What Flickers Now


A door swings open,

Here I stand,

Gray face behind flowers,

Candy in hand.

As you look at me,

What do you see?

Does the simmering light I’ve buried glow?

Or can’t it penetrate the lead?

Head bowed, I’m full

Aware that dull

Is the sheen on the fear-thicked coat I show.

Could you only peer inside my head …


I step inside and

Chance a kiss,

Reach out to enfold



As I gaze on you,

My heart is moved

To pry shy-rusted lips apart,

Show outside what the inside sees —

Eyes glimmering,’

Hair shimmering,

Brightness that leaps from skin as art

Bequeaths its colors, souls to please.


You are the gleam on a spring sunbeam,

The scent that makes the mum,

The sweetness in the candy,

The touch where soft comes from.


Someday if all the

Doors you see

Refuse to yield

To any key,

I pray that you’ll with comfort prize

The sensations that burn on in me,

Where e’en if blind in ALL my eyes,

What flickers now, I’ll always see.

— May 1986