem and a Photograph

NJ Sun and Sky - 12025

Love of My Lives

I am still your man, here still.

And after centuries measured

by small epiphanies,

my arms remain open,

my eyes your eyes seek.

Walking apart or abreast

my soul is complete

only when yours is near,

the spirit healed by your kiss.

Lovers, praying partners,

and friends we’ve been,

even secret members

of the same crime family.

Dancers in a cosmic ball

whose ancient rhythms

only the broken-hearted perceive.

Enemies and allies we’ve been—

fellow travelers in the far east.

Here I am, your man still,

still holding on to your hand.

Here to make reality

a holy promise made

the Spring I was shaken awake

—to meet once and for  all

with clean hands, clear eyes,

open hearts and a blessing

for each other upon our lips.

A Poem and a Photograph

Sun Embraces The Earth

Blessing The Wounds

You sent me alone to the concert hall
Where only half the notes played
Until the music discovered your face—
Your smile alive in the smiles of my friends.

You called to say you weren’t coming
But when I turn around, there you are,
Reflected on each one of my walls and
Weaved in the silky sheets that cover my bed.

I spread you on my morning bread,
Drink your sweat to calm my thirst.
My palms rest on your skin. I press
My fingerprints, branding forever your flesh.

Thirty days I walked, my eyes shut
And in the darkness of my steps
I follow the warmth of your breath
Through the dessert to the valley beyond.

We learn leaving from some lovers,
Only one can teach us the way back.
Blessing the wounds we’ve carried,
Our true love joins us in the search for home.

WHO ARE YOU? You Asked.

WHO ARE YOU? You Asked.

I am the rays behind your clouds,
a true believer at your church,
the earliest singer celebrating
what your life would become.

I am each distinctive brushstroke
in the portrait of your hands,
as they pray to know the answer
to the questions that you face.

I am the last few pages of a book
you read alone in bed. The words
you remember the next morning,
when the blue of your eyes awake.

A childhood friend, a lost pet found
a decade later in the afternoon rain.
A forgiving thought for an old hurt,
the healed wound, this is who I am.

Your Sunday paper. The roll of waves
laying their passion at Jersey’s edge.
The morning craving of coffee.
Long afternoon walks by yourself.

I’m laughter now. Tears then.
We met before and meet today.
Apart we walked these roads—
together we’ll walk them again.

I am the cabin that sits by your lake,
the light when the dawn breaks.
The voice you trust, the hand you held.
Yesterday. Tomorrow. And today.

I am your eternal companion.
An optimist blessing your fate.
Your improvised poet. Your expert lover.
Your tireless supporter. Your soul mate.

A Poem (And A Photograph)

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NICOLAS

My five-year-old brother hands me my mail,
Happy Birthday, he says while smiling
content to be eating pretzels and peanut butter
before dinner. I flip through the stack
of unopened bank statements.
Nicolas has decided that uncooked pasta
is worth trying. He offers me some.
No, thank you. I’m not hungry, I say.
He reaches for the sugar bowl, the teapot,
the clock: they are companions, belong together.

He thinks of home. Mama? Papa? he asks.
I explain they are near, at The Mermaid Inn.
I distract him by changing a light bulb.
We agree the kitchen is too bright.

And, later, when asked by our father
the child says, yes, in fact he would
like to thank god for something:

cupcakes.

Sherisse Alvarez

A Poem (And A Photograph)

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Waiting

New York, like my heart, is desolate since you left
and the presence of yesterday remains encrusted
to the lining of my lungs.

You’re not here and I can’t think of much else
or find solace in the corners bent on hiding
the face of hope from my face.

I cant stand being inside this skin
you’ve not caressed in an eternity of loss.
I’ve tried escaping through the surface cracks.

Waiting is a foreign game I never learned to play
and yet, waiting seems to be the only way to get
to where love patiently awaits.