we are december

while we were away,

winter happened.

 

i came home to fresh

frost on the grass.

 

we share this set of days,

this slow creep toward

 

the center of the snow

globe maze. at any moment,

 

a child’s hand can scoop

up the glass and shake us into

 

oblivion. her delight is

our delay. in the falling

 

flurries, i find you: wrapped

in your mother’s red scarf—

 

holding the hand of time.

we are the child, the snow,

 

the mother, the scarf;

we are december.

 

 

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permanent record

when she was a child, she

realized she could move

things with her eyes. she

remembers them levitating,

flying about, crash-landing.

 

she’s in the middle of her

life now; she feels what

people call a crisis. she

talks to herself, and is the

nicest person to talk back.

 

she reads novels that are

going no-where; she keeps

seeing under-utilized words that

aren’t there. she thinks one thing

and writes another. she knows

 

you can say things in a poem

you can’t say any-where else.

people are weapons; even the

kids playing on the lawn in the

warm snow are getting away with it.

 

 

 

 

while waiting for your phone call

as soon as you leave

i feel it:

 

the immense sadness,

the emptiness, the

 

alone-ness.

 

it makes me wonder

why i’m here; what my

 

purpose is

outside of you;

 

outside of

bringing your life into

 

being.

 

this house, this rent,

this uneaten food in the

refrigerator.

 

as soon as i’m alone,

every thing is vast and open

 

and possible

again;

 

beautifully vacant.

 

it makes me think

and want to create

 

and fill up the spaces

with music and dance and

 

paint.

 

this piano, these poems,

this uncooked

recipe.

 

how can something be

so delicious and so alone—

 

electric in one moment,

and dead the next?

 

it’s a long, long road,

up through this fissure

 

into the dark hollow of

spine.

 

it’s the only way

to move and be moved;

 

it’s the only

way—up, up—

 

and it’s

mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

when i was little

i remember sitting on the hard wood floor and

feeling like i was in a forest. i never thought

i would be living bill to bill, rent to rent, worried

about how to keep the hard wood over our heads.

i think i just thought it was all there–everything

we needed–for the taking, the sharing, the giving, the

living. it’s hard to live–really live–while worried about

your next deadline, next payment, next claim on your time.

i sit here writing about it instead of just living it. when i was

little i would go into my canopy worlds and escape time, escape

physicality, escape that palpable feeling of not belonging–

and would somehow find a soft space, between the knowing

waves and wise particles floating in the air and landing on the warm

wood, where everything felt right, connected, slowed way down

to perfection. i think this is where we are meant to be, back in the

forest of our child-mind, loving everything, living out the colors

and shapes and rhythms of play. no one had to tell us where to go,

or how to find it: our beautiful bliss was ever at our fingertips.

 

art

when you arrive at the perfect piece,

it sits in your mouth like a kiss,

 

a deliciousness you wish you could

hold onto forever. sometimes i

 

wait at the bus stop, and the big

whoosh lumbers up, and i wave

 

it away. i’m waiting, i say, but not

for the bus. for what, i cannot

 

articulate; but when it comes, it’s

like going back through the tunnel

 

and finding the seed from which

you sprang, and everything else

 

just falls away, and the song you sang

as a child rings like a bell in its wake.

 

‘a spring wind blew my list of things to do away’

you were blowing out cake candles

with your red lips;

you were too young for us to know,

too red.

it was not a photograph dad would have

displayed: it was stuck in a book in a drawer

in a year.  and now, so many thousands of

days later, i’m sitting in a car crying,

listening to the world turning, my child walking

away, the houses foreclosing.