zero anaphora

zero anaphora,
what comes before,
a gap to refer back
to what once was

you loved me –
tender, deep
with legs entwined
and foreheads touching,
your hardness pressing
into my softness,
yin and yang

I loved you –
hearing the slap, slap, slap
of flesh upon flesh,
bed rocking, loud cries
hushed laughs
soft kisses
alpha and omega

the end comes not
in blazing fury
but in subtle shifts,
incremental distances
slowly stretching out
until the space
is unbridgeable

we can become
zero anaphora,
forcing the gap
to refer back
to an “us” once more.

Another form of anaphora, similar to a pro-drop is the zero anaphora. For example:[11]

There are two roads to eternity, a straight and narrow, and a broad and crooked.

The gap in the phrase “a straight and narrow [gap]” is the anaphor for the antecedent “two roads to eternity”; the two phrases are said to have a zero-anaphoric relationship. Similarly, the phrase “a broad and crooked [gap]” contains another gap anaphor.[11]

just one moment

meeting of our eyes
across a crowded space
tunnel vision
like a train bearing down
frozen, I see nothing else

your lips on my neck
eyes meeting in the mirror
our smiles radiant,
as we bask in the moment
and your hand slips to the curve of my waist

myself an inferno, wishing
your lips, mouth, hands to stoke the fire –
solar flares stretch thousands of miles
into cold, empty space –
no less, my body reaches out to you

over your shoulder

They say hindsight is 20/20.
Like looking at something in the past
magically makes
all your mistakes cleaner,
like scrubbing away the emotional messes
with a stiff brush and some Clorox.

Looking behind perhaps
you see paths
that might have been chosen –
or realize that the exit is now
completely hidden
by brush and billboards advertising
insurance on life, or lasiks,

leaves you stranded, gasless
in a desert surrounded by cacti,
collecting bones bleached by the sun-
remnants of unwise tangents drawn,
consequences spontaneously
breathing a life of their own,
until you see only to the horizon’s edge,
highway’s lines converging
to one single point.

Maybe they are right –
life is just a series of parallel universes
and nary a pillar of salt,
each choice peeling off another reality
until you are paper thin,
no substance,
never embracing your destiny;
never owning your past.


remembered rituals

plain white bread toasted
spread to the edges with jam
dunked in hot black tea

Mercurochrome spread
quickly over knees scraped raw
the hurt blown away

grilled cheese triangles
tomato soup made with milk
and oyster crackers

respecting elders
always saying I love you
flowers on your grave

Intangible photographs

Last year, about this time, Phill backed up my words with some music. 🙂

intangible photographs

Grainy even in my mind
a side-shot of you
blurred edges
brilliant eyes hidden in shadow
the heavy metal
we counted as love song
rocks on silently.

Truck door’s bass slams,
engine guns
and dirty gravel rimshots pepper feet,
leaving clear imprints
of where you once were
and where you will no longer be…

Rock music blares-
three chord progression in E —
resolutely marching on through chord changes.
The many voices once raised in the refrain
peter away
leaving only my thin wavering voice
to carry on the melody and finish out the song.

(another link in case the other isn’t working – intangible photographs )

Thanks for listening.


spoken – taste of the ocean

spoken – no hablo espanol

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