Poetry from R.P. Verlaine

Departure's Price 
To feel what isn’t there 
is all I need this far
into a one-night adventure,
daylight now ends. 
Wanting her to tell me nothing,
except lies that would convince 
a clock to move forward 
to no return or a pause 
at the precise or 
rumored false step 
any love demands more 
than once... 
Around which we skirted,
skilled as puppets 
who can do little more 
than entertain 
even when the applause 
is neither obsequious 
or false. 
And now the price of 
departure, a tax 
wanton drinking and lust begets, 
awaits with receipt... 
As we linger in a paid for bed 
without the energy for lies,
I check messages 
that say nothing. 
While she watches,
showing no emotion,
a copy of me,
trying to figure out 
long after the last kiss 
how to get out of this 
with a grace we both lack. 
Knowing this was a mistake 
and the new day only 
a chance to make more.


Driving to the airport, its nearly dawn
turbulent dark skies and dim tiny stars
my lone company- the radio's low.
Trying to make sense why so much has gone
awry or failed to transpire so far.
all faith submerged , lost to the undertow.
where life seizes you and then flings you down
until you’re prostrate on knees or the floor
someone shouting ten and you’re counted out.
I'm driving to a new start and new town.
It wasn't love K, you closed all the doors
I kept knocking still, with all of my doubts.
K, I see your face with its vague sad hope
its goodbye tears, it wasn't love but close


Do not ask me of others, let’s start fresh.
As if we were rare seedlings in the spring
sprouting promises with our sweetest thoughts
rooted deep beyond earthly wants of flesh.
Beyond true love’s lost dark imaginings
pale jealousies , tides of mistrust wrought.
Let ardor beckon, wondrously new
we’ll be its play things, puppets in a dance.
outside the present to postpone regret
by giving love each day its place, yet true
to ourselves, mocking fate’s uneven chance
diving to we know not, and come out blessed.
So let’s begin, without a sin or stain
after I ask you this-what is your name.

Her Blank Canvases 

Home dining alone or with one who cares 
she claims she’s happier since the divorce 
won’t marry again even in a dream. 
When asked if she still paints, I’m made aware 
passing fancies and hobbies run their course 
as does a lover lost in the midstream. 
Where I drowned in drink after she left me 
to go to Paris with a man she thought 
loved her and did till the money ran out. 
While I stayed servant to the tapestries 
of color and wild imaginings caught in a canvas awash in reckless doubt. 
When I say I still paint, there’s dead silence 
ah there’s much that dies without violence. 

Truncated Affair 

You can kiss 
each of 
my tattoos,
she said,
if you buy me one. 
I asked about
the scar on her cheek.
She was silent,
not wanting me 
near wounds,
healing or unhealed. 
We made love,
our confidence 
misplaced in 
a bed where  
excitement’s rush 
& its dichotomy 
to both discover and hide 
were the wrong guides 
to entwine us 
past the 
She was precious,
much as she denied it 
when sober, which
was rare. 
Each morning, 
pouring me coffee,
she'd do two lines,
check mgs,
leaves me 2 poems
someone else wrote  
a disquieting challenge 
I never clearly won 
or lost. 
When we traded kisses,
I'd win every time
it didn’t count. 
Real or imagined,
her smile is always enough 
to earn her tattoos. 
Trouble came 
in a script for a movie 
she began to think 
was us...
In real time 
arguments, complications,
violence, plot twists 
to an ending. 
even with all the  
Her goodbye, 
open ended evil,
made truth out of the lies 
in the disconnected 
thoughts of her
I can't disconnect  
from now,
unable to sleep 
i'm no longer awake 
without some cost. 
Imagining only 
her ink stained body again 
leaving mine unmarked  
with its sweat 
almost clean enough 
for purgatory.

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