Hope springs eternal until there’s a leak on the slip n slide of life.
The tallest house I lived in was two stories.
The tallest building I’ve been in was 102.
I’ve flown in the sky at 35,000 feet —
So high the people looked like dust.
The moon is 238,000 miles away.
Mars is 140 million miles away.
When I get there, how minuscule will people look then
When there is no limit to how high we can fly?
Don’t talk too much.
Don’t play too loud.
Be the good little girl that whispers to her imaginary friends while serving them tea.
Mommy has a headache.
Daddy is tired.
Sister’s in the hospital.
Brother’s in jail.
Whisper to yourself that it’ll all be OK.
Watch out for the bubblegum – its flavor, watermelon or strawberry, long
Ago popped away into a tiring state, set to
Labotomize the cement, filled with its own troubles of cracks and
Krakens the city refuses to maintain.
Instead, they invest that money in themselves and their
Nagging egos that balloon with each neglectful
Grant that promises to help the homelesspoordisablesdisadvantagedchildren
In a city that talks like angels but acts like fools.
No wonder we won’t give up our gas-guzzling cars,
Laden with quiet and calm and the fake scent of pine.
At least the bubblegum droppings are mine.
The dirt is destroyed from swaying years of care and neglect.
A layer of new sod with that green wire that doesn’t biodegrade
followed by no watering, no tending, no rinsing. Dust. Repeat.
But I dig down. First with the tiny shovel. Then the big one.
Then I pickaxe through the layers of my backyard Napolean,
Reading the stories of the owner’s past.
One tried roses.
One loved jacaranda trees.
One settled for ficuses.
Still I dig, to add to the tale –
Below the petunia,
I’ll plant the bones of my husband.
Up in the sky where the clouds mix with soil
Grows brambles of plumquat and shrouds of cosmonaut
On hedges and homes in emeralds that never spoil
As the chocolate scent of flowers dance and dip and plot
In the dreams of the people that never toil.
The vines wrap around and through till taut
Wrinkling the air to soften the garotte.
You, the pinkest of water lilies to be plucked. Me, the pond scum that gets tracked home on worn shoes whose soles have cracked apart and left to rot in a corner of a dark and damp garage.
Life’s not fair.
No matter how hard I try, I can’t stop the sun from rising.
I can’t stuff it back into the box it came in.
Or return to sender.
I asked the moon to work a double shift.
And even called gravity to retire early.
They are simply cogs in this machine of life, too.
The only thing left to do is learn to enjoy it.
Last night howling in my head
like the twist of a knife –
The unsure awkwardness
The tequila soda ramblings
The dancing, sweating, eyes wide open
To the ifs, buts, whys that never end.
But it does, it will.
It all will one day.
So let’s meet again tonight under the stars lest it be our last.