He closed like a door
not slammed
the way we hear a warning shot
before the storm
but shut meticulously
carefully
to evoke no more than a soft click
easily missed

It was always the silence that did me in.
I put up with every violation
in a way that no one should
but I never stopped living
until the silence got me

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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

you get no more of my heart
your stark, bleak revelations
of purity and righteousness
are dirty as menstrual rags
and your claims to freedom
no more than cymbals
clanging in an open
empty building
all this to say
you get no more of my heart

When I was queen

 

snow tree under light

 

 

in and out of the car
snow in my hair
icy wind
biting my skin

 

 

these are the days
that wake me up
and remind me that
I am alive

 

 

skin tingling
an old voice in my head
above me the street lamps pop on
the snow turning to sleet
and I turn on the windshield wipers

 

-I felt like a Queen then-

 

but I turn off the voice
listening to the wipers
instead
and the snow hitting the car

 

 

there used to be a heart there
in that hole
with the briers and the mud
her blind spot
his weapon
her head
never knowing
the truth of it

Florence

Remember when no one could touch us?
You were Superman
I was Wonder Woman
and cape, candles, and
a length of rope
were all we needed

Love at first sight?
I grabbed at you
like in a haunted house
frantic and wasteful
horrific in its lies
but she will not have you
my right to be here
is grandfather’d in

I remember when we arrived here
such hopes consumed me–
I tried to love you, my idea of you
my vision of us, your selfish words, and
my selfish plans coated with expectation
left us in the dust

And now I think I will die here
and never see Paris
or the Thames
never throw my wishes into the fountain
I will die here
and never see Rome
or eat figs from a tree in Sicily
and Florence is just a lady on t.v.

Decollated

In my blindness a friend came to me
the sound of his voice low
as if he had sat on his legs
like a child

He was an intermittent talker
though he knew more than my brothers
about my life. habits. inclinations.

I found ready ears a welcome thing
exhausted with the putting up of jars
season after season

What he did not know
was that there was no one to post to me anymore
and even he had forgotten my name

But I could live with that
mulling over eras of happiness
and subsequent pergatories

Until he asked
with hands to his hips
‘How did you lose your head?’

And the elephant in the room
kicked through the door, leaving
through the garage as if he’d had enough

My hands lifted in prayer
or charades
each part of me pawned off

For when I could no longer sing for my supper
losing so much
that I ended up in this peaceful state

Until someone came ’round to remind me
there was nothing left
above the shoulders

Grateful for life (after a death)

1997.jpg

(1997)

Lest you think
I am not grateful
For this gift of life
Even with my mistakes

Little one just born
I was transformed
Finally he was part of us
Ebullient and relieved

Like changing winds
I can’t forget what was given
For that moment in time
Each leaf hushed to know

Sunset.jpg


My son was born in the same year I lost my mother. They never knew one another, though they look alike and have similar sense of humour. It was a risky pregnancy in my thirties after two miscarriages. He was born healthy and happy, and has always been extraordinarily healthy. 

(am I) Windswept

Have I written too much
about about the birds and trees–
do you doubt my sincerity
when I talk about the weather–
you and your calm, and
me on the edge
of coming to life

april 30 water.jpg

Perhaps all the new words are taken
and my pen– relegated
to thrift store fodder
rearranged and painted up
picturesque
and succinct

On the edge I’ve been sitting on
since then
my own rough edges
you take notice of
are nothing
compared to what is inside–
the part I show to no one

April 30 wall.jpg

You didn’t see me anymore
and I started deleting–
rubbing myself
out of existence
one day sweet–the next sour
a warning would have been nice

Left on a shelf
like a single bookend–
we aren’t lovers
and we aren’t friends.
Is she as danced out as I?

april 30 windswept.jpg

From where I stand – stalwart
I see eternity. The
evening becomes you
and when the evening
becomes you–
you are everywhere
the moon is

April 30 spooky moon.jpg