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April 2014

Passage or Privacy

Passage or Privacy

 

I rose early,

as I do these days,

and went for a walk

in the wind,

dipping behind walls

for a safer passage

every deliberate

and considered step

in the direction away

from where you stood,

pretending not to watch

my disappearance

 

When I returned

I found the locks

had been changed

for privacy’s sake

denying me passage

and I was sent back out

into the wind

to look for a key

that would fit

this new situation

a key

that would click

us back into place

despite the jammed mechanism

and let me in

 

I showed you the pieces

I had acquired

a small collection of metal

displayed the pieces in my palm

and turning the smooth

levers over in my hand

I asked, “is this reversible?”

and you said, “not really, no”

and I sighed, reluctant,

to go back out

to search for the missing piece

once again

 

I carried us around,

a jumble of thrift store pieces

door knobs, levers,

an abandoned screw

without a set to match,

and memories

in a heavy box,

heaving,

from place to place

stopping on the stairs

to breathe deep

and readjust the load in my arms

 

Returning home,

exhausted and a burning in my arms

from the weight of the box

I was relieved to find

my key turned easily.

Without much fanfare

or even awareness,

as I balanced it all

precariously

in my arms,

and forgetfully

without looking

over my shoulder

to see if you

were in the drive,

I kicked the door closed

behind me.

Terminal

Terminal (On the ferry to Whidbey 4/8/14 11:00am)

 

I make this passage often

dropping anchor to the past

under yellowed lights

and cracking floors

But the melancholy of fluorescent

on grainy tiles

remind me too much

of hospital rooms

and I push to the front

for fresh air

and welcoming apricity

 

But the winds out here

on the untamed water are selfish,

taking me by storm

without me having much choice

in the matter of putting you

from my mind.

Leaving my hair tangled

and smelling of ocean

and the engine

churns ever forward

pulling me ever back

beckoning me with

memories of skin

tasting of salt

from seeking

one another

in the bioluminescence

that clung to our bodies

in the ocean at midnight

 

You and I stand

and the rocking wash of separation

stubbornness, and pride

wear at our footholds

in the slippery sands

of time

passing us both by

and our ship comes to dock

there’s an awareness

over and over

of each of us

returning to the other

in waves

 

If It Was

If It Was (4.27.14)

If it was
my last day
here with you

I would rise early
and walk 
out past the house
in your softest shirt
missing a button
worn at the elbows
to where the damp grass 
grows higher and wild
beyond the
broken down fence
into the misting dawns
blissfully aware
of the motion of my feet
and the sharpness in my chest
which meant
I was still breathing

And when I returned
to you, on my last day,
I would find you
still sleeping
warm and bare
beneath the covers
and I would
take off my muddied jeans
and lay next to you
arching my spine
against the cave of your hips
rejoicing
that I could still feel the heat

If it was 
my last day
here with you
we would rise together
and spend the morning
drinking coffee
and reading
legs tangled together
eyes meeting occasionally
and I would feel happiness 
burning in my chest
that your eyes still recognized mine

If it was
my last day 
here with you,
we would slip out
onto the back porch
and find him,
my oldest friend,
with his guitar
in a pool of light
tumbling whiskey
working a line
with a twinkle of mischief
betraying his sad eyes
and I would laugh with joy
knowing you would still sing

If it was 
my last day
here with you
we would bathe
me tucked into you
drinking wine
and feeling your hands
washing my long hair
until the water ran cold
and we wrapped ourselves
in warm towels
wiping the dampness 
to reveal, at your touch,
my cheeks still flushed easily

If it was
my last night 
here with you
I would come to you
in the coolest of sheets
and, softly at first, 
you would take me,
aligning my beating heart
with your own,
and then ever stronger
holding my wrists in your hands
until I was reaching
crying out
gasping and grasping
ever grasping
for tomorrow
here with you

It Was Nothing

Witness (It was Nothing) (4.25.14)

 

you say

it was nothing

just like this

it is nothing

 

you push it off

as I pull

the skirt of my dress

further down

over the

marks on my thighs

from injections

and laugh off

the holes in my arm

where I no longer

linger or notice

where they take vials of blood

to add to the private collection

of their deadly museums

it was nothing

 

having my self cut open

to remove

where my body chose

to destroy itself

hellbent on getting this

life

over with

I didn’t mind

it was nothing

 

being afraid to eat more

than cottage cheese

and applesauce

and watching the toilet

turn black

for two months

I didn’t feel a thing

it was nothing

 

seeping blood stains

through my t-shirts

didn’t phase me one bit

I can just buy a new one

it was nothing

 

not to mention

my body as a target

for chemicals

and painkillers

that left me exhausted

and ill

apathetic

dark-circled and shaky

who knew

i thought heroin chic

was in this season

it was nothing

 

and let’s not forget

the fight

that i fought

of climbing stairs

for the people that lost

their lives

the smiles

the be braves

the opens doors

while inside

I was scared

and lonely and sick

it was easy, no big deal

it was nothing

 

laying awake

in the darkness

listening to my heart

shudder and beat

like it’s filling with water

and drowning in fear

coulda fooled me

it’s nothing too

 

you changed overnight

and you were not witness

to the change in me

the exhaustion and bleeding

it was just like yesterday

for you

that we laughed together

on the phone

me in my pajamas under the blankets

and you in your car

in the middle of a sunny December

for you,

it was nothing

 

for me

it was a lifetime ago

cause that girl

got up and got gone

four months ago

but not to worry

your lack of concern

the dismissal

the six week silence

the loss of my friend

it was nothing

Well Worth the Wait

Well Worth the Wait (Saturday Morning Song, Part II)

 

In the freezing snap

of cold

you came to me

for warm refuge

under the ruse of pie

and comfortable companionship

But, upon arrival,

you found the lock

had already been turned

the clock already gone to eleven

and I was behind the door,

not even close

            to being ready for you

I tried, in vain,

to send you away

but you resisted me

settling yourself down

for a spell

 

I crossed the distance to you

with no socks or jacket

like a child

my hair braided down the side

in nervous innocence

And in that deserted place

of hopefulness

I hugged you

my knees shaking with cold

and a quake

of anxious excitement

at the novelty of you

And I could feel your hands

on my back,

apparent against my wariness

A hug that would not be found

again

until just a few weeks ago

by accident

 

I turned,

surprised at my own daring,

to run from you

back to the safety

of my own solitude

And when I got back inside

the clock read 11:16

and I poured myself

a cup of scalding coffee

to put out the fire

you left on my skin

 

I found a message from you

that I had missed earlier

in my haste to meet you

I opened it with trembling hands

still frozen

and all it read was,

“well worth the wait”

 

We know how the story goes

from here

You and I have changed

and now when we meet

we turn our faces

away

avert our gazes

to remark on the price

of cara cara oranges

or to berate the stain of coffee

on the countertop

 

And the clock ticks

interminably

as I wait for you to break

your fast

from me and our knowing

one another

waiting

and waiting

waiting

 

for breakfast

 

and as your freeze

melts

and the sun comes in

with the first hesitant flowers,

I’m still caught

without a jacket or socks

 

When you finally emerge

from behind your locked door

into the sunlight

and say “are you hungry?”

let’s go for pancakes”

I’ll say, “It’s about time.

I’m starving.”

 

Your eyes will grow wide

as I devour

bottomless bowls of

our laughter

and massive

cups of comfortable familiarity

at a small table by the window

people passing by outside

and you’ll say, with a raised brow

of gentle amusement

“you should have eaten earlier.

Months ago.”

Smiling back at you, I’ll say,

“Well worth the wait”

 

Isn’t It?

Isn’t it? (4.24.14)

 

we went for a walk

in the chilly spring

looking for an escape

a warm place to loiter

a distraction

from the familiarity

of the situation

we found ourselves in

with one another

which is how it always was,

isn’t it?

 

we found ourselves

once again

in the darkened alleys

of the past

and allowed ourselves

to dwell there

just for a moment

just to see

how it felt

and it’s like the damp

after it rains,

isn’t it?

 

we sought refuge

but our confusion

led us wandering and

distracted

passing opportunities

to escape the weather

which is just like us,

isn’t it?

 

you, anxious,

went haphazardly

from place to place

as if hoping to stumble

upon a solution

instead of another locked door

which is just like you,

isn’t it?

 

and I, frustrated and tired,

windblown,

want to sit down

on the wet pavement and

drop my bag down next to me

throw up my hands

and say

I’ll wait

which is just like me

isn’t it?

Find Your Wild


Find Your Wild (4.12.14 – Asha’s Birthday Poem)

Find your wild
Find your free
Greet yourself with honesty
Trust the wisdom of your soul
And then respond to every plea
Of your own whispered desires
Run barefoot ‘cross the softest earth
Stand in awe of your own flaming fires
To your wildest dreams give birth
Now go chase them

Find your wild
Find your brave
Seek out what you truly crave
Passion awaits discovery
And for tomorrow, do not save
The adventures that wake your mind
The world your canvas, brush in hand
To this small ocean town, never feel confined
You will paint your life in every land
The most vibrant colors

Find your wild
Find your grace
Always lift your smiling face
To sudden winds of change
Allow the brazen breeze to trace
A map of your body from the start
Rustle playfully in your hair
And through your open heart
Like the cool evening air
Of Indian summer

Find your wild
Find your north
Pack hopes in pockets and set forth
on your jubilant journey
Never doubt your strength or worth
Explore city streets and country lanes
Blaze trails on rugged rocky coasts
Or stand tall and true on golden plains
Mistakes and loss will follow along as ghosts
Honor them unflinchingly

Find your wild
Find your roar
Never feel beholden to the shore
Stand unbowed before the seas
Feel no envy for birds that soar
For you are as expansive as the skies
And in the event of storming gales
Build a ship with the boom with your cries
Joyous winds will fill your sails
In waves of exaltation

Find your wild
Find your true
The mirror shows what you already knew
A warrior, resplendent and fierce
What a glorious, wondering being are you
The path you walk is strewn with the flowers
Blossoming from your kindness along the way
Your light glows bright in the darkest hours 
Your compass will not lead you astray
Let your life run wild

Sit and Be Quiet

Sit and Be Quiet (4.23.14)

 

I sit and be quiet

in waiting rooms

and transit stations.

the waiting and the transit

the key elements now

I sit and be quiet

at tables in crowded cafes

on logs on beaches

deserted

with disparate winds

 

I sit and be quiet

and listen

my heart beats

too slow and haphazard

for my own personal safety

struggling to catch its breath

constantly

and I alternate between

appreciating and regretting

its suicidal tendencies

 

some day

perhaps not long from now

I’ll be gone

from this place

the ebb of my heart

and the flow of the tides

on those windblown beaches

will turn slack

and silent with solemnity

and solitude

 

would you prefer to wait

until

I am intangible

absent

and instead

the desire to sit comes

when you least expect

with a breeze through a window

that opens a door

and ushers in

the smell of memory

with the brush of a newspaper

 

As you sit and be quiet

my head on your knee

as you contemplate

the best word

for the feeling

that comes with sitting,

I mean,

for six down,

five letters,

in the crossword puzzle

Resistance is Futile

Resistance is Futile (3.30.14)

 

I remember how you slipped inside

how I cried out in resistance

but you shushed me

tamed my fears

pulling me ever closer to you

by the hipbones

twining my fingers through your own

leaving me sore and aching

and begging

 

leaving me yours for the taking

until instead you took to leaving

 

Tonight, I wave my white flag

in the darkness to admit defeat

Proving neither of us are a creature

Made for the vulnerability these

Sorts of things require

I stand open, honest, apparent

Authentic and true

While you bide your time

in your solitary confinement

 

My newfound silence

repeats over, over

in my mind

you have won

you have won

I’ve lost you

you have won

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