Paul Resnick is an American poet, living in suburban Connecticut. He was published in his high school’s literary arts magazine 30 years ago, but took a long break from writing after college to focus on his graphic design career. Over the last couple years, he’s again found his love of the written word.
The Love of God
The sun bustin’ through the hole in my mamma’s old shade, turning a spotlight on that same bowing, bent nail, (Mr. Mornin’ Nail) that I wouldn’t let no one pound down. He’d whisper, “You betta git up, boy, ‘fore I git you up,” thinking eggs just fry all by themselves, and coffee’s just a smell that happens in the morning. And, no day but Sunday was ever any different in my family’s faces and clothes. But, sometimes we’d hurry the morning to meet by our fishing rock with our initials engraved like a promise ring for no one to see, in that white blinding sun that made us squint all the time, and that oppressive heat that made it so natural to swim naked together, and before we even kissed. Our parents skinned us good. They double-dated in high school, and it must be true what they say about people who’ve suffered together, because they never lost touch. Even our brothers mingled in dirt, and cheap beer pick up trucks of our dirt town. Once, when we were eight, they fed us mushrooms picked from some dung pile. We must’ve looked like kittens, mindless from catnip, spooky and possessed, wrestling gently down the damp, green hill where we’d someday make love, as the sun’s going down like a personal favor from God himself, like everything that happened while we were melting into one person, learning more about each other than ourselves. I never asked her to our prom, not like other people who get nervous and infatuated, thrilled, then depressed, who pass notes and rumors, turning their soil over and over, planting seeds, letting old loves die. I barely remember proposing, and she barely remembers accepting, too. No one was surprised to hear, because, they’d say, “Thought you’s married already.” Most people who think they’re in love really aren’t. But, I know Jimi Hendrix knows a thing or two about what love IS. and how life IS, and how sometimes you can love someone for too long. When our little girl’s asleep, we sit outside swinging in the cool, night air. Sometimes I sing her the most romantic song I know... “Hey Joe, where you going with that gun in your hand?” “I’m going down to shoot my old lady. Ya know, I caught her messing ‘round with another man.”
We Need To Ride
I can hear your thunder coming from the ridge of Echo Drive. As I wipe my tins and headlight, it’s a good day to be alive. The morning sun burns off the haze, igniting ways that we’ll escape. Twist the throttle and boots up brother. We’re out to discover a new landscape. Aw, but you need some coffee and you’re low on gas. If you fall asleep riding I’m gonna watch as you crash. So, we stop to smoke a butt under the overpass. “What did you do last night?”, Well, I’m afraid to ask, because you look dead inside. Yeah, you look dead inside. So, we need to ride beside the ocean’s tide on a mission to infiltrate, these streets of desire with our tires on fire where wild women don’t hesitate. We need to ride. Now, blowing in the wind is pure medicine, soaking through skin with each mile. As kickstands flip down at Harry’s Place your face just can’t help but smile. And we crack jokes about those pacts we wrote, yeah, back in our childhood. Bud Light on tap, I make you laugh, a cheeseburger never tastes so good. Aw, but the rain comes on fast. We get soaked to the bone, stop at that graveyard where you read the headstones. “Lucky bastards!” you say. I let you chuckle alone ‘cause I know where you’re going with these dark undertones, and your mind is a landslide. Your mind is a landslide. And, we need to ride beside the ocean’s tide on a mission to infiltrate, these streets of desire with our tires on fire where wild women don’t hesitate. We need to ride. The bugs of night lit by our headlights aren’t going to live for long. Blood brothers blazing beneath the stars, I swear I can hear our own theme song. Now, I watch the weekend warriors in packs, cut tracks to attack the coastline. I can’t believe what was once so important is just a gut wrenching tour through time. Aw, but you get what you need, another self-sabotage. Everyplace that we rode goes in your tribute montage. I’m hearing your thunder but it's a sonic mirage, because your wheels and mine are in my fucking garage and I’ll never be rectified. I’ll never be rectified. I’ll never be rectified. I’ll never be rectified. ‘Cause we need to ride untied and purified on a mission to infiltrate these devils’ dens that could not be cleansed, where I watched you evaporate. Yeah, we need to ride untied and purified on a mission to infiltrate these devils’ dens that could not be cleansed, where I watched you evaporate. We need to ride.
Seedling Queen of the Mountains
I can see you clearly, through your childhood-in-a-box, with your eyes set squarely on your diary left unlocked. And your round barn despair, for your sweet Aunt like a saint, combing knots from your hair where the landscape artists paint. Tender Seedling Queen of the Mountains. You dove, feeding bread crumbs to fountains. My empty porch watching this lonely moonlit snowstorm, while my seedling queen opens her oven to keep warm. Counting coffins unmarked, from unkept rows of paupers’ graves. Looking up from the dark you see faces of love that save. With your diagnosis news like a curse in your angry fist, and your dirt-bike-boys confused by your motherhood chores remiss. Tender Seedling Queen of the Mountains. You heart, bleeding beauty like fountains. My bad love chains restraining me to my chair, while my seedling queen improves to step-down care. Somehow, one day I knew there’s someone true I have to find, where brilliant skies of blue lead to hills rolling undefined. And kissing you since time began, the seeds on north winds blown, showing that you are stronger than pine countrysides of home. Tender Seedling Queen of the Mountains. You believer in coin-wish fountains. My salvation found, my living room wedding band, where my seedling queen reigns love on hourglass sand.