an honest heart

I have known more than enough
of broken hopes and callous care
to dully predict another tomorrow,
and yet still I lingering lay my head
on the same pillow each night
and anxious await the coming dawn.

I have felt these restless sinews
woven too impeccably tight,
brightly grasping lacquered boxes
and loosely bound leaves that hold
far more of tremblingly tormented
lives than I could ever comprehend.

There was a time when unsubtle I
would squat behind the ninth row
of jealously whispering players while
perusing the pages of Castiglione
like the most masochistic of voyeurs,
praying piteously for just one chance.

I could not have known back then
what I so feelingly fully ken now—
how glorious the embrace of love’s
true heart can be when weaned
of unnatural and unnecessary fears,
how immeasurably beautiful it is

to be sweetly adored
by one who is guided
by an unpretentious
and most honest heart.

Salt Lake City 18 June 2022

to be trusted

We hardly know
one another now,
and yet…

One day years ago in Turkey
she stepped on an urchin
unknowing, of course,
only that it caused her
to scream and cry
and she sighed miserably
when I lifted her up, cradled her
as I ran up the hill to our home.

Setting her down
I tended to her foot,
cleaned it, bandaged it
comforted her as best I could
but the tears had already ceased
and the crying, and instead
she looked at me thankfully
eyes smiling despite the pain.

To this day I still
feel that sense of gratitude—
no, not hers for me necessarily,
but my own for the chance
to feel that at that moment
I was right and true
and trusted by one so tiny
in my eyes, and yet so grand.

My daughter Asena at Ovacık, Turkey (July 2011)

trust

I uncover my hands
and open them to you
hoping to know your touch.

I unveil my eyes
and stare into your soul
hoping to find release.

I undress my fear
and stand naked before you
hoping you will not leave.

In the abyss that is my trust
you have touched me deeper
than I would have thought possible.