is love close or has the tide pushed it out. Note: I wrote another version of this poem almost two years ago. I have changed it some. I realize that it is a little heavy handed, but the moon, to me, is a very romantic figure. And its pull on me ... is very tragically romantic.
unforgetting stumbling out of hibernation, tripping over forgotten trenches, pawing earth and grazing sustenance- feeling slowly beats through the heart's anesthetized state. sleepy squints brush at the rise in light filtering through winter's peel- the periphery a golden crown, its warmth shocking each fossilized corpuscle. my heart is begrudgingly resuscitated, its memory impossible to delete, the source resurrecting the impulses unaware of what is harder to revive than surviving what was the cause of its initial incarceration. In college, I fell for a boy. We two instantly connected to each other’s hearts. But like many boys in college, he found another connection. One that I could not be for him. It was slow coming, and painful for him to realize. I lived in a cloud of hopefulness and held fast to the love that we felt for each other, and the commitment that we made. Having given up all hope too many years in, he came to me … wanted me. I said yes. I felt like the bear in the cave coming out after a long winter of hibernation. But I came out … because he was stamped on my heart. It didn’t take long though … January to August … until he realized that he feared the leap of faith. Characteristically, we were far away from home on a craggy cliff in the north of Ireland when he told me. And so heartbroken, I turned around, lived another week brutally disappointed, possibly shamed, and moved back to the cave that protected me from the icy chill and into the stale air that life without him left me. frost stumbling toward hibernation, pawing familiar tracks in darkness; first frost, petal snow whisper in the arctic air. sadly, autumn's sleepy squint neglects to reveal the inevitable- that ice storms again to freeze anything that may have held life. I retreat into you though suffocating in the stale air trapped since my last sleep. I think of that boy now. He is dead. He did come to me again … just a couple of years ago. We got lost in us. I was in it for … a lark, but for him … he seemed to hold tighter. I said, ‘what is it that you want from me?’ A question that I had never been able to ask before that moment. And when he said, ‘everything,’ I didn’t have that to give to him. I’m not a bear. I have to live all of the months out in the world, unhidden-unforgotten.
in the yard at noon the teetotaler stoops to pick the weed that happily populates hot summer lawns. careful to rinse the yellow blades of dirt and bug, setting to soak next to the jars and pots bubbling up ripened Michigan fruits. dandelion wine batched and aged, the bitter bloom fairy kissed- sweetens- in the dry of a cold cellar. in a few months time, never in her cups herself, she pours them for her boys 'round the table, the last of summer's tonic.
stumbling toward hibernation,
pawing familiar tracks in darkness;
first frost, petal snow
whisper in the arctic air.
sadly, autumn's sleepy squint
neglects to reveal the inevitable-
that ice storms again to freeze
anything that may have held life.
I retreat into you
though suffocating in the stale air
trapped since my last sleep.
muscled smooth tight round fire
in my belly
melting spots squeezed
during roller coaster rides.
standing - centered,
falling into a tight space,
steam escaping from a seam
that used to be my sex.
faster than I could
With the best tortillas in the city, I like to wrap up a spoonful of beans and rice, salsa and the salty beef egged mixture for a bite of all of the flavors rolled together into one. I guess that’s how I liked you too: wrapped in my blankets with a little of this and a little of that, something for me to sink my teeth into and feast on all afternoon. I stopped by the restaurante today looking for a little nourishment. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the taste of pepper and egg and meat tucked tight but I’d rather have a couple of hours wrestling with you, falling to the floor in tumbles of spice and tequila like back in the good ole days. Amigo, I’m hungry.
The lines on your brow were not there last I looked; nor was the skin as sallow. I know that pounds are falling off with each puff of cigarette and spoonful of cottage cheese. You lose it to lose the parts of yourself that she touched, that she gained in what soured. But it has settled into a stubbornness; pride in a flat belly, a brother’s envy. For Lincoln, the Civil War precipitated the process of death-like countenance. In his first masked sitting, Abe showed a strong jaw- muscled firmness. Aliveness. Four damning years of conflict cast a living face in bronze, his world became statuary. When I touched your throat where your shirt shows loss, I felt your heart beat, the skin was warm and the mark my finger made, sprang back. Supple. Your smile to me was not of sadness. It resonated through me electrically defiberalizing my heart. Resting peace is not ready for your brow- for me to bear witness.
pulled my tail.
conversation scratched my ears.
will roll over for a tickle.
Note: I just got off of the phone with a guy who cleans rugs. He asked about pets ... and I was reminded of my cat who gingerly walked around the rug from window to the outer boroughs of the living space. I don't know why he always walked around it. He was always deliberate in his movement. And he certainly wasn't shy about getting his paws and fluff on every other surface in the place. Sadly, he died. I can't seem to get around to getting another cat. No cat could replace the best one. And so I had to say to the rug guy: no, I don't have a cat ... anymore. I remembered that I wrote this little ditty when I hung up. Mister so loved to have his tummy tickled. I had wished that who I wrote this for would be as easy. Maybe I should've told the rug guy that there's no guy here either to muss up the rug. Just me.
ocean sky stall; cartoon belly crash 300 miles off course. scuttling coconut crabs carve flesh and carry bits of bone away from detection. pocket knife shards and cosmetic jar- catastrophic castaways.
Note: Someone explained to me what an Amelia Earhart's pancake landing meant. He had written a poem, not about Amelia Earhart, with the landing as an image in it. Interested, I googled Amelia Earhart. Though a search and rescue was ordered when she first disappeared, it was eventually called off, and evidence of what might have been her remains were left to what searchers are now speculating were giant coconut crabs that tore at their flesh, Amelia and her navigator's, and scuttled any other remains away. Back at the site, researchers did recover the 'pocket knife shards,' and what looked to be a compact. Interesting that this woman, ahead of her time and in the pursuit of a 'round the world dream, would carry powder for her nose. I imagine that was as much a part of her 'uniform' as anything else in that day and time. Did she apply it before the crabs devoured her flesh and carried her bones off, I wonder.
Note: I made this card for my dad when I was in second grade. I believe that it is the first poem that I ever wrote. I had learned how to make the card in school, and I was eager to try the technique at home. I made a mixture of glue and water. I laid leaves and sprinkled glitter on the wax paper, placed tissue over the top of the that, and then saturated the tissue with the glue mixture. I wonder why I had decided to make the card for my dad? Was it purposed? I don't know. But the card has held up remarkably well, and is one that I treasure.