from when you died

there are missing pages in my

diary from when you died.

 

it was not a time for growing

poetry; all the words went in-

 

to the eulogy—which made every

thing else seem meaningless: even

 

music felt foreign and wrong. i

questioned every thing—my job,

 

my place in the family, my space

in the world. all my energy went

 

into finding documents, finding

pictures, trying to find you in the

 

boxes and piles of audio cassettes,

ledgers, sewing kits, coffee mugs.

 

it wasn’t until much later that the

words began to knit together; they

 

were in my head all along—but

needed to be brought to cohesion.

 

there’s a reason this time remains in

my mind: it is a hunt, a meditation, a

 

docking station for the spirit. i must

remember the things that god can do.

 

i must remember that music is for

feeling, and poetry is for eating.

 

i must remember the empty pages

from when you died, with love.

 

 

 

 

 

crystals & quiet

the snow is here again. i remember last year, shoveling our

way out from downstairs, forging a path through the tall

 

wall of white, pushing up-hill to break out into the day.

i donned my grandmother’s boots, with plastic bags in-

 

side, and walked. it’s amazing how many people walk in

the snow—people you’ve never seen before, waving their

 

woven mittens, wide smiles under wide brims. the streets are

so clean—and every-thing is covered in an eerie-beautiful sheen

 

of crystals & quiet. this year, i sit looking out the window—

waiting for the neighbor’s kids to trespass into my front yard, maybe

 

leave some evidence in the form of a snowman. i wanted to kick

them out a few months ago. now, i wait for them like i wait for the

 

sun, like i wait for my broken foot to heal. it is a slow process. i’ve

become accustomed to patience over the years; i have accepted my

 

turtle state. but this is a new form of waiting. my whole body is

weary of being sedentary, is longing to walk, to run, to jump, to

 

be in the world. my spirit is tired of depending on others, of being at

their mercy, of painstakingly measuring out every movement to

 

avoid further injury. but i am grateful that i am not alone, even when

i am. i am grateful i have another working foot. i am grateful that

 

this one will eventually work again. i think of all the people who will

never walk, who are confined to a chair, a couch, a bed. confinement

 

takes on a whole new meaning when you are suddenly in those iron

shoes. it is a heavy realization, how fortunate we are even when we

 

feel our worst. i know there are things to be learned here, now and

always. eventually these things will break through this stubborn

 

cast and burrow their way to the core. i am waiting——

to be pure, to be whole, to be more loving toward each

 

person in their own crystal prison, to be more

loving toward my flawed, flurried self.

 

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.

 

multi

every time you visit me

i’m a different person:

 

the levels shift, and i am

three floors up, or two down.

 

sometimes there’s a hidden trap-

door, a cave-like passage-way.

 

you are confused, because it is

the same square footage, but

 

such a foreign place. i am confused

because you keep visiting me.

 

 

 

sink hole

what happens when something

finally sinks in, comes in behind the

eyes, down into the head, through the

throat, into the deep seat of the body?

 

where does it land? does it take the ship down

with it? we volley these words back and forth, back

and forth, but at the end of the exchange, they are still

just words; it can take lifetimes to truly unpack them:

 

god, religion, truth, beauty, spirit, art, gender, love — to let them find a

home, a dark shifting breathing sink hole that is slowly unseating the world.

thread

you can say

do not tread on me,

now—but later you will be the soil

under feet. together we make a mandala

in the grass: veins of blood and chlorophyll

meeting & mixing. some thing greater is drinking

us, the cup of us, the gin of us, the high water content,

the root. we are made from the ground, made to return

to our hobbit holes where we will lay down our bodies only;

our spirits, which never fully dwelt with us here, will shed their

shells and fly high, look down on the thread of people coming and

going, long lines crossing over our bones, treading lightly, jump-roping,

dancing, grieving, sewing, stomping, pulling, tying, digging—stuck on the

drunken back-side of this surface: just for the time being.

burn all the money

you write me into existence with

those beautiful veined hands;

 

your phantom sweetness bleeding

through to greet-create me.

 

this world was made to be free,

to be met head-on with abandon:

 

rolling down a grassy hill, throwing

all your gold over a cliff into the sea.

 

do you hear me? all we need comes

from the earth; every-thing we eat:

 

grown up and out like what we know

in our roots to be the ancient

 

trees of self, of

abundant anti-greed.