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 and 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.