here’s the truth i never really told

my eyes have not seen

nearly enough—

and, yet, too much.

out of the corner of one:

 

my hand—bent like

my grandmother’s,

like i’m cut

in half.

 

part of

my privilege

is

ashamed.

 

i must allow myself to undress,

to let go, to see what’s under

the show: this is the time.

this is where i am, taking a stand—

 

i do not

want you

in my

land.

 

but hear the

crickets;

they are for

everyone.

 

how i wanted to be a

miniature in your

china cabinet, tucked

up in ruby red glory,

 

un

aware of

the

imprisonment.

 

i am hard.

i am glass.

i cannot change

time, space, the past.

 

the mind does not

want you to know

your self, your

iron-on heart,

 

how to sit with the

hurt and be a light,

a lamp, a fire

extinguisher.

 

how can

hate

talk to

hate?

 

i am laughing; i am charlie

chaplin weeping on the

inside. first time’s the charm;

after that, it’s just repeats.

 

i am alone.

a heart in a house.

does a house

need a heart?

 

laid up for nine months, like gestation, and

what was born? i am turning into stone.

how can you force a turtle? if you

push it, it just goes skidding.

 

if i stand still long enough, can i cheat time?

can i drill down into space and rewind?

can i find my inner child, waiting there

with a shell in her outstretched hands—

 

saying—

here, you’re

going to need

this.

 

i do not have the

stomach for a

revolution. i am not

my grandmother.

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close carry

i used to fall asleep in the car,

riding home at night after a

 

long outing. i remember the hum

of the road, the flashing head

 

lamps; i remember the sudden quiet

of the engine cutting off, daddy scooping

 

me up in his arms to carry me in. some

times a shoe would slip, a mumble, a word—

 

a hint that i wasn’t completely asleep;

but he would carry me up the stairs into

 

the house, up the stairs into my bed.

i don’t remember what was said: just

 

the strong arms around me, the

scent of man, of capability, of love.

 

later there would be times i would try

to recreate this safe feeling, this

 

extended touch, this close carry.

but it was never the same.

 

i.

i wake in the night to a

different realm; pulled from

 

my fuzzy yellow refuge. the

voices i meet are darker, thicker,

 

carrying something un-

speakably heavy across the

 

dimensions. every one i have

ever known—even my own

 

sisters, mother, father: sleeping

just feet from me—feel thousands

 

of memories away. i alone am

standing watch; am a crumbling wall

 

between what i thought i knew and the

all—knowing—all—encompassing

 

void

 

i don’t know why they are

visiting upon me; but one thing

 

i do know as i crouch in the deep-

dark pockets of the hallway, shaking

 

and weeping and lost:      i am

different.

some nights the moon is a train

it takes me a while

to love things.

 

but then i am

loyally locked in.

 

the colonial blue

house holds the

 

key, but no door.

in the back-ground,

 

the long bow of the

cello sings up from

 

the depths. one floor up,

children grow in their

 

beds. dad used to tease

about putting us in a vice

 

overnight. i took his words

to heart: the dreams that

 

shortened me still follow—

strong shadows of

 

nails and hair; of things

that once lived, fighting

 

to weave them-selves

back in, back to life.

 

some nights the moon

is a train. i am boarding

 

her, i am carrying

alstroemerias, i am

 

smiling as the tiny

gear of a whisper

 

turns. the shrieking,

pulsing, turning to

 

blood is all in my

head; out-side, the

 

view is silent: a giant

wheel of compliance.

 

 

 

i want to read you

i want to read you;

i want to feel your words

slip over me, pull me into

their tide, strip me down with

their waves without trying.

 

i want to listen to the music

of your thought, follow it

into the forest, happen upon

a leprechaun and wood spryte

making gold, making love.

 

i want the letting of all this

matter into energy; these

disguises to fall away, the

memories of mountain-tops

to sway in their return.

 

i want to deep-dive into a

painting of a thousand sun-

sets, moments spent think-

ing of you; of our writing, of

our meeting: one and the same.

to strive

the year is killing people—

that’s what we’re saying.

 

it’s been a tough year, for

sure. some of us have felt the

 

killing of our spirits, of our efforts

and voice and purpose in this place.

 

but every year, people die.

every year, people kill

 

each other, themselves. and

every year, people rise up, with-

 

stand hardship, come back to

life and reach out a hand to each

 

other. this year is just another year;

another man-made construct in

 

time and space. it is what we make

it; it is what we choose to honor and

 

remember and take with us deep into

the next phase. this death is just another

 

death, which is just another door. let it

not be said that the year is killing people;

 

nor that people are killing years. let us stand—

tall and alive—as we take the floor, as we take

 

back our spirit, as we cherish the memories

of those who have passed, the touch of their

 

tragic-beautiful lives living on in us and through

us as we continue to live, to love, to strive.

 

hereafter

put me on a porch

like a plant and let

me soak up the sun.

 

put me back in the

pines like when we

were young and played

 

with parallel universes:

taking the arched elevator

to whichever floor we desired,

 

trying to catch the

leaves and the liars before

mom called us back.

 

what was that?

 

that was living. that

was real, and imagination,

together; both the

 

source, and the

destination. some-

times you want to go

 

back, and other times

you want to spin forward—

but really they are the

 

same parallel thing.