The road becomes a passage of the wills
of twenty-thousand hearts. The strength to run
from Hopkinton, through Wellesley, Newton’s hills,
is paved into the legs of everyone
who qualifies determination’s pace.
The road, which may seem common to the crowd,
today exists for nothing but the race,
and common thoughts today are disallowed.
I join the road of wills, of hearts, of strength,
anticipating every mile’s toll
of sweat. I am committed to the length
which quantifies the measure of my goal:
to finish strong in Boston where my pride
will feel the road with every single stride.
The waves insist on urging me along
Nantasket Beach, against the blowing sands,
without reprieve, without a siren song.
The wind is more insistent; she demands
my tears in horizontal tracks. My legs
ignore insistent waves, insistent wind.
I listen to the strand which almost begs
to pull me further, faster; I rescind
my ignorance of oceans and their might.
My memories of running on the beach
when I was young return to join my flight
across the dunes and places where I reach
inside my strength, like waves that urge me on;
I run until the wind and tears are gone.
Let’s float inside this cup of lukewarm tea,
pretend that we’re in love and kiss for hours.
I’ll sing to you and let you sing to me;
add sugar and perhaps I’ll bring you flowers.
I love the pinkish petals of the rose
on that ceramic wall behind your back.
Stay just below the rim so no one knows.
The tea is leaking slowly; there’s a crack.
Stand up and touch the bottom with your feet,
the party’s over; tea is everywhere.
I thought we had it all; we were complete,
but now we’re simply fools with matted hair.
Don’t leave my darling, leaves must still be read.
Come join me for some coffee now instead.
I sense the sheen which glistens on the street,
the path that pulls my spirit through the dark.
Reflections of the bottoms of my feet
form momentary ripples where they mark
the light of timeless memories of grace,
deserving of impressions deeper still
than anything my memories replace
with lightness which my feet and legs fulfill.
I sense the time it takes to press and glide
against reflections, silent as the moon,
which lay upon the mirror where I stride,
revealed to morning reverie too soon.
I sense the sheen again before I run
beyond the dawn into the morning sun.
The strength to walk away is like a gift
of snakes or stones bestowed on any child
who asks for fish or bread. The pillars shift;
Delilah’s shears were never so defiled
as when you walked away with every word
of faith, with every psalm I ever wrote.
I built on sandy ground, my sight obscured
by every solid beam and dusty mote.
You kissed me for a bag of silver coins
before you knew which prophets I believed.
You tied a girdle firmly ’round your loins;
immaculate, you left, and then conceived.
You’re wise to build your house on solid ground,
and I’m the sheep that’s lost and never found.
It pulls me from within, toward center mass
where heaviness resides in purest form.
For some the weight will come then simply pass;
for me it seems to be a steady norm.
I think my lightness used to be a kite
my dad would help me fly when he came home
from sea. I used to wake up in the night
from dreams, when he was gone. I was alone
with gravity that pulled me from the swings
or monkey bars, toward center mass, the source
of heaviness and darker, unknown things
which, as a child, frightened me of course.
But now that I’m a man, I’m filled with joy
to look below and see the fallen boy.