Let LOVE strangle us by the necks, hugs suffocate us until we violently sweat, changing our lies for sweet nothings, and incantations to blessings. Blue skies come and go like the smile on my face disappears when lightning strikes, not once but twice, in exactly the same place(s) everyone: a storm is coming, like the second coming of Christ, full of grace, moving across the plain during old days of glory, same sunrise, sunset, different story, depending on my mood, and if I wear my shirt inside out and backward; it’s still me in sheep’s clothing until I pick up my shepherd’s rod and part the sea like Moses, damned if you do, damned if you don’t, trapped here on planet Earth, in a tornado shelter, in a bomb shelter, knitting my last sweater for the moment(ous) occasion when I meet my maker, and He meets me for the first time, and the last time, and every time in between. That’s when I raised my hands to the sky, like a thief caught under a bounty by the county Mountie, he’s a tin star in the Northern sky that shines a light in the middle of the night, when I thought I caught a glimpse of my fate, could be there was never hate in my heart; just a complaint of pulling the apple cart up that hill, pulling my weight, until the wheels fell off and the cart busted under dark grey skies before I turned to the knife and gun; I never killed a man nor my desires, though I would have if I had the chance to dance in the clouds one more time, to keep these sayings in a rhyme, to keep me from stepping on my own two feet, God forbid I repeat myself, doff my hat, tip my cup, taste my wine to my lips, too drunk to shake my hips in this house of the holy; hold on for my prayers, forgive me for my closed eyes; try my mood on for size, just look me in the eyes and tell me I’m full of lies, and if I’m worthy of saving one more time, in this rinse, lather, repeat world. Put your own hands in prayer, you might find yourself there, in the golden west. Where does the sun go when it says goodbye, then says hello? All I can do is put on those jeans, tunic, oil, and crown of thorns, and hope the unfoldment to show my crooked teeth, bare my soul, make me whole, watching shadow stretch, then shrink, making me think, too much. The noose of LOVE tightens around my neck, trees stretching up to the shiny dark sky, but I still can’t sleep. No. Not a peep.