Things I would like to Do before I Leave You.

Via elephant journal
on May 31, 2014
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[“Things I Would Like to Do with You”: Join the Page, get the Book when it releases.]

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep. 

~ Robert Frost


I would like to do it all with you before I leave you. I would like to live this life entire with you, before we leave one another. I would spend my every morning with you, our friendship renewed each day with hot sunshine streaming through open windows with white linen curtains. Until we are white-haired and slow. Your eyes will always be young. I will sit on my favorite armchair and watch baseball on television and holler at our grandchildren to get out of the way and play outside.

I would like to do it all with you before I leave you. Until death do us part.


Love is music, but it is literary, too.

Love is loneliness, an empty glass—but the glass may be empty because two lovers drank it, naked before the hot fireplace, the night before.



I want you now.

I want you today.

I am willing to overlook your mistakes, if you overlook mine.

No: I will see all and you will see all and we will talk about it. Or make love about it. Or eat a lunch, silently, in blinding white sunshine, avocado and sriracha on toast, with a side of greens I bought for you at the Farmers’ Market this morning.

It is Saturday. I could spend all day exploring your back.

The nape of your neck, my tongue exploring your white teeth and wet mouth, your eyes blinking butterflies at me, your hair all messed up after you had taken the trouble to straighten it, so carefully. I do not approve of your straightening it: I want you as close to being you as possible, because I like you.

I like you so I could read a chapter of Huck Finn to you, or Fitzgerald, or Kerouac. I like you so I would like to hear you read the books you love to me: your books are boringly unknown to me but because they come from your heart up through your throat out your mint-scented lips into this air, I find enthusiasm for them now, too. They are part of my world, now, too.


It is tomorrow, now, we lived today so fully we tired it out.

If you asked me what I would like to do, which you do not, for you are lost in your pleasant dreams of us—well, I would like to walk through wildflowers and set up a hammock and read one of my books in it and fall asleep, the sleep of one who has worked too hard for too long and lost too much and won more.

If you join me you will curl onto me and sleep beneath the leaves, too. It is the sleep of two young lovers, face to face, close, silent, fully open like daisies turned calmly up into enough sun.

I would like to devour you so many times and you will consume me and we will visit one another so thoroughly we had better bring a backpack full of safety, or we will get started on future plans before we would like. Our hungers must flow up and down, if they did not this teeter totter would only totter and our match would go out. Your hunger is greater than mine, at times, our appetites entwine, braiding up and down, when I am tired you are tigress, when I am tiger you have a small soft smile on one edge of your sleepy mouth.

I would like go out with you, in my town where I know everyone—but I do not introduce you. I have introduced all the others and you are special and they will be able to tell.

I would like to visit you, alone, leaving my town behind. The middle of your woods, your cabin, your captain’s chairs on your porch, your favorite forest walk.

My edges are rounded: like wood that has lived in water for too long, I am stronger now, I do not succumb to self-pity and I do not float. How am I still strong? I am actually soft.

When the winds storm, I take down my sail. When the winds blow steadily, I raise it, again. I do not mind getting wet, I enjoy it and whoop and yawp. My expectations have been lowered by a long line of beautiful women who may be right for some handsome lover, but not for me. On empty nights I wonder if I am sailing over the horizon, alone.

My expectations have tottered because they are too high. Meaning: I want a match, no less, and I do not find it, so I no longer expect it. So you are like an extra pint of ice cream, a welcome rain shower on a hot summer’s afternoon in this mountain valley, a flourish at the end of a calligraphed sentence. You are something extra that I did not and could not expect. You are a human being; you are my friend.

My past relationships are like jenga: or how I enjoy piling cans one on top of another in the grocery line until they are almost as high as my head—too high, and they would all fall down.

Even if you were open, now, which you are not— we would probably not work. The odds are low. It is not likely.

But she who will match me will not be a bar game, she will be strong, from old stock, bare feet in the forest, red brick, worn brass, wide bark, polished cobble stone. She will be you will be an art, not a matter of odds.

Your legs, beneath a short black dress, old-fashioned glasses, hair in a bun, laughter, open mouth and white teeth and chatter with a lovely friend and tea, your mug too hot to the touch for a few minutes.

I sit wearing a white and navy checkered shirt, in a worn out rocking chair, in short shorts, and flip flops, leaning back carefully toward the old brick. This brick has stood here for an hundred years, with ladies in hoop dresses and gentlemen in top hats walking by or riding by on silly bicycles or nodding horses. And now teenagers with snapchat and instagram stumble by, too important for the present moment. I would like to take the back of your neck in my hand and cradle it.

You would like my friends and I would like your friends and I would ignore your friends and you would ignore my friends and is is okay, either way. We are not clingy. When you flirt with my friends I will flirt with your friends, see if you like it. If you cross the line however I will burn our dry fields and leave smoke behind, and never return. I am not one for games or jealousy, drama is unethical.

I would like to be alone with you and alone without you. Our social life would be like the seasons: fast summer, engaged autumn, cozy winter, joyful spring. I have unbuttoned your summer dress to see your breasts. Your bare feet are grounded, your character is settled, your words precise as bird’s songs: precise like good jazz, not rigid or careful.

And so I say let us start by your coming to me or my going to you. I am good at cutting through the time-space continuum–the only thing holding us back is our dating others, and your hesitation. I will fly to you and rent a room for a week and a bicycle and make trouble in your city. Or I will send a dragon to you and you will ride it to me for a date in some castle. My dragon friend will have you back within the hour after our first date. No need to blow dry your hair. Just hold on tight and wear spandex beneath your ball gown.

We can not know if it will work but we can play—our destiny, a rippling banner taut in the wind.

If you want to visit, do so, or if you want me to visit I would like to do so, or if we want to adventure somewhere (hot springs, bike tour, surfing), just say the word and I will make it work.


“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” ~ Thomas Merton


You are not my dream girl. You are this earth. You are real. You are not a fantasy: you are my love. And love, I have learned, is friendship, lit by a wooden match with a red tip with a white tip on the red tip. I am your match and you are my match.

We will travel around this globe together, going to the hard-to-get-to places, and if we come out the other side then our adventure will continue.

But it begins now.

Open my door. I will open my door. Like two hungry tigers, we patiently wait at the edge of the jungle. There are many animals to pounce upon but I do not want them. I want to, together with you, make a meal and sit down to eat it with a lit candle in a golden candlestick. Tigers don’t eat tigers—they make love to them.


I am sad, today, so sad I fear I make others sad in my path, but my sadness is not badness, it is tiredness, for you are my water, and I have traveled long, long, long in this life without you.

Are you tired for me, too?

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8 Responses to “Things I would like to Do before I Leave You.”

  1. elephantjournal says:

    Helen M That is the whole point I think …. That to do all those things it would take a life time….so the only end will be when one or other leaves the other at the end of his or her natural life through old age or illness .That is the beauty of this piece of writing ,at least in my view.

    Waylon Lewis Yes. That is the point: that our love isn't about infatuation, it's about that friendship that wants to renew itself every morning.

    Cienega can't there be a happy ending? the perfect union that carries love beyond form, beyond language, beyond time herself? the mirror of wholeness that leaves nothing to be desired, nothing – in fact – to leave? the poetic twinge of longing.. the addiction to the loneliness.. it only serves to bring us through the dark night, to release the fear of traversing the deep woods, alone.. where we compost our sorrows into the richest soil, birthing only the most beautiful blossoms.. nothing left to want.. only to know, only to be, only to celebrate – to surrender joyfully into the bright sun of a new day, yes! it is you! it always has been! your beloved is already standing by your side – do you feel her? She will never leave you. She is you. She dances you into existence…… Trust. Only trust.

  2. Catrina says:

    I don’t know if this is directed to a specific person or not. Your love posts lately are certainly beautiful. I hope you find your match.

  3. Maggie says:

    Things I would like to do with you on a Sunday/// I read today that our senses are what stand between us and the world. I imagine that touch, taste, sight, sound and smell are the ephemeral threads that link us, and my "sense" is pure pleasure in this moment! I found the key to your heart by unlocking my own. These days, I relish my position at the centre of sensory and artistic life, and you fan the flame of my desire to experience it. You make the world FEEL beautiful. Your fingers on the guitar strings fills the kitchen with sweet ease as I do the dishes. I smell your earthiness before the weight of your body settles at my back. My hands and mouth anticipate you as you reach around my waist- four hands now swimming in dishes. I dare not look down at our fingers intertwined, and I imagine the corner of your lips upturned. Like an artist, you are crafting a deliberate build until neither one of us will be in control. Ah, the REAL art. It reminds me of how entire worlds are built from such simple acts of sensory overload. As soapy suds spill over the countertop and the kitchen becomes an instant water park, I laugh at how something so clean can become so gloriously messy. I love meeting you at a kitchen sink level. I'm convinced that your genius is in your ability to take my sterile moments and f–ck me up so completely. I'm overflowing with our creative alchemy of sensation that gives way to simplicity beyond all this complexity.

  4. enterthechrysalis says:

    I would love to be your lover.

  5. twomoonsrising says:

    You are so eloquent, making all of us fall for you. Were we to stumble across each other in a hallway somewhere, me singing Angel From Montgomery (because no one is around), and you beat-boxing to the rhythm of your corduroy pants (vootvootvoot), I think we'd fall in love. Can we arrange for this?

  6. Lucy says:

    perhaps it is because today was a good day, but instead of plopping down in my lonely gut this frolicked into my hopeful heart. it will happen when it happens. 🙂 can't wait for you and for me and everyone else.

  7. DrAndrea says:

    🙂 loved this one too, thanks for the smile today! and i totally agree with lucy! 🙂
    also, i just happened to drive to colorado. maybe i will see you, or someone else kind and friendly, in a coffeeshop around here, and you can be sad if you like, temporarily, and i can be happy if i like, temporarily, because i just quit my job and decided to travel and would like to meet interesting silly souls along the way, and because i survived a scary tire blowout at the tunnel yesterday so everything is swimming along perfectly as usual, despite having no plan and no one to talk to today in particular, so maybe you would like to talk to someone who doesn't mind if you're sad sometimes, and you can convince me to move to colorado since it's so nice here, in coffeeshops, and friends' houses, and hikes 🙂 and maybe also convince me to use fewer commas and actual sentences sometimes…

  8. mrp says:

    I think it would be very annoying to have to do and be all of these things for and with you.