forgive me, father

forgive me, father

for i have sinned;

 

it’s been fifteen days

since my last poem.

 

these first baby steps

are weird and wonder-

 

ful; i wonder where

they are taking me.

 

maybe to you—to the

brightest thing in my life.

 

let me know where

your heart is;

 

let me know your

words so i can

 

steal them away:

the purest relation-

 

ship, you say, preserved

in this crystalline distance.

 

can you see them? the pink

clouds rowing through the sky?

 

humming right along-

side? we’re almost there.

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

waiting

i wrote that poem

while sitting in a

waiting room. every

room is a waiting

room, really: a moment

wanting to bloom, to

become, to sing forth

like a glass of warm

rum and a night of

stars. my messages to

you are one-way, like

prayers—red-eye wishes

in a bottle, floating out

to sea—bobbing, whispering:

see me, see me.

 

equinox girl

the dogwood never bloomed last year.

the weather was perfect—the kind you

can barely feel against your skin without

 

a wind; the type of temperate that makes you

lose a sense of where you end and it begins.

but the tree went straight to leaf; it chose to not

 

proudly flower its little cotton crowns that soften

and peel off and land soundlessly in your lap.

it was what she first saw; it was what drew her

 

to this house. and now, almost two years later,

she is waiting again to see if it will bloom;

she is waiting again to see what will be.

if we are never

every time i have words for you,

i throw them into a poem.

 

they’re safer here,

and grounded.

 

i can feel you right here

with me:

 

in the shelves, in the recipe-sheaves,

between the leaves:

 

pressed tight

and true.

 

even if we are never

together,

 

we are, somehow.

i don’t under-stand it;

 

but i honor it and love it

and wait for it to change

 

me, every

time.