Why I Left Him

To celebrate our poetry month, I am planning to post some of my poems, some older published work, some new and experimental. Here’s one that advertising genius James X. Mullen particularly liked…he boosted my morale years ago by telling me he kept my poetry chapbook on his bedside table.

I had to find a way to explain how you never really stop loving someone you once loved deeply, even if that love is destroying you.

 Why I Left Him

Eagles, I’m told, will mate

in free fall, spinning a torment 

of feathers and lust. Talons

clutch the rich other

body…and sometimes,

they won’t pull apart

before they hit the ground.


You know when you’re falling.

You’ve had this dream. You always

wake up, before you die.


I knew I was falling

but I took him in

anyways. Love’s rare

in these mountains.


I saw a child, soft inside him,

fair skin brushed with blood,

the rush from his heart–

a cross-stitched organ.


I feel it, I can’t tell

if it’s his or mine beating.

We’re falling.


We were falling.

Just before we hit

I flew away.


(From the collection Madam, Your Daughter is Molting, ISBN 0-944920-10-1 Bellowing Ark Press, Seattle)

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