all the time in the world

it takes off –

like a shot.

 

i try to follow it out

into oblivion,

 

but i am held down,

mired into this moment,

 

this fake contraption

with false starts

 

and widening gaps

and leering teeth.

 

the word within the word

opens and opens and

 

i am falling into the fissures.

 

if you honor the love, the joy, the light—

must you not also honor the opposites?

 

the divine darkness creeping along the edges,

the void that was there before you, before

everything.

 

:there can be no shape without shadow:

 

the flat light

spread under you like a

sheet of sea floor,

 

brilliant and

bastioned.

 

you can only see the stars

in the black of night;

 

they call to you–

 

from beyond,

from behind,

from within.

 

if you let them, they swell up

and burst out of your very heart.

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i’m watering my

neighbor’s plants

while she’s away;

 

she has plants of every

variety in every room –

even the bath-room,

 

and it’s like a game of

hide-and-seek

to find them all.

 

interspersed throughout

are a few artificial plants that

look persuasively real,

 

and i find myself

watering these too,

for good measure.

 

it’s a quiet process that takes

time, slowly pouring into each

pot from the crystal pitcher;

 

waiting for the water

to pool at the base,

saying: enough.

 

every plant differs in

size, texture, phase;

it requires paying attention

 

to not over- or under-water.

i don’t know their names,

but it turns out i am able

 

to give them what they need.

it turns out they give back ten-fold.

i move a few that aren’t

 

faring as well closer to the

light: but mostly they

just miss their mother.

 

i look around at all of the trinkets,

treasures, and talismans and think:

this woman has a full life.

 

the apartment is small but filled

to the brim with art, books, music, colors,

photographs, flowers, travels.

 

if i live in a place like this

when i am 70, surrounded

by vast memories, and things

 

that i love, and wistful plants

that miss me when i’m gone,

i will be a happy woman.

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