For Joel C-P

New moon-
swishes and gurgles swell
your belly
snowy morning-
my footprints

summer lightning-
licks your
napping face

summer sun-
red Kool-Aid
on tongues

(for Big Kenny and Little Kenny)

Let us define a topology
on the emotion L
by imagining a sub-love L1,
to be an open love
if and only if
it either contains
open kisses
or it contains
a union of emotional sequences
L(f, s),
where L(f, s)=hearts open as wounds.
In other words,
a sub-love L1,
can be open if and only if
every hesitant male heart
that is a member of L1
admits some non-hero condition F or S.
The axioms for a topology
are easily verified:
by definition,
an open mouth kiss is open;
L is just the sequence L(U, I),
and (if true) is open as well.
For any collection of open mouths
the intersection of two
(and hence finitely many)
open mouths is an open kiss:
Let the lips U and I
form open mouths,
then, let the mouths meet.
The topology is quite different
from the usual Euclidean one,
and has two notable properties:
Since any open mouth
contains infinite kisses,
no finite mouth can be open;
put another way,
the complement of an open kiss
cannot be a closed mouth.
The basis mouths {father, son}
are closed by nature,
but we can imagine L(f, s)
as the complement
of an open mouth as follows:
"There are many kinds of open
how a diamond comes into a knot of flame
how sound comes into a word . . .
. . . Love is a word, another kind of open."

Among the sounds
that are emotional multiples
of open kisses
is rain falling on a field,
i.e. [a topology of tears]
By the first property,
the mouth (raining sky)
cannot be closed.
On the other hand,
by the second property,
the mouth (fallow field) is closed.
So, if there were only
finitely many drops of rain
then the mouths (field, sky)
would be in a finite union
of closed mouths,
and hence closed.
This would be
a contradiction,
thus L(f, s) must contain
infinitely many
drops of rain
in an open field.

Theme and Variations

I am holding you in one arm,
can't find anything else to pack.
"Stand still, Daddy" you beg,
the words falling faster than
rain rushing down the gutters, racing
against everything that falls,
my reign in this house included. The
window frames the sullen clouds.

I know what the clock says, and
can't solve what still
stands between me and
the woman you call Mommy.
Rain drums its cold fingers
against the heads of houses. Outside,
my parking meter has expired, the
window filled by a bright red flag.

I set your two years down slowly,
can't hold you any longer.
"Stand there by the windowsill,"
the door groans to you as it closes.
Rain rumbles, flashes a dagger
against the dark sky, you,
my only child, want to run past the
window, to my arms bulging with boxes.

I reach the van, turn a last time,
can't believe how you
stand so still as I close
the door. A fine curtain of
rain falls, refusing restrictions
against its wishes, animates your arms,
my hands. From opposite sides of each
window we wave, faces dripping.


Today is not
my birthday.

But what a gift-
when I awaken

to the up-curling corners
of your eyes.