Poems

Behold the Wandering Moon
By Milton Lyles

All my lovers felt the same in my arms.
I struggled with the weight of their morality
For none of them in the end saw me as moral.
A wind like lightness in their gaiety
Carried me wrapped in the joy of loving
Like a mother carries a child.
The essence of their strength lay in all they denied me.
The limits of their giving drew me to them
Like a steel filing to a magnet.
I needed passionate rendezvous, lovers’ lies
To melt the icebergs of insecurity.
I needed endless examples of their caring.
My lovers were crueler than I ,
Breaking off small morsels of my soul
In defiance of priestly prohibitions,
Chewing them like communion wafers
As they took leave of me.

 I pass them in the street from time to time.
They speak still, but their empty eyes
Deny everything we ever knew.
I wonder if my eyes are equally dead to them.
Do their casual words mask undecipherable codes,
Still intimately measure the rise and fall of my being?
Was I as heavy in their arms
As they were in mine
When the passion ended
And we became cold-tongued animals
Reaching out to touch the wandering moon?

Magnets on the Fridge
By Milton Lyles

Magnets on the fridge
picture places I’ve not been.
I haven’t had a paid vacation
since I can’t remember when.
I still fix coffee every morning,
make my bed, put on my shoes,
watch the rain move over the mountain,
but it don’t wash away my blues.
My old friends are dying off now
as disease and old age take their toll.
Being young sure was hard,
but not so hard as growing old.

Magnets on the fridge
picture places I’ve not been,
and the whiskey in the coffee
lets me travel back to when
those pictures use to be a road map,
a source of inspiration.
These days they’re just an empty indication
of another missed vacation.