Hand on Head (in gratitude to veda smith)

“I spent the afternoon with my Granddaughter, I was chewing an apple and she put her
hand on my head and she laughed. She is blind and deaf.”

the daughter of my daughter lives complete
with presence akin to gravity
that holds her gently attuned
without shadow or light
without boisterous or whispered vocabulary
and is perhaps content
with what I hope is love
as hand on head
with not a single doubt
she knows me by my chewing
and she laughs
and certifies
that where there’s touch
we are
a certain beautiful thing

—Ed Sancious

She’s Dead and Is

Tragedy rarely gives a heads-up
which is why it’s not so scary to run with scissors, 
it’s getting too near the edge that equals dread.
and she, like a lemming magnetized to cliffs,
loving that tenuous moment 
encouraged stillness to encounter chance.

She confessed
“it brings me closer to the sublime
and resolves most mysteries”. 
As proof she shared that
“elephants speak below the hearing of humans”
and swears
they told her that the universe pivots 
on dual confessions - 
  • one confirms that love is blind,
  • another always says yes to letting your light go out.

She mutters and repeats and mutters
these invocations like a monk intent on sainthood 
with a whispered benediction 
“to just feel it.” 
“To be like purloined moonlight giving texture to the dark.”

She offers thanks and gives instruction
saying an ending must have the strategy
to nod like you’re in the know
with what the voices of angels intone
as they, like elephants, vocalize low.

She waits 
for memories and 
feelings and
questions to come,
staying chaste
like acolytes on Sunday morning cruising the aisles, 
spreading incense to mask the stink of death,
an aromatic diversion inviting faith,
the kind that comes without
guarantee of reward.

Hers was a life that struggled 
to live the lessons learned
that love has no human face
and hers is that of a stranger.

So now no more attempts to flee
that tenuous moment 
when stillness embraces chance 
and romance accommodates apocalypse.

She’s dead and is still remembered
like a thousand Roman years 
of empire in decline
love can imitate Byzantium.

—Ed Sanctious

two hearts might make a hero

in this paragon’s fortress of solitude
all my thoughts are heroic.

as more and more
it takes less and less
to hold this imaginable, 
almost alien, hope that love
might breed us into heroes
with powers to fool and pardon
with an x-ray vision to see, 
and be, 
that tender infinity 
between those moments of making a self.

in truth, I wonder if love can have a hero

although there are those times without doubts 
about the clarity of supposition,
where there’s touch
that certifies
that we can be 
a certain beautiful thing.

two hearts that craft a hero’s code.
that spooned, attuned,
in semi-sacred consolation
for 20 and 10 remembrances
which lessened the room for doubt.

yet still …
even with heated flesh on flesh 
I find sometimes 
it’s lust 
that gets defined 
as love.

but hoping heroes are human too 
with all the villains of imagination subdued 
we are just hearts 
enticed to hold each other’s 
every fragile awkward gesture,
affirmed to be enough.

two heroes, two hearts 
without the need to be persuaded.
to simply be an imprint 
on impermanence, 
heading home

remembering, embracing 
the rhythm, 
the patience 
of ordinary things,

which is all that love may very well be.

—Ed Sancious


The photo was taken by my classmate Yaacov in Israel of the Mediterranean at sunset.  
My dad might have seen the same sunset in 1920 at the age of 6 in Beirut.  
Buddha was the work of AI. All I did was to bring these two voices together.

—Kim Mosley