feels like summer here
sweating all our regrets
drinking gallons of hope

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endurance

the speed bumps were hell–every movement forward a vertical climb–each sodden word meant to comfort and encourage pulling her down hard–magnets in her shoes, sticking her feet solid to the road

tripping on cookie crumbles and gravy-laden track, she would never be Secretariat and not turn back, but hell if the memo-rees didn’t sprain her right ankle just as she was pulling ahead of the others

she saw the impact on their faces–after 2 decades of tsunami and degradation–lipstick and powder trying to pull it off–oh, the meanness–how they looked away, then back, then away

God’s provision, the hope in her pockets, kept her looking straight ahead, never at her feet, where even the mice were against her, the skunks conspiring, the rattlesnakes ever loud and insistent–she was not alone

I got behind
and catching up
is something like
grape stomping
in a swamp
getting so stuck in the
sweet muck
and no one sees it
so does it really happen
the wineclaydirt slurry
bogged. left. carnival of mud.

Didn’t we die, bit by bit

4 leaf clover

(redux)

I walked around
the disease
adding up the slights
I heard talk of gangrene
waiting for that four-leaf clover
since ten
(holy shit)
that seems foolhardy

each night
something new tossed into the stew
with the carrots and red potatoes
the gravy and its
discontent
covering everything

wasn’t that sweet
following with cheesecake
and café au lait
each measured step
on rose petals
to silk bliss
the decay forgotten
for hours

Photo by Joe Papp, Wikipedia

2 days, no sleep

pile_of_pillows

I tore up my fingers on that ring
grasping at what was not mine–
but I stole it–because it was his
and I wanted her not to have it

The late night snacking takes a toll
a lack of sleep notwithstanding
the gremlins that come out only at night
have found a niche under my skin
painful and soothing all at once

Over-thinking also has its price
this bat and ball are nothing to me now
I never did take to diamonds that well
but one time, there was an emerald
that caught my eye

I would have sold all I had for it
until I owned only that and none else
but that won’t feed anyone
and it won’t transport, or shower;
what once were needs are now desires

The tree top seemed out of reach
until waking up to fog I remembered
we must bend and stretch, and
no one gets a free ride
of government cheese for always

but with a little perseverance
I could have every dream fulfilled
if I only dream of mediocrity
and if I am not that hungry

Eaten

Her bitterness grew, eating her organs gradually. When her doctor read the
x-rays, he showed her where her heart used to be, reduced, he said, to the
size of a radish.
“Why are things always compared to food?” she asked.
“Maybe,” he suggested to her, “because of what is eating you.”
She went away, pondering how she might grow a new heart. Perhaps it was
something she could bake in the oven or grow in the garden.

Vinegar waltz

We are kept
contained in all our tsunami’s
we rise, still in a pickle
treading, if not swimming
despite the blessings
bestowed day upon day
dreams may sour
the lip of the jar, closer
but still up above, beyond
while we wait for the next
twirling, whirling pool
sometimes leaving us
dizzy and sick
and other days
we assume the position
and dance

*

My Valentine

Snowy Valentine.jpg

The light in here is too bright for morning
the sunrise peachy glow distorted and squinting
our distinctive beginning comes to me at the same time
both warm and cuspated

knowing your love still exists helps me to
keep on, keep on, and knowing you still love me
bids me not give up

The lights in this room are too dim to read by
in the evening, the aroma of sausage, with its
fennel and thyme, and the acid of tomatoes
keeping things real

the streaks in the sky at sundown leaving
little illumination to stir the sauce pot, little to the
imagination of a pair of love thieves in a jam

And some days we don’t take the time, even to
let eyes meet, but we continue, and
knowing your love still exists
helps me keep on, keep on