The Unsalted Sea

The Aftermath of New York: Always Before the Storm

Drops of sweet salt fall to the pavement
where a tom cat licks them up like sugar
but not fast enough to stop a wave in the lakes
that I am forced to be afraid of.

I've read the posted signs
"10,000 shipwrecks"
and the gale warnings that make my screen glow in the early hours
as I prepare myself to wade in the vast, open waters
holding my breath
where the rip tides stir silently
threatening to drag me out.

I am not the Edmund Fitzgerald
your waves only lure me in deeper.

"Save me from myself; don't let me drown!"
I sing to the sea
like the radio sings to me
the sea that's not an ocean
the sea with no salt.

I laugh
but only at my mind sometimes
I am not afraid of myself
rather what lies beneath the waves
before I find a passing seagull
who tells me to look east
find the sun to feel the rays
that warm the water on the winter days.

The cat lays next to you on the blanket and licks your hand
your skin is the softest cream
you chuckle
but not enough to make you shut your blue eyes
that read "I love you so, forever and more"
and I believe them
oh, I believe them
and the sweet sea blue.

I dive headfirst into the waves
with gills.

– 8/5/17

A Memorial 

The Aftermath of New York: A Simple Poem

(Thought of at the National September Eleventh Memorial, 6/11/17)

I was asleep in my cradle

safe, sound, untouched 

miles and miles away from a newly acquired knife in a nation's heart 

when I should have been wide awake

should have let the fear strike me and leave its battle wounds 

as it set into the jaws of millions 

when the gasoline gushed into the office space

and they realized their lives weren't theirs to make or break 

illuminating a man's face 

with sunken eyes on the 101st floor 

asking, "Where is God when I have to jump?"

and I know he thought 

how he wished he could grow wings 

like the jet planes that landed at his feet 

like he was living a little boy's dream 

but he didn't wake up before it turned into a nightmare 

and how he wished he could land without feeling any pain 

but sometimes the world doesn't work that way 

so he tipped himself over the edge 

hoping someone would catch his last words 

with a prayer to his family 

before he fell

down 

         down 

                  down

and shattered in a sea of red and rubble 

making a fireman's stomach churn 

and President Washington turn over in his grave 

so now I stand 

where thousands had wished to brush off their shoulders and walk away

or maybe even go back up to save the day 

and I watch a leaf fall

down

         down 

                  down

silently to the water 

and a passerby flip in a coin 

because it's easier than offering a shoulder to cry on 

but I'm old enough now for my own jaw to set

and I don't have the heart to scream out that gold doesn't dry tears 

nor does it wash away a sea of red 

or dab up spilled gasoline 

or mend the beams of the 101st floor 

or give a desperate man his very own wings 

because where is God when we have to jump? 

6/12/17

A Simple Poem 

The Aftermath of New York: A Simple Poem

To know 

that when I look into his eyes 

I will see no monsters lurking in the depths 

that wish to turn my veins to ice

but instead a sea of morning light

with a warm “welcome home” sign the color of autumn leaves 

means more to me than I could ever describe in this jumbled poem.

To know his hands  

will always be careful

not to tamper with the thin fabric of my heart 

that has been torn like the “take one” papers at the corner store

or unlock the diaries in my mind without permission

that hold words such as these  

but filled more so with ink stains 

that haunt me while I sleep 

means more to me than I could ever jot down on this paper.

To know that when he holds me close

his heart beats steadily for the art of love

 to tame the monsters of the dark

to sew the fabric of my heart

to hold his breath 

or even watch his step 

to ensure that I sleep soundly  

means more to me

than just a simple poem. 

-Peace to the Piano Prince.


Originally Written: 3/27/17
Revised: 7/6/17

Run Like the Water 

The Aftermath of New York: A Simple Poem

Run.

Run like the water in the stream.

Seep through the pores of the earth, and find its darkest secrets,

But don’t run away from me.

Trust in me. 

Trust me like the waterbird trusts the tide. 

I will not let you fall beneath the waves when we set out to sea, 

But don’t float away from me.

Water will wash us clean of troubles, of fear, of insecurities. 

It will rinse our eyes free of tears after late night calls that distance miles apart, 

Or cool our boiling blood when the world will not listen to the peace we sing. 


Water will carry us through the trials of time.

Our love will be forever preserved in the crystal glaciers of the north, 

Or in the bellies of parched children on another shore.


Let it forever live on.
Without doubt,
Without drought.


Love me. 
You are my source of life. 

7/5/17

Daydreamers 

The Aftermath of New York: A Simple Poem

 We are the daydreamers.

A story kept in the pages of freshly printed books with glossy paper.

Protected from the brutal winds of the world while we are young

Given fairytales to drink like sweet tea

But told only to sip, not to swallow.


We are the daydreamers

Kicked out of our cloud castles when our fairy godmothers made holes in the pillowy, white safety nets we thought were our floors,

Scolded us,

Engraved, “G R O W  U P !” into the soft flesh of our delicate hearts,

And watched as we fell,

Landing face first onto a cement reality.
We are the daydreamers

Who still have hope for this miserable world.

The ones who think the sun smiles as it rises.

The ones who think skin is like silk 

And that true love exists outside of the fairytales we were raised upon.

The ones who get by on merely slivers of faith,

Like maybe Peter Pan really does wait patiently on the other side of some golden gate.
We are the daydreamers

But we have grown to accept our fates

Just as we have accepted the bitter taste

Of coffee at 5am. 

Renee Loves the Rain

The Aftermath of New York: A Simple Poem

She’d walk across the shards of our broken hearts to escape her mother, but what does that make me? A sister? A friend? A victim?

Someone who tosses and turns in the calm of the night because I could never say that vanity and pride are different, that one can be proud without being vain, with a flare in my eyes rather than paranoia because the ghost of who I used to be still sinks its fangs into the base of my neck. 

But who am I, anyways? 

I’m someone thrown to the curb on the streets of Queens, among the trash and unpaid cellphone bills because messages of, “You’re too busy,” stack up until finally one of them says, “Goodbye”. 

6/16/17

The Elephant and the Donkey 

The Aftermath of New York: A Simple Poem

  The man sits above us

peering down like a predator

from his tower 

that none of us have been given the right equipment to climb. 
Some people admire this tower, 

ruby red in all its glory;

those who feel it represents their love,

their pride, 

their country. 

They are the ones who simply stand by

ignorant to the mere fact that the ground beneath our feet trembles more frequently. 

These are the people who put the vile man in the tower. 
They spit words at those who are blue, 

and those who scoff at the dirt on their shoes

under the influence of their vicarious boy-king because to them the color blue is anything but tranquility.

To them, it means a “nasty woman” fighting for a position such as his 

an effort he can strike down with icy words or dismiss by fanning bills from his pocketbook

because blue minds mean nothing to him.
But neither do red

unless it’s his own. 
But maybe the blue aren’t much better off 

Sticking their noses into the air and straightening their thrift-store ties  

Saying they’re lovers of equality, but  scolding their red neighbors, 

calling others uneducated when they have no desire to teach

and refuse to accept that they too have dirt on the soles of their shoes 

and maybe even palms of their hands 

from not washing them after making enough calls on an office telephone. 
In this world of red and blue,

I see little violet. 
I only see the man up in his tower 

watching us like we’re his mice 

who can never find the cheese in their dark cornered mazes.