Tag Archives: happiness

The Answer

Maybe love isn’t the answer
after all
to the question of happiness
which was never part of the plan
when the cells
that would become us
were dividing into our ancestors
who never knew how easy
life would be in the future
with sharp tools and wheels
and gods
we are no longer required
to believe in or praise
for giving us a desire for love
that many of us will never find
so it seems like a good idea
to bury our hearts
in a mass grave dug
with a mass-produced shovel
and seek unconditional devotion
in the divine and perfect form
of cat or dog.










Yesterday Morning

Floating downstream
in the middle of the river
I had you alone
to myself
and it felt like
we belonged there
as much as the turtles
and the great blue herons
startled into flight
by our strange wings
dipping into the water—
and it felt like calm
had finally arrived
to replace the doubt
that kept trying
to pull me under—
and for the first time
it seemed as though you
(who have never been lost)
might not be able
to find your way home
if we were parted
by the currents
and set adrift
in opposite directions.









Sycamore Island

So many golden days
layered between today
and our sweet afternoon
on the fallen sycamore—
the one so large
we picnicked on its spine
and sprawled out
across its crumbling contour —
and however trite it sounds
to say time stood still, it did—
and for awhile
we floated on an island
made of love and light—
and you found comfort in me
while I found comfort in you
and no one in the world
was more content than we
who’d sailed so long
to get this close—
to come this far.







If his happiness was whole
my love for him could remain
a stagnant pool
contained inside my chest—
it would be enough
to know his love was returned
by someone he adored—
but when I became to him
a sympathetic confidant
entrusted with the status of his love,
I couldn’t help but quiver
at reports of insufficient affections
and uninspiring conversations—
so how can I be blamed for wishing
to remedy these deficiencies
by molding my body around his form
and whispering in his ear
a reminder that this world contains
alternative sources of happiness—
and I’d like very much
to be one of them.






Painting by Pablo Picasso “Girl Before a Mirror” 1932

Levels of Love

When I say I love Saturdays
and spontaneous adventures
on the river, I mean I feel something
like happiness when I’m in the middle
of that mix, and when I say
I love chocolate cake, I mean I crave it
sometimes and when I finally get a taste
there’s something happening up there
in my brain that’s making me smile
as if I’m in possession of something
I don’t deserve—but I wonder
what it means when someone
says “love you” without the “I”
as if diluting the sentence just a little
will let them test how deep they are—
help them decide whether to keep sinking
or swim back to the safety of the shore.