For the past few months, I’ve been meeting with my friend, Brandon, to hone my skills at writing for theater. It’s fascinating to learn the business behind the curtain and I’m surprised at how fulfilling and enjoyable it can be to distill stories down to dialogue and extrapolate lyrics from presenting a character with a realization, desire, or emotional transition. A song, as Sondheim says, must be based on one succinct “want” from a character and is different from a poem in that it relies on music to buoy it up. A poem, on the other hand, suffers when sung. Read more

How to Put an Animal Down

Things have changed. They’re no longer what they used to be.
An eager smile with nonjudgmental eyes.
Unflinching devotion and unconditional love.
It’s quite common, they say. Time can do that.
Everything that is so reliable.
Everything that’s safe.
Simply, plainly: Given enough of it,
time will take it all away.

But how do you know things cannot return to what they were.

The stability begins to falter, but you react with reassurance.
Shrug off the incidents with disbelief.
(Optimism is a good thing, you’re reminded)
But the defensive wounds begin to show.

And you know.

When it’s time, it will painfully come back to you.
Crawl across the aluminum table while life slips silently away.
To lay beside you and rest its head on your arm.
Struggle to find your face in darkness, if only to say,
It’s all right. Everything will be all right.

When it’s all over, time will have momentarily gotten its fill.
To leave you with nothing but scars on your hands and over your heart
and be better for it all.

Mallorca II

The bees meander sweetly, serpentine among the apple blossom,
filling their abdomans with pollen, the royal jelly.

I watch in wonder of their flight. One sting would sacrifice their lives.
They are the same as I. Propelled by nature, I am propelled by love.

My stinger is poised, my soul aloft, my life in peril. For if she recoils, I am lost.

My soul cannot survive the separation. I am a fool to think that I may soar again.

To live among the apple blossom, waiting for another chance to live.


You drank the whole bottle of wine.
The one you intended to leave for your host.
Gazing to the cascading lights, will you remember this, you say.

She sleeps softly in the room as the door to the terrace wavers in the wind.
Will you remember this view, this feeling?

“I never wish to leave this place,” she said.
But it is something you could never promise.
You’d sooner swear she’d be safe from death, though you ultimately share her sentiment.

“Let’s spend eternity here. Free from life’s design.”

Instead, you ask if you should play along. “Yes,” you say.
Here. Here we will remain for all time.

You contract your eyes to see the town fade.
The streets are gone and only the lights and walls remain.
Dim your eyes some more, and the lights continue their journey down the hills.
Sheltered and encased in darkness, they shine on.

Will I remember this view? This feeling?

Dim your eyes some more.
Close them to the beauty of the town.
And darkness is all you see.

I would rather promise her life everlasting than to tell her that tomorrow we leave.

Will you remember this view?


But as the glowing stars in their retinal cage disappear, the feeling will remain.
And the fultility of upholding my promise to remain for always
and the undying love I swear to you in its place.