a poem from san francisco

It has been so long since I just lived

Saying yes like this to skin, stars and night again, woman’s voice, coffee, paper, ink,

Cathedral in distance-somehow still lit up at this hour!

And specifically this Parisian woman’s voice sipping wine on next door stoop atop a

San Francisco hill with this park shrouded in thunderwinds of memory as a background.

The tone of coffee falling through the paper of early night

my father’s sermons-their tones of kindness return-their inclusion,

of her voice and so many others…

Where were you night owl koo, and sulphur steamed mossy rocks, who rising on this hill’s voices remember like dark cliffs, just there-

daring the ocean to come

and chip off something sacred over time

and follow it to the fathomless depths?

Where were you white-mooned rooftops of Jerusalem, San Francisco, or

the moon itself?

I lost you in the glare of travel (too many cities on my skin by now)

which once was glisten

And will be gold–already I glow!

whether boy or man–now clearly

man, and father at that, but not without

this texture buried in my bones, and its recall.

It is not youth only, which says yes!

Repetition, attrition of yes over seasons is key to

the procession of generations of those who pronounce “Thou”

over and again in different shapes and cadences, this Yes-

this emboldening, thread-ripping throat call in mid air, across the bay even now

coming as screeching gulls, almost blinded by such sheer California light;

and me on top of good view mount, me:

i. shaved off crystallized marble fleck of gem on God’s robe

2flashing micah star in fall leaves

3magenta translucence itself

4pure azure with circus fringes

5subaquadic firework in the throat of every lover, yes

Me, my white stone is being carved!

And all this night, here on this franciscan hill

In some neighborhood which is barely

My own,

my bones awake in sensuous melody

to all I ever was

and ever more shall be, and

it has been so long since I just lived.

Recent Posts

Midrash on the Psalms

Reading the Psalms again today (little midrashing for you today!), as I often do, as they seem like the center (and therefore centering parts of

Read More »