It was a trap,
Separating myself like that,
The only one, for other reasons there,
To sit alone near a mound of Legos,
On the floor, as company loves a chair,
And sober as a stoic stone.
The others paraded the patio
With chest-fisted beers and silly cheers
Over Def Leppard arpeggios.
I loved them all, love them still,
My first family, every last one.
Were one of us to come undone,
The protective circle invoked everyone;
That kind of sun sits up and zeniths
For very few, no shade between us—
My truest friends, with whom I traded
A sullied soul for some of life’s widest grins.
She was among them, that bantam jewel,
A brown-eyed thief of sidelong glances with a
Spark on her lips for the matchless fool;
She took everything of sincerest need
With sugared fingers and hid it all
Sweetly behind her quiet grace,
Like a lustful dream dressed in Easter lace—
To save face in that chase was impossible.
That night I pegged my pin; to draw her in,
I leaned on every crutch and gimmick.
If you want the wind, per my best guess,
The windows need to be left open,
And hummingbird red is a mimic best left
On a branch long enough for hoping.
So, block by block, I interlocked
Those odd and nubby squares
Until I had a shape of intention in hand
And the taken lure of her crouching down
To cross-leggedly join me there.
I knew she’d come, and I wanted it more
Than death might demand a final gulp of air;
I’d been reading her book of secrets,
Had become a student of her walk and way,
Caught her on many a look and,
On those whispered thoughts, she nodded
At what I was ever too breathless to say.
But, in that moment, the floor was a rooftop,
And Legos laid my precarious stairs;
It was a rickety rack and a rook at risk,
All chess to be checkmated, I swear.
Yet, as hung on her stare as a blinded hare,
I sat in disbelief of the garish gamble,
That I would cash in on beauty a hundredfold
What it would break me in all-night ramble.
What beads of gold began to glister
In the poesy of her proximal light—
I held those charms until the story was told,
And have been retelling it ever since:
How I went thrashing away from innocence,
With no care as to the harms that lay waiting
In the woods of turning grey,
Where the ghosts skulk by with folded arms,
Mourning the yearns of yesterday.
Above them, on spindly, creaking limb
Warbles a lone, long-lilting, widow-lark,
Whistling, “Sad Laddie, you should’ve known
That would leave one helluva mark…”
Love and time and love again,
Unzipped like jigsawed teeth on a yawning scar,
Reset and unsprung among the rolling stones;
Let love’s bite sink to my very bone,
As it did back then, my first afar—
Back when, of a pure heart with her in my lap,
I did all I could do to trip the trap.