The Harborer of Love

I enter the bedroom, so exhausted from living
and see you lying there, ebony strands on ivory,
your comforter-encased body clinched around my pillow.

If only I could tell you the haunts that keep me from you.
I tremble as I sit upon a corner of the bed, fear crawls in,
leers back and forth between us.

I beg it to leave, to not take the love we share,
to allow you the innocence of one unaffected
by the struggles of a deranged mind.

You stir; your eyes barely open and blink
as you move your head to rest upon my knee.
You inhale and exhale, sighing; I smell of sea salt and fish.

Tired from a day spent worn from demons,
I gently caress your hair. Your eyes close
and fear trembles upon your lips.

Sighing deeply, I tell you all is fine.
You whisper, I know
but I hear the doubt.


In the glint of your eyes

I see the reflection of smoke, rising

You study me—hands on hips

Head cocked to one side

I don’t blame you for the uncertainty—

I wouldn’t trust me either

But I’ve come to make amends

To give back to you what I stole

That night I littered the streets with your dignity


I hold out my hands

A small box nestled between two sweaty palms

You look down at it, your face twisted

And I can only imagine the conflict, bleating

I move my hands closer to you

Pushing the box within mere inches of your own hands

You hesitate—shaking fingers begin to reach forward

You grasp it—I move back a step


“What is it?”

“Open it.”

You lift the lid and the box nearly falls from your hands


“It was never mine to keep.”

“But I gave it to you willingly.”

“And look what I did with it.”

You look at the cold flesh lying inside the tissued box

Tears well up—you thrust the box back at me

“Keep it.”

“But you deserve to love again.”

“You’ve mangled it. What good will it do me now?”


I place the box on the table

Give you another glance—you cross your arms

That one motion that tells me it’s time to move on

“Take it with you!”

But you know I won’t