Melanie Simms
VOYAGER (for Jay Fuller)

The voyager sails toward the
unmapped regions of a heart,
slipping silently across its bow,
cautious of unpredictable currents.

He knows that love can be cast adrift
by the slightest miscalculation
of a cold, uncharted terrain.

Will he be wise, his compass sure and steady,
mapping the unknown currents in the dawn
of capsized dreams?

He is undaunted, waits for the opportune time
before he rides a current straight away,
seeking the sign of the sailor's delight;
a red sunset that may tell him it is safe
to harbor here, despite the memories of last
night's perilous storm

Will the heart be steady and let this voyager
be delivered, casting his anchor safely as Ulysses,
unbewitched? Or will he give way to the siren songs
of Aglaope and Parthenope, and the fickle winds
that seduce men back to sea?



NIGHT POEM (For Jimmy Baca)

I wait outside your adobe
for the light to come on in your window.
I wait alone in the darkness,
looking for you in the moonlight.

I know that any moment I'll hear
a whisper in the wind, "He's coming,"
and you will return, weary but glad
after a dark night's journey, where you
have braved demons and madness, and
you will invite me inside and we will
drink and make love till we can
no longer breathe, and you will tell me again,
"I will never leave you."


LITTLE GOD (for my son, Chris Simms)

My son doesn't know
his own strength. Shadows
flicker across the room,
ducks, rabbits
and wolves.

He has made them
with his hands
and watches them dance
across the moonlit wall.

He laughs as he creates
creature after creature,
my little god.



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