This is about the mystery muse who has been inspiring some of my best poems and essays. Including “Something Dark Like Jazz” Word Riot published back in July of this year.

Read the first Gray Areas here, if you are so inclined to read about this evolving half-fantasy half-real affair I am having, each Gray Area post is a new height, perspective, emotion, more thoughts, or just wandering around inside my mind, still in a respectful, silenced awe of things…

Refraction of Light

–sort of a poem, sort of just thoughts, sort of maybe the bones to an essay someday

I’m underneath your tongue--all the words you need to say, want to say, and are yet piecing together in your mind to figure out how to say what it is, exactly, you are, but in metaphor


You left last month.

Last night I was alone

beneath the streetlight, stars like braille punched in the night

my solitaire figure at four a.m.; and I stood

in the middle of the avenue looking up and around

into the midnight-purple leaves, into my shadow stretching

up the pavement; my breath coming out in a puffed vague cloud

and I think of my cold nose and lips,

it’s cold, and warmth


like his lips that puff in a vague red cloud, a soft frown

I’m underneath his tongue

alone in this streetlight, thinking he is with someone else

sound asleep

in his bed. His white sheets I want to entangle my limbs in

maybe surround a different woman-

not that that’s not okay with me, who am I to set fences around another.

But it’s the knowing that those words he might say across her skin

were inspired by desire for me, with me, by my desire for him, and he doesn’t know

I have rejected him out of fear




so he left, a rejection reciprocation if you will;

and he tells me now as I settle in alone into my new house

and hang up the art and paint the trim,

tells me right now how he loves, how he misses, how he longs

and agonizes underneath my tongue

Philosophize and figure, scour the cabinets

and linoleum, porcelain and wood, working up

a sweat to get the words out

always gotta get these words out goddammit

but there is no escape

not even with my arsenal of vocabulary;

I have tried to hurt, to push, to disappear, to lie

I take different streets I’ve never heard of

to get lost, to veer, wander, find an ultimate distraction,

find a medicine man or cheap palm-reader to tell me

silly, he’s not for you, don’t look back

So I don’t look back, but, see, this map must be broken

because the streets keep leading into each other

at new places and now

around the corner

he is standing there

I can smell him

just barely on the breeze that carries eucalyptus & jasmine

….if Satan had pheromones, it would be this

he manages spells out of me

and when I look in the mirror I see the turning faces

of all the people I have been

bending and pooling

into this one naked reflection in the cold gray dawn light–

I see the woman in the mirror I have hidden and held and set fire to,


I see the woman I am in his eyes through mine

and I realize that was the only way I’d see me–through

some different, difficult medium, a bent refraction, a test;

he murmurs what he sees when he’s in love and

he outlines with infallible logic and reason who I seem, all my secrets included as a sort of blood–unmentionable, but alive and key.

and this woman, he turns me, look, he whispers, look what I see, what happens inside her…

a fire

a gale force

hungry and almost unspeakably angry for having to have waited so long

to be seen;

my skin licks away from my skin in tongues

beneath his, lashing out only sound

and the words are written on our eyeslike stars, like the braille in the night over me, if you can’t understand, look him in the eye, answers unravel there and my lover doesn’t sugarcoat, so you have to be brave to look

–The urgency is measured by heart-rate, pulse, sweat, focus.

And passion is not just your body,

…I find myself

burning from the impact of our solitaire

existences colliding by accident, by chance,

burning even harder if that were possible–in that

aftermath-my body and mind pinned against the wall,

dismantling each other piece by piece as if in game,

to see what, maybe, is under there. To see if this person

is serious, if they either love or hate themselves that much

that they’d allow it. Only to realize you too are allowing it, and this

person is soft and safe but unforgiving and brutally honest.

Now the course of this cosmic collision is selfish,

it isn’t necessarily together, as each knows,

but for the moment …yes

they are an engine of molecular nightmares-

where one neurological disorder is remedied by another;

where re-wired re-fabricated regions in the frontal lobe

are set back to primal default;

where mania and mayhem, nightmares and flashbacks

are calmed and sated by prolonged exposure therapy, guts,

and whole lot of reciprocated acceptance–the kind of acceptance you value

because of all of your own dark secrets kept up your own sleeve you fear

someone will find out about you…

and then he does.

I fall into place

when he says he is proud of me,

that I am strong, that he’s been watching me grow stronger–

*perhaps we are given certain people in our life for this purpose only–to have someone that is so much like yourself but the complete opposite in how it is contained and you have faith and trust and honesty to a point of utter vulnerability–that bond is tried and tested and beaten because you test it harder than you’ve tested yourself, because you need someone, you really do need someone, to see you. And parts of you are reflections of your inner workings, your fears, your desires, your weaknesses and so on.


back to the mirror again–

he is not here


I am not there

but I am here,

and I see myself in the reflection this way, finally:

One image.

One image.

Mine. Me.   …I touch my angles with my fingertips…I can hold it, I can touch it.

One Reflection of one mosaic face

of the horrid, hideous, beautiful, young, aged, scarred, pure, difficult degrees–

all cast into this

one, terrifyingly beautiful image.


A refraction of light.

I say it shyly to myself, but somehow, for the first time, I believe it to be true.



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