Home [12]

My four walls wrapped around me
that hot summer of your defection.
Silence so loud it almost drowned out my despair.

I opened the windows wide and the white cotton curtains swayed in the slight breeze;
the roar of bees outside on the dandelions in the unmown yard was deafening in the hush.
The roses bloomed brightly – they did not know I was in grief, in rage?

Around my chair in the corner I piled books and got lost,
not reading words but living inside stories, images of love lost, of starting over….of home.

Cars hummed on the street outside; kids on skateboards clacked by shouting to each other but inside I went to Mexico, to Italy, to Ireland and England, to China and to India. I cooked with Julia Child, hunted houses with Francis Mayes, and visited the exotic Marigold hotel.

And every time I surfaced you were less distinct, your edges less sharp and painful.

 

[unfinished]

 

Unheard [7 – #song]

A girl and a guy walk into a bar like the start of some bad joke.
There’s some country-pop-Americana band playing in the corner under the Bud Light sign and no one dancing on the parquet.

It’s the best summer of his life, only he doesn’t know it.The girl is pretty, in a married five years with two kids kind of way. It is not the best summer of her life. It’s the summer he’ll leave–but no one knows that yet, not even him, for he pretends everything’s fine except that maybe he looks a little too long at the waitress when she drops the longneck on the sticky table.

He doesn’t look at his wife; she crosses her legs and swings one booted foot and watches the bartender, wishing she could sit at the bar and have the conversations that her husband won’t have with her.

The band plays, but no one’s listening.

 

Dear Me, Age 29, About to Get Married [11 – #dearformerself]

You’re going to regret this.
He’s not “the one;” he doesn’t even love you.
You’re going to cry on the way back up the aisle after and they will not be tears of joy because somehow, you already know.

But marry him anyway, because for you there is no other way to learn this lesson–
that God is a God of grace, not judgement; that He is the One True Love of your life;
that he has more grace and goodness in store for the rest of your life than you could have ever imagined.
That you are beautiful, and worthwhile, and courageous, and you have so much to offer the world.

It will take a long time to get there–years, and then a decade or more, but you will see so many sights along the way and have so many new experiences; you will wonder at this man’s lack of courage, thought, love.

And one day, someone will show up at the door of your own home and look at you, and you will begin to learn about love.

This marriage is a terrible doorway to a new world and how it’s going to hurt going through but in the end you will be so grateful for the entire thing you would do it again.

Skyline [10 – #selectedwords]

We climbed slowly
so slowly through the hushed fog of morning,
through dripping fir and cedar so silent we could hear birds crying,wheeling distantly overhead.

Kulshan’s peak towered in the unseen distance,
touched only by moonbeams, far–but not far enough–from the city’s concrete and noise.

We lost ourselves in the snowshelves of the trail,
before bursting out onto the ridge where
we heated the canteen and had a biscuit
and some damn fine coffee.

Paris in the Fifites [9 – #booktitle]

Paris in the Fifties

Is the last book I bought at the used bookstore.

It sings with romance, with champagne, baguette, and brie

I will read it in a crinolined Chanel dress

And Audrey’s sunglasses, and my feet will not hurt in my high red heels.

 

We will walk in the steps of Julia Child to Cordon Bleu and find the haunts of James Baldwin, Edith Piaf, Sartre, and Sylvia Beach.

We will live la vie en rose and drink cafe au lait and eat croissant.

 

I will kiss someone under the tour Eiffel and he will murmur j’taime

We will dance by the Seine, look across the rooftops of Montmartre,

and make love under the vast Parisian sky.

I attribute [5]

I attribute this nonsense to the
cat walking across the keys

She made a salad of letters
as good as anything else I wrote on purpose

I saw Hemingway’s house from a distance;
We craned our necks to see the doorway to the foyer where he left.

Is it paranoia if you’re right about them watching?
Isn’t it easier to give in to the fear and build your walls high to keep them from seeing you
whether they are the FBI or the one you love?

I attribute this poetry nonsense to falling in love, to falling off a cliff,
to having the layers of a decade peeled back by the light in your green eyes.
I thought I was fine and life was fine and I could enjoy this moment in the sun and that moment in the rain and see the difference between the two but
then I read about bravery and vulnerability and even tattooed it on my arm seemingly to no avail because now I am afraid.

I attribute this fear to now having your green eyes to lose where before
there was only this cat.

 

How can you see what isn’t there? [6 – #lockedout]

My roommate arrived one day frantic
locked out of her car and couldn’t be late for work again
so I gave her the keys to my own car.

I went for a walk across town and found her car,
keys dangling from the ignition
and the window rolled all the way down.

down for the 3rd time [4 – #image]

sinking

in a starless sky

paralyzed

can’t catch my breath

i know i’ll die if i stay here

but i can’t move for

this sharp pain of memory

i have certainly loved before, lost before, and missed before

but this is the third time and i am

going down

 

Raspberries [3 – #senses #walk]

The sun never gets too hot on the west side;
instead of vineyards we had raspberry fields;
acre after acre of tangled vines.

In other towns, the trucks smell of black exhaust
but here, the trucks trail the scent of ripe raspberries as they roar by.

I went to the upick and wandered through the field, down the row of vines until the farmer was out of sight
and filled my little bucket for jam, for pies, for something to create.
The air is perfectly still but still the dust sticks to my legs.
Children call from row to row with red-stained mouths and the bees hum

and the entire world is reduced to these 5 acres in this moment.