Sunday, October 24, 2010

I wish the Emily had lowered the basket
Of muffins down to me
As I rushed home from school.
Suddenly, hanging in front of me,
A cautious, small hand propelled into
The air by tippy toes until stumbling upon
The treat.
(Something my mother would have
Discouraged before dinner.)
Into the apron pocket it goes
Laying beside a forgotten sea shell
And dirt.
I might not have noticed Emily
Standing in her window holding
The rope.
I would not have seen her white dress
Or her eyes,
Gazing down at me,
Knowing of my death, seeing the fly
Buzz along side of me.
There she would have stood,
Her presence reigning over me.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

If I could move the frame of a photo,
Slip it sideways,
Stretch the white lines so that I could see more.
Maybe then the memory would come into focus.
The hazy lights that accompanied that night
Would brighten with the flash
And impulses wouldn’t seem so
But the wooden frame that held
Us together
For so long,
Has now crucified us
As we are nailed to the post
By the angle of the photo.
Maybe if I could just
Stretch my heart back
Into focus as well.
Reign it in from out of the shot,
A palpable heart of
Blood and beating,
Still beating.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I have stretched my heart across the ocean,
Blood vessels strung along, tied together by
Arteries whose thick life carries the red and
White cell phone calls,
Skype messages, emails, and texts.

But it has grown
Thin as it stretched,
Not making the heart fonder
But smaller,
More transparent,
Pulled in so many
Directions that even
If it
It wouldn’t know which way to snap to.

So it snaps

It is flung toward the sun,
That should be a settling thought
Except for the fact that you don’t know
How far it is going to go
And the fact that the sun
Will burn the exposed muscle.

So I think it
I focus my heart into
The ground,
Into the cool dirt,
Wondering what roots have hidden here
Until they were ready for the sun.

And I wait.

Perhaps you have waited. You have
Sat, crouched until your legs grew so restless
That they ached
To move,
And suddenly
You moved
Before you were
That you
Were moving.

And my heart moved.
It rolled over,
It pushed up,
It was shocked back into life
By the rain and the rays of the sun.

No longer would it burn
But it would eat the sun,
Working photosynthesis
In with the blood
And cracking the soil from the veins.

But this time,
It held onto the Earth,
Onto where it was growing from
Until it was ready to move.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Soul Music

In black and white
The audience must weep grey,
As you ask,
Demand the piano its music.
Your eyes,
Unaware of your arms/
Fingers moving,
Watch the notes
Vibrating the air
Before they slip sweetly,
Into the audience’s ears.
You have contained your soul
Into notes,
Cutting it in tiny slivers,
Wrapping the slivers in black,
And playing them in cut time.
You offer up your slivers, your notes,
Your blisters and calluses,
Your dark circles under your eyes.
You relinquish them.
I take them. I bear them.
I form O’s with my mouth
Trying to sing them.
I cannot hold them.
They are yours,
They are not mine to hold.
We said that we saw the fairies,
Tiny women with wings
And dresses made out of leaves
And stockings to cover their knees.

You believed us.
It was a power greater than the girls
Held during the Salem witch trials.

The paper lies that we told,
Could have easily been burnt,
Smoky ash sent into the atmosphere,
Instead you believed the fairies flew there.

We had cut out figments of our
Imagination and sat them next to us,
Supported by hat pins,
To be caught in a lens.

What else were girls of ten
And almost sixteen to do
For a summer of white dresses
During the end of a war?

I had learned to put in focus the
Dead among the living,
Tall, silent statues of men
Who had resigned to Great Britain.

So I attempted to focus the unreal
Among the real,
A proof among theorems
Of natural in the unnatural.

I painted them and their stories
For Sir Doyal to believe.
I recanted years later,
After my own girls had grown

And the fairies were just memories
Of a hot summer in a new country.
But the fifth photo, a secret I don’t know,
A fairy I didn’t paint.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I saw the best minds of my generation sitting, staring.
You saw starvation in the pale faces, yearning,
Hoping, high on wanting to figure out life,
The spaces between your fingers.

I can only see emptiness, placid lips and eyes
Stuck, biting off the hard ends of fingers,
Chewing the cud, chewing.
Click, click, click, click, click.

You beat.
You beat down, hard, endlessly,
Until those who covered their ears and
Shut their eyes
Couldn’t avoid your screams,
The brightness that you are.

We do not beat.
We sit.
We do not have a reason to
Stand on someone’s
Front lawn,
To sit in their seats and
Question their government.
A government that we call
Our own.

Others have held cold,
Warm guns for us
To sit.
We expect it.
We have our own backs,
We pat ourselves
A congratulations.

Draw the blinds and see the sun:
That is our goal every
Slip into a warm bed:
That is our dream every night.
The hole in your shoe, the toe
That has no shelter,
The wind that scratches your back,
The rain that washes you clean,
We know.
We see.
We collect our tears
And dimes
But we shut the doors,
Lock the bolts
And go to our dinners,
To the reality in the boxes.

I am no better.
I sit clicking away
My own madness
With someone else’s
Bank account falling
Instead of

I fall too.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Damp breath; slow and sweet.
I inhale in your left over oxygen,
Sipping on the essence of you.
Your body becomes smooth sand,
Engrained in the indents of my fingers,
As I clasp it before
It falls through the hourglass
In an effort to gain more time.
Our fingers embrace in prayer
As silence takes our
Heartbeats and harmonizes them with
The fan, the occasional slam of a door.
We wait,
For sunrise slipping in the room
Beneath the curtain,
The tendrils of day
Ripping us away
From each other.