I’ll Be Right Here Every Time

featured in the poetry forum December 31, 2022  :: 0 comments

Tonight, everyone wears party hats
and the stars are champagne
spilled over the skyline.
Music plays loud at the party.
Kristin hugs me and I pour a cocktail.
I’m always wistful this season.

I’m at the age when
every play makes me cry.
Even after all the poems and therapy,
I know so little about anything.
I commit mistakes.
I give apologies,

but let me say this wish
for another turn around the sun–
no matter what comes,
high water or new worries,
may we carry each other through.
I often don’t know what to do,

and friendship has saved me.
When my favorite actress sings,
“I’ll be right here every time,”
I hear the magic in that tune.
Dear one – Happy New Year.
I’m grateful to love you.

editors note:

Yes! Let’s carry each other through. HNY!! – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum August 27, 2022  :: 0 comments

Last week, we talked about longing.
“I’m not getting any younger,” I said,

“I want everything–
more and more and more of it.”

We send messages.
We make dinner plans.

Summer is coming.
Can you smell it on the breeze?

Give me the endless blossoming,
birthdays and dancing,

long walks among gravestones,
the perennial reincarnation,

love begetting love
again and again. Amen.

editors note:

Yes! Amen. – mh clay

Talk About Dreams

featured in the poetry forum June 10, 2022  :: 0 comments

Dean–did I tell you grandma
visited my sleep two weeks ago?
She stayed only a short while
before saying, “Darlin’, I have to go.”
I woke up crying in a hotel bed
and stepped outside to hear the ocean
before I could rest again.

Dean–let’s talk about last night’s premonition.
We went shopping in a big market.
There were so many bags
we could barely carry them.
Then we found our way to a park,
where we napped on the grass,
surrounded by our new things.

Dean–in the first dream I had about you,
we sat at a cafe in Brooklyn.
We wore black t-shirts and sipped lattes.
You reached across the table,
held my forearm, and said,
“It’s okay. We’re learning.”

Then a wave of water rushed through the shop
and washed us onto the sidewalk.
We laid on our backs, chatting
while the sun warmed us.
I remember feeling grateful
as we told stories in the light.

editors note:

Do we know what they mean if we’ll grateful be? – mh clay

Gray Skies with Gratitude

featured in the poetry forum March 13, 2022  :: 0 comments

Summer gave way to fall. Leaves changed, and the rules did too.
I said, “No matter what, I can’t wait to see you.”

How do we measure the love in our lives? For example,
what is the exact heft of my husband saying I deserve to be happy?

How does it balance with my beautiful friend, who said,
“You are very important to me,” then pulled our bodies closer,

my ear warm against his shoulder, while the East River washed away
the week’s pain? What scale could bear it?

How do we weigh each moment? How do we carry our love,
sometimes heavy, sometimes like air?

Yesterday, I cried by the water for a few good reasons and a few not.
Today, I floated—all the love buoyant and raising me into the sky.

Everything seemed small from up there—even my worries.
We could carry it all together, I thought.

I wish I understood the mathematics of tenderness.
I do know autumn came, the rules transformed—maybe only for now.

I said, “You matter to me,” and the gray clouds
were lined with gratitude. Every damn one of them.

editors note:

If not silver, thanks for gray. – mh clay

Whitney Houston Sings “Million Dollar Bill”

featured in the poetry forum December 16, 2021  :: 0 comments

Friday morning and everything
shines like a gold coin—the sun,
you on my cell phone screen,
robe thrown open
to show your shimmering body.

What a gift to have
this time with you, handsome—
both of us undressed
and speaking our desires.
After we’ve made it rain,
bills littering our longing,

I feel rich with every sight and sigh,
the conversation that follows,
the moment I see
your million-dollar smile
as we wish each other happiness
and sign off to start the day.
We are abundant.

editors note:

Make every one abundant. TGIF! (We welcome Isaiah to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

All in My Feelings

featured in the poetry forum September 17, 2021  :: 0 comments

Maybe it was listening
to George Michael sing,
“I Can’t Make You Love Me” on repeat,
or three days of summer rain,
the drops hitting the sill
in their unsteady rhythm.

Maybe it was my husband
calling to say, “I miss you,”
or my beautiful friend,
who pulled me into his lap
and kissed me so deliciously
my head filled with light.

Maybe it was the vaccine
running through my body,
spinning off cells to save me,
or Harlem waking from its long sleep,
people in parks again,
drinkers laughing at the bar.

Maybe it was another song,
the diva shouting, “I want you,”
over a disco beat,
and how that chorus caught
in my throat like a sugary sadness,
hunger, gratitude for living.
All of those feelings. All of them.

editors note:

Yes! All of them! – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum May 25, 2020  :: 0 comments

I want everything–
the pop song’s dance beat,

two glasses of wine, this kiss,
your hand on my hips,

happy hour haze,
tank tops, glitter,

the drag queen’s
too many costumes,

our bartender’s shirt off,
his smile when he pours

our last round,
sitting side by side

knees touching,
the train and its path home,

the sun going down
over Manhattan,

summer sweating
out our longing,

wringing us like a sponge,
a glass of water.

Baby, hand it over.
Let me drink up.

editors note:

A lovely thirst. Waiting for my everything, too. – mh clay

Splatter Reel

featured in the poetry forum November 29, 2018  :: 0 comments

I’m done with Desire,
that midnight menace,

but here he comes again
in his skin-tight tank top.

Even when I run,
he’s around every corner,

swallowing my screams,
mouth on mine,

his masked face
obscuring the stars.

editors note:

We cry “Victim!” as we open the wine. – mh clay