What now

Cooperation only lasts as long as the status quo is unchanged. As soon as this guy gets to wherever this thing ends… he won’t need you anymore -Patrick Gates, National Treasure

Yesterday changed the game
the status quo shifting
from what was assumed
to what we have no way of knowing

What in the world was I thinking
taking off my gas mask
before the war was over–
dammit–

You don’t know me still
and I thought the truce
was still in effect
thinking–what if
we don’t make it to Sunday

Are we heading into space
because you know I still can’t fly
I am already in danger
of drowning for crying

That was your dream
of going to the moon
that was your dream–not mine
I always wanted
my feet on the ground

Crying and begging don’t cut it
it was you on your knees
during the good times–my
hail Mary pass
when all seemed to be lost

let’s talk about

he doesn’t like
when I whisper
another name in bed
when I am far away
and he cannot be sure
just where

he doesn’t like it
when I disappear
during a conversation
it hurts his feelings
if I do not listen
or pretend to have
listened

wearing a new cologne
after so many years
raises a flag
an angry red warning
that the ground beneath
he and me
may be made of sand

my confidence
coming back after the wreck
mentally-physically-emotionally
being so long
there
then suddenly
here

brings relief
but more than a little
doubt

(are we) All-in

We are pulled apart
like soft rolls, baked from the same dough
then pulled away from one another
with greedy fingers

Our dreams that we put in the ante
are masticated, what
will it take to bring all
the pieces together again

Some say wise up, you are
better apart, with no hope
of coming to an accord, and
mayhap we shall come to our senses

Or do we remember and gather each
precious piece of our puzzle, neglecting none
each tenderness protected
I am still here, pass the glue

 

After a hot, dry week

What is that smell called?–I asked–
rain on dirty asphalt–
the steam rising with a scent
pronounced and like no other

We ran to the shops, pelted
with raindrops the size of buckshot.
“Petrichor,” he said
and I shook my head–

No, that is the rain on the dirt.
This is the smell of soldiers going to war
and their mothers’ heartbreak

“Why,” he asked, “do you have to do that?”
What? I eyed the shop shelves–and my list.
“Make me feel this ache?”

He paused, a pound of bacon
in his hand
in my peripheral

I didn’t start the war–I said
picking up a can of coffee, and
putting it into our cart

devotion

I visited an old friend
and I said, ‘where is your husband,’
she said, ‘he is having a mid-life crisis, and
his penis is in the garage.’
I opened the garage door and saw a cherry red convertible
Ford Mustang
and had to laugh
I knew
that he did not keep it in his pants
but I wasn’t expecting to find it there
taking her place. I think
she liked when he was poor and in need
of cash, driving a beat up Chevy he hated
because he was always home
and always devoted

you do the math

dancing tall in my living room
to George and Elton
(does it really happen
if no-one sees it
like that tree in the forest)
he says sometimes I never go out
(could tell him stories about 1985
when I lived ten years in 12 months)
and I dance and dance

my head full of 1990
(wonderwall,hammer,hit me baby)
one more time-let’s dance as one
I’ll lead this time, you follow
if you still have that notion
that 1+1=1
and 2+1=no end of joy

perhaps we find
a new kind of happy-
ness, wrapped in understanding
and lessons learned
(old flames, new rites of passage)
let’s not forget, and dance to now
(rhianna, poison, blended with
the Beatles, Eagles, and 21 pilots
shaken and stirred)

once I thought it was most crucial
to fly without a net
but I believe
the trick
is
to not let go

***
***

A playlist just for kicks- must say it’s hard to find original Beatles music online, just covers. Also- it feels strange to be this close to 64, oh so much closer than when we first sang it to one another, it felt so far off.

because joy helps you to swallow

roses.jpg

each day my resolve
weakens
under a burden of years
with one truth to be
self-evident
that we did not think
everything through

in these hours
I sweep fetid memory
under his favourite chair
each moment of hell
relegated to the pantry
behind the oatmeal
no one will eat

it is best to leave way
for new sweet minutes
when I am kinder
and remember smiles
like that time
he left his tea
atop the car
and we laughed

Caught

The screen door is open and I walk in. Jeremy likes it open so I don’t nag anymore. I smell spaghetti. He cooked? I hear his voice and call out to him. He walks out of the den as if he has not heard me, his hand resting at the small of the back of a blonde who looks familiar. Is she Jack’s teacher? I duck around the corner. I want to catch him in the act. I am furious when I see my favourite red pumps dangling from her fingers, as they walk through the kitchen and out the door. He closes and locks it and I run out the side way to watch from around the garage. They take off in -presumably-<em> her</em> burgundy BMW and I grab my bike and hop on, hurrying to keep abreast of where they are headed. They don’t go far, turning off the side entrance of the old arboretum where we used to walk. I am crushed. Why would Jeremy cheat on me?

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Spring Picnic

They sat together and talked while the clouds couldn’t decide whether to be dark or white, changing and dancing in their indecision of midday. She would say, ‘I think it will rain,’ and look for her umbrella in the bag though she knew damn well she did not pack it. He would lean back and watch her shoulders move with her emotions, straight and soldier’d when content, shaking, when she laughed at his jokes,  then later, sagging under the knowledge of what was taking place. The day was heavy for her, but not to him, because she had not told him in advance. It was a picnic. It was sandwiches cut into rooftops with potato chips and red grapes in zip-lock baggies. It was a checkered tablecloth on the grass, still damp with May when one leaned with an elbow, feeling the earth depress.

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I made mine coffee

I made you tea with lemon
honey
because I heard you cough
in the shower, and
that is what we do

the honey
an unexpected sweetness
after clouds of humid
yesterdays
it is so hard to see you

sleep interrupted twice
barking dogs
and twice as nice
an early morning garbage
hauler

paring knife, and
melon ball-er cutting
through the heat
with the precision
of one who knows
what is needed