porchlight

it was as if all of every summer’s heat
had sunk into the worn boards of the porch

twenty years ago and I would do more
than simply sit beside you and tell tales

but here and twenty years backwards, I’ll admit
to seeing the lapsed possibility of home in you –

how the porchlight cradles your laughter
and not so much the door I can’t rush out of

without thinking if I’d only known you then
we would have been that much more

even in leaving, you’re all and everything
though everything arrives too late

even my feet, in finding their way away,
feel the impossible promise of you

© Sarah Whiteley

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boating at night

the boat of course is metaphor
though it is, undeniably, night

and fingers do trail over the side,
but also over stern and bow

it is also true that we do move as water –
that hair cascades and skin ripples

but that again is metaphor,
for which I am unapologetic

and I cannot be at all contrite
for not minding stirring up depths

or were we to drown together
beneath the moon’s regard

in fact, my heart, that may be all
that is certain and indisputable

© Sarah Whiteley

2.20.2015

Blue Chair

that absence hangs around,
a lone note held –
b-flat drifting long after
the tables have emptied

a blind man would have known
to find a way away from you
but fire makes us stupid

and before this space was vacant
it. was. on. fire.

things are so much clearer
when seen in d minor
it’s a particular diminished
shade of the blues

but the show’s over even if
the smoke still lingers
and there’s no flyer even
to remember it by

but darlin’, there’s no
forgetting that heat

I know when it is I am burning

I know when it is
I am burning –

when the sparrow
in my throat
bursts free from
the fretful gravity
of kisses nearly pressed
but not

and when gazes
glance away
from what has not
yet been but is almost
said and left to hang
between

I know when it is
I am burning –

when on the verge
of crumbling into dust
I find myself at precipices
and am far too fragile
to bear your touch
without incineration

but if at night
I may find my boldness –
and peace in being
still beside you –
then I pray time
will consume the day
and love bend
light away

© Sarah Whiteley

tangible/intangible

here again is that anticipated
when of you,
more of if than of ever

and I tell myself I can picture
your bare feet
on my floorboards

convince myself I wouldn’t mind
the invasion
of my space – its sanctity

overrun by the solid reality
of an other
sweeping aside the silent hours

for tangible skin –
currently irrelevant
in intangible when

© Sarah Whiteley