Poetic Memories

The following is a poem written by a friend of mine from what feels like a different lifetime. I can still hear see him on stage and hear him performing it, as I read it.

If you get a chance to see him live, he’ll captivate you.

“Invent me a Word” by Colin Gilbert

Invent me a word. Let me breath it in like the sky
’cause there may only be one but even beings
on the other side of what we know of this universe
see it too. Incapable of ignoring its grandeur

it remind me of you. Like walking a mile-long suspension
bridge over the valley beautiful, you surround me. We
all have our windmills and your winks spawn storms,
strong winds blowing back my everything.

Swaying over that unnamed valley of you. Frightening
would be the greatest understatement since that line
about beautiful but I’m still waiting for you to invent me

a word. I would throw myself off every bridge and cliff
in the world, to prove to you I can fly, dust myself off
after the fall or even die and start all over as children

playing tag in the schoolyard. In your face I find
the closest thing to God I have ever seen.
With Gospel Hymns hidden in the corners of your eyes
you buckle me down breathless each time you smile.

I swear all the walls in the world disappear when we
stand apart, locking eyes across a dark, crowded room.
You should know there are men who would paint
scrolled parchments of the stars with names for you.

Names discovered among dirt and cool breezes,
from foreign tongues better equipped to speak of wonder
and strength and those which can’t be comprehended
with our limited capacities. It’s been far too long

since I’ve met a girl worthy of a love poem carved in chrome.
Where words like heart and home grow like rust feeding on a
wondrous surface, meaning expanding with time, like God
using the sunset to remind me of your name, the greatest

wonders unfold themselves slowly like secrets of a treasure
map. And I would get lost and found a thousand times
to discover what makes you glow from the inside out.

It’s easy for someone to say they’d be lost without you.
I would gladly be lost with you anytime and relish it,
drink in every wrong turn, use the mistakes to reinvent
our movements, discover dance, lost in the desert with night
as our orchestra. I have made more wrong turns in my life

than an epileptic with an Etch-a-sketch. i just want
my next mistake to be your body if only so you will hold it
against me later. I’m a gentleman, so I guess I’m  requesting

permission to remove our halos and take turns using them
as handcuffs. Lay intimately, you and me, with nothing on
but the radio to see if Ellington’s notes can hold a candle
wick to your curves, my fingertips playing the rhythm
of your spine while you sing arias to the angels.

I want to break rules with you like we could wish on them
or find fortunes hidden inside, kiss like we are in love
and have sex like when we started it was our first
but by the time we finished we were getting paid

by the droplets of sweat. You should know every time
a poet has sex an angel gets its wings and I’m on a mission

to fill God’s armies like the holy war begins next spring.

I can be as good as a saint or as bad as a thief, but with you

I want to be naughty, so spank me so hard I would tell you
where the slaves are at if I knew and I’ll taste you so deep
you’ll feel like you’re mainlining Miles Davis through an IV
the size of a flute. I could sit alone for an entire day
wearing nothing but your kiss. But, I imagine your skin
feeling better on me than mine ever did.

So invent me a word. ‘Cause when you first smiled
at me it lit a fuse. This imperfect poem burning
so hot behind these teeth, rattling cage walls,
fighting to break free. Now that it’s finally found
breath, it’s come out bruise. Having heard so many
good things, my words couldn’t wait to see you.

So invent me a new word.
one that can stand up to
the brilliance that is you.

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