One late December night he comes home from work and notices her car is missing from the garage.
He opens the door to the kitchen and sees a note on the counter.
He knows what it is without having to read it.
His heart sinks into itself, and he feels a heavy jolt of pain, almost as if he is having a heart attack.
She has done this before, fled into the night, in a previous marriage.
He thought it would never happen to them, that they had mutual trust and respect.
Still, until this moment, he never saw it coming, like a man walking into a train,
like a bicyclist run down from behind by a crazed motorist, like a kid standing on a street corner killed in a drive-by shooting.
He never heard the emphasis on the words, the phrases, the subtle expressions that she used to tell him
she was going away for the weekend with her friend.
The force of their impact is now in full affect,
like time detonated cancer exploding in his body.
Perhaps, he took her for granted without knowing it.
Perhaps, she knew she was leaving all along and couldn’t explain it.
This was no B movie, no fly-by-night film script, but in the end, true to the genre,
she walked out on him like a film noir character
gradually disappearing into darkness.
CLINGING TO CERTAINTY
He hides in the closet of his soul,
hunkering down in the dark,
afraid to come out into daylight.
The old ones beat him with brooms, smack him with switches
until welts bulge up on his back, rise up on his rib cage
like fields of red roses blooming in a garden.
He feels the forceps’ fangs,
Feels a pair of pincers grasping and extracting,
delivering him, damaged, during a troubled birth.
WHAT MY SOUL FELT
I felt my heart stop momentarily,
felt it miss a beat.
Some kind of energy had possessed me.
I could tell it was not dark energy.
But energy of light,
Leading all the way to my heart,
all the way to where love lives.
That’s what happened
The first time I saw her.
Fifteen years ago.
Now, no closer than I was then,
I still desire, want, crave
the softness of her soul,
dripping with the juices of love,
the kind found in Renoir’s In The Garden.
With the man’s arms wrapped
around his beloved’s waist
The other holding her hand.
She shimmers and squints at the viewer,
as if she’s discovered for the first time in her life
The real voyeur.