This is the only Friday Love Poem that has ever been accompanied by a picture of a picture on my refrigerator. That's the picture Ben gave me when I left California ten years ago last month. He is one of my oldest and best poet friends and I can't tell you how happy I was to find this poem in my inbox, especially since it is telling me exactly what I need to hear.
Lost At Sea
Somewhere someone is traveling furiously toward you - John Ashberry
Run. Do not let him catch you.
The green in his eyes is cloudy and unreadable.
You've read about his kind in the paper,
the haunted look, the dark secret that dares him to break you.
He knows the line to cross,
how to take you back to the summer you were 17,
when all you could dream of was escape.
The loneliness was the open sea
and you knew it would never let go.
Its dark water was as endless and black as an oil spill,
and no one could see the waves you made.
He's coming for you, so run fast.
If you're daring, run towards him, meet him halfway.
His eyes might regain the sparkle they had years ago.
You've seen the same haunted look in the mirror,
and you realize he's still lost at sea.
Years of isolation have left him battered,
anger the only thing keeping him warm.
You can see that he's afraid to smile
as though the upturned corner of his mouth
were a blade that's cut him too many times.
If you are daring, heal him.
Share the dream of escape as a dream fulfilled.
Take him in your arms and hold him
until the frightened child inside is calmed.
Hold him until he becomes the man you both need him to be.
Make your choice, but whatever you do, run.
Previously published in Don't Blame the Ugly Mug: 10 Years of Two Idiots Peddling Poetry available at poetryidiots.com
Ben Trigg is the co-host of Two Idiots Peddling Poetry at the Ugly Mug in Orange, California. When not at the Ugly Mug, Ben spends his time using a BA in drama to work in educational research. He's also known to be lost in a comic book at any given moment. He has performed throughout Southern California, parts of the Northeastern U.S., and in Texas as part of the Austin International Poetry Festival. His first full length collection Kindness from a Dark God came out on Moon Tide Press in 2007. He was published in the Orange County/Long Beach Poets Anthology, Incidental Buildings and Accidental Beauty, and the California Poets Anthologies So Luminous The Wildflowers and Blue Arc West. Ben was also one of the organizers behind the first Orange County Poetry Festival in 2002, as well as subsequent festivals in 2003 and 2004.