learning to ride a bicycle

a man lay in bed

last days
he knows

dying from the struggle
to live

the nurse
does what she can
to make it easier

through the morphine
induced fog
a moment of clarity

he says

“I never learned
to ride a bike”

too late now
she knows

too late now

(D James)

it is not a straight line

I went
as far as the road
would take me

then continued on

I followed
the wind
as far as it did blow

then went beyond

I walked
to the peak
of the mountain

then reached up and touched the sky

I dropped
to the bottom
of the ocean

then dug down to the center of the earth

seen the sights
rode the rides
had loves
and losses

watched the line between
the beginnings and endings
blur
then bend

into a circle

and I can either
go round with it

or waste time
fighting against the flow

(D James)

these are the days

I remember when
you had to buy tokens
to ride the subway

and phone calls
were a dime
if you could find
a pay phone that worked

I remember when cabs
wouldn’t leave Manhattan
for the other boroughs
and street lights
were few

I remember when
computers were so big
they had rooms
of their own
and no one
had one at home

I remember when
you had to make the bank
by 3 pm
and never missed
a Friday visit to the teller
or you were without cash
all weekend
and people wrote checks
bought stamps
and mailed their bills

and if this
were written then
I wouldn’t be able
to share it with you

(D James)

left behind

I remember
the past
as if it were
some one else’s
story

as if I
were some one
other than me

those days
and days
of years
the many nights
the horrible “mornings”
of the afternoon

washed clean away
by different thoughts
other actions

I remember a time
when I was
some one else
when I told
a different story

I remember as if
read in a novel
or seen in a film

I remember
so as not to forget
so as not to become
what I’ve been
what was left behind

(D. James)

unrequited love on a virtual platform

I look for you
or the virtual
approximation
of you

the pull
so strong
the emotional
distance bridged
through half-sentences
in a tiny window

we abbreviate
and emoticon
our way through
complex emotions
rooted in a past
long before
any of this technology
existed

years go by
and then suddenly
you are there again

always reconnecting
always
at the wrong time

perhaps we had
our chance
back then

and it won’t
come around again

wishing
it were any other way
won’t make it so

but I still try

(D. James)