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Seamless -   as that slickly sealed space
     where sticky speculations lie
     where "down-to-earthness" dryly dies -
were the fumbling hands that
     throbbing, in diligent desperation
     dragged my stone-weary self
     to my stumbling feet once more
(lingered lightly upon my hair)

"Tilt your face to the moon," you gently crooned
Still I stubbornly refused to move
Until your light became a looming presence-
     -then I swooned
"Damp softness & tear-steeled spirit
might make magic in the midst
     of seeping sanctuary-mist..."
	I cried and cried
but was soon brought back to the verge of might
your intangible arms somehow held me tight

As either phantom or conscience, you reside
	inside my mind
Love could grind me to a rind without you 
     at my side
He made the sky shift jarringly with his lies
And without you, a certainty:
	I would not have survived

Now- that I have observed life's peculiar hilarity
	you've been my long-time guide
     I can toss my head carelessly
	 in casual denial
     kick the can, grin recklessly, defy it all

Impervious to the expanding fog
     emitted gradually from the flaming want
     it hovers preciously above my head for a moment
	this quivering hope

Render me so foolish & guileless
So easily have you lured me into the purest
     love i ever could have had
	the horror of destroying

Seeking softly-spoken solace in the sleek silhouette
	of your stance
You glimmer-strike me fearless, 
	with but a glance
Gave me the last saving power of 
Wishing for your nearness, because
	without you, 
	we are seer-less     
Joe, my dearest friend - 

     you truly are so peerless

				Jan. 27, '97

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