Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day, 2017

Last night loneliness crept beside me
wrapped my wrists in its claws and whispered,
  'You are alone.'

I am a grown woman
but felt like an adolescent girl
who can't find a friend in the cafeteria.

My father and my mother are dead
and last night I could not feel any sense of them.

Is it dramatic to feel like I wanted to die?

I fell asleep only to dream of my mother,
who no longer wanted to be around me.
My best friend didn't want to be my best friend. 
I suppose Heaven is better than any best friend.

Is it still too dramatic to feel like I wanted to die?

It's these holidays.
There is a global design to find the perfect gift for dad, 
and the sales stab my sad gut. 
All the ties, the books, the cards  
  everything hurts on Father's Day.

My brother just sent me a picture of the sky above my parents grave.
  'My view as I lay here with mom and dad.'

I don't really want to die.
I just want my parents back.

We are all young children, 
lost in the super-market,
trying to find our parents.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

the experiment, 4/30/17

I see your roots
exposed and long.
Your fingers are my downfall
and your speed is near mustang strong.

Your colored skin has seen the sun
and your eyes glisten like wet dew.

I am in Ohio
washing rags in righteous water
wondering what will this future say of its past.

I told you to follow your heart
but that was the full moon talking
and now the memory owns me
like the promised land owns my sister.

If I let you break the rules and move me
I'd be knocked out cold
with shoulders stretched beyond sockets.

There is a sprinkled spell in all this
magic, science, witchcraft, fairy dust, and god
making cells so
there is no release.

do you remember our first kiss?
because a thousand rising and falling suns won't forget.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

North Collinwood, 4/23/17

on tuesdays, fridays, and saturdays
i hear gunshots in bed.
only at night
do they catch my breath
when they wake me from sleep.
volume defines proximity.

every day, around the corner
artists gather to make music, sculptures, coffee, and Neapolitan pizza.
we drink mugs made in her studio,
wear scarves made in her workshop,
wear dresses designed in her store.
it's a living, eating, breathing-it-all-in community.

last easter weekend,
1.9 miles away,
a triple murder took place
leaving three children without their parents and family dog.
the street is numb.
the street is nauseous.

(shock drop and roll
while the media fails
the police force ails
and the councilman weeps for the nest he's trying to keep.)

every June
.4 miles away
the main street bustles with black, white, brown, pink
kids, grandmas, teenagers, stray cats and pit bulls.
west to east and east to west
food trucks dress the air with aromas,
music tickles feet with beats in the sidewalk
and everyone sweats beneath the summer sun.

every century,
the earth spins
and duality unfolds itself randomly
in the country, in the suburbs, in the city.

now,
balance.

Friday, April 21, 2017

the shape of my sleep, 4/21/17

At 4:56am I realize I sleep like my mother.

Turning to my side
I feel my knees bend and fold on each other
I feel my left arm cross over my neck
I feel my left hand land upon my pillow
and with bullet speed 
memories of my mother 
burst. 

Her arms were painted with freckles, 
shoulders to wrists, 
a pointillism tan.

Veins like mountain ranges 
rode the surface of her hands.
I followed them with my fingertips as a child
and turned her palm open
to find infinite life lines. 

Do I rest my elbow over my eyes
because it fits so
or
because she did?

It's been four years
I know
I don't miss you enough.
I reduce grief to fit in my pocket
  to function.

Here I am
awake and aware
in morning darkness.
I counted your breaths on the last day.

You were just here
are here
shaping how I sleep.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

the h word, 4/12/17

in third grade i was itching to age
and put my breasts in a training bra.

my mother and aunt joanie understood 
and carefully catered to my bumps.

who would i be without this female foundation?

no family man ever told me to follow my dreams
or fed faith in self.
there was little space for my voice in a room of brothers
  most used volume like a sword.  

my mother never shouted and i heard every word she spoke.

the idea of losing her sister
after losing her,
  annihilates me 
again.

at 95, there is not a wiser woman who knows my face
  yet it's been a year since I held her hand.

she is my mother's sister,
and i have forgotten to be my mother's daughter.
  
my own modern world fails.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

key west, 4/10/17

I am a passenger on the 7 Mile bridge 
where the midnight moon is full
and the ocean reflects like a poet.

I am a two hearted thing
and it will be this way indefinitely.
without a choice 
I am anchored to a double truth
land and sea
city and suburb
man and woman
living and dying.
I am led with a conscience,
  aware of duality.

Hemingway's bedroom smells like a distant grandfather
and cats sprawl across his mattress.
I touch the walls knowing my sentences are short
and I prefer dogs.

what if we woke up every day before the sun rose
and wrote the virgin thoughts of morning?
I imagine this 
  and collecting ceramic tiles for a floor I do not own.

today, I dabbed holy water on my forehead
showing my Protestant sister 
the father, the son and the Holy Spirit.
there is a difference
between a cross and a crucifix 
between our skin, its response to light
between the shape of our breasts,
but we still share smiles with our eyes.
the codes in our blood are magic and human,
despite all the bits and pieces that will never match.

I am drawn to people eager to sweat
who cherish the body, the shell, and romance
who know there is no warranty
who understand maintenance is required.

Away from winter and monotony 
my body whispers 'i am but once'
and the ocean reminds me to write this down.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

your kind whispers

You are not the Joe who frequents strip clubs
or the George naked beneath a trench coat

You don't offer candy to first graders on sidewalks
or dabble in online chats with curious preteens

You aren't an uncle in pursuit of his young kin
or the president who grabs women by their pussies

You are your own kind.

You play Jesus on stage
and draw in the fragile seeking affirmation.

You earn parental trust
then pour wine down virgin throats.

You whisper words you're gonna be a star
on staircases that lead to bedrooms.

You puzzle piece a cult together
and publicly appear perfect.

I'm forty now, not fourteen.
I don't know where you are
  but I know who are you.

I wonder how many stars have heard your whispers.
I wonder how many carry the weight of silence.