Month: July 2015

Renaissance, We Are

lakelights

(a poem in celebration of the Lakelights Art and Music Festival 2015)

Burn your ties, bring your love.

Like a child in the clover fields. Follow

the path of welcome signs.

Balance yourself where you are, spread your toes

sink your bones into the earth and witness.

Witness.

Without reconnaissance. Startled. Sedate.

Seeking kindness in the void.

There are places for laughter

unhidden

lucid

in your throat, pulling from the belly.

Spontaneous

as the creation of the universe. Joy

in supplication

let me tell you a story about the oyster

a stranger said

with a smile as wide as summer afternoons

it belongs to you,

(stay with me.)

you are the oyster. Dance this around

in your head like stars. Unabbreviated.

Love rises like sea foam. Splitting. Throw it open

like the shores of Spain, Ireland

and lakes in small towns where corn stalks sway

listen

the artists rise like storms thundering

the sound of dancing feet, bare, drums

pounding sleek, warm with body

heat cool as sipping air between your lips. mandating

rituals new as a child’s first cry old as harvest moons.

Thrum.

Thrumming.

Halcyon roots of Mesopotamia

Kaleidoscope sutures loose as limbs

drunk

on Whitman, Frida Kahlo and ragtime beats.

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One Day This Boy

One day this boy will be a man. He of the

sun-bleached  hair and long eyelashes

who smells like dirt under the nails, peanut butter

watermelon shampoo and hugs with his entire being.

I wonder if I will grieve this boy-thing beasty that

would rather dig holes in the yard with a spoon or

create wild art with torn sheets of notebook paper. No.

There can’t be grief where there are long walks holding his

square hand in mine studying bees and looking

for storm clouds and once he said he wants to be a father

and have a wife. My heart stuttered stopped my

eyes watered joy for his good dreams.

I am in the now with him because that

is the only place he can really find me

reading bedtime stories, teaching him a boy can

become a man who dances and women are his friends

not his adversaries and how books open doors and souls

and kindness isn’t something waiting on a shelf

for perfect timing and perfect faith.

As mothers we always find ourselves standing in

doorways.

Between fractions of moments sometimes heedless

because days are at once short and long

counting calories and stretch marks on our thighs

buying boxes for our treasures left under beds empty

nurturing needing and dismayed by our own perception

of perfect and longing to be better because we value

what lies in the tide of our dna- the knowing it is one

day this boy will only have a memory of the lines on

our faces and the sounds of our voices singing Katy

Perry songs in cars strewn with wrappers and how we

laughed at bad jokes and told him stories about

our lives giving a glimpse of our inner selves

hoping he will see how dear is love and love

is energy that never dies but transcends the

weight of our bodies, bad days, and dirty socks.

One day this boy will be a man bristling with

maleness and wear his heart not on his sleeve

but in his chest loudly beating open, swift, and

giving as his bedtime kisses and curiosity.

For Zeke. July 13, 2015zeke

Sick Girl

I was a sick girl hiding in back rooms

admiring the way chemicals smelled like citrus

and floor cleaner. Nothing wrong with that I thought

learning the names of things we couldn’t say in better company.

I wanted to feel better and it’s always about that

this feeling of being so repulsed by your own flat

two-dimensional sense of self that

stained mattresses on floors and baby this is a nice

buzz put a smile on my face and a shine in my eyes.

One time I talked to an old friend on the phone

and tried to sound like my old self

light as meringue on lemon pie. Not geeking, tweaking, nail-biting

guilt-ridden me.

I could lie and say this road is long behind me, but sometimes I see

that sick girl in the rear view mirror

waiting to be slipped on like a favorite dress or that plum-colored lipstick

I loved back in 1999.

I wish I could bury her in her convulsions of plastic glory

I wish she was a seed that would grow into a cherry tree and I could

taste the sweet of overcoming something

I never could understand and it’s so close. I have my victory

but am kept humble by all that loss and

when the reaper stands in the light and I can’t breathe

and I want to hurt myself because sometimes the world is too vast and I

am so small when I am riding the day, waiting for the next unbroken

stream of sameness.

I know how easy a virus it is, this contagion

that never leaves your bones and when I see them in corners or on streets

I want to embrace them and say it will be but a lullaby but

when you’re an addict the only possible cure is the truth

but that’s like saying maybe this winter the ice won’t come again, or that people

will learn to always be kind. It’s there, it’s present, it’s

sunshine blues and tenuous promises. Still. I am entitled to nothing

but faith I can make it until tomorrow and the only way out

is through.  It’s been years but time is not the measure of what we are

capable of. It’s that moment

a prelude

of who you want to be when you want more

than just to feel better for a little while.