dreaming, he says

dreaming
he lays
strangers’ steps’ echoes
through the sad city
where mansions
keep vigil
from the sea
to the rocky mount

life and death
is none to him
not breathless, nor feverish
his only occupation
a mover of shadows

his angel
an English rose
wooed
by the threshold of time
and his soul
that has slept away
the evening hours

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Red heart in black

stockings

I drank my wine
watching you rip the petals from my roses
beckoning me like some hot movie
shaking my head no
laughing

you dropped them in a path
begging me to follow you
barefoot
I poured another
watching Bruce Willis on television
taking off my stockings

I heard you in the doorway
watching quietly
so I did not stop, then
slipping down to the rug
I rolled over
remembering Spring
in the grass

I said
if I am very still
while you drop petals over me
will you tell me again
the story
how you felt that first time
still you remember

the lights went out
our red hearts in darkness
the sound of a match
filled my ears
a candle
casting shadows
as you dropped
to your knees

Monday Random: cleaning out the refrigerator

  • Buying healthy for two instead of four is challenging. I hate throwing food away, and did, often in the first months. But now I’m savvy
  • It’s less hot and low humidity today so that means it’s time to make Italian red gravy and chicken vegetable soup for the month
  • It was really scary opening the veg drawers in the fridge, and I did throw out half a cabbage and some potatoes that were beyond thought of food
  • Celery–not too many stalks went in the bin, the rest chopped fine. Some for the soup, a little for the red sauce, the rest in the freezer in a container I keep for lean days and busy days
  • Carrots–same as above–when I learned recently to make Bolognese sauce and put diced carrot in it–which I forgot to hide from hubby–I was astounded. Delicious addition my mother would not have approved of. It helped also with the acidity so I didn’t have to add sugar
  • Green pepper–pepper and egg sandwiches for breakfast and the rest in the freezer for when I make chicken cacciatore
  • So far–on one cup of coffee– the sauce is bubbling with meatballs in it, and the sink is full of sudsy water to wash dishes as I go.
  • It should be noted here that when we were first married, my husband said, ‘if you just cook like this all the time, I will the dishes’
  • Let’s not re-open that wound and put lemon juice in it
  • Seriously, I should not be able to count on two hands how many times he did dishes in 27 years. That should be at least 27 Mother’s Days
  • Okay, okay, we’ll skip to something positive, haha
  • I wanted to show you this rose:

hope rose

  • I don’t know what type it is, but it was supposed to be a large yellow bloom. We planted the bush in remembrance of my mother-in-law and the other deep pink one for my own mother, may they rest in peace.
  • If anyone knows what variety this is, do tell. Now that we have it, we love it. So delicate
  • You may recall my neighbor mowed over these struggling bushes when the landlord let the grass get too high. One, this one, had a few mangled leaves left and the other was completely gone. Just a broken twig was all I saw left in the dirt
  • My mother’s now has fresh growth on it and this one, well as you see, there is still life in the old girl
  • The metaphor did not escape me for something that felt dead and was mangled and beat up, like my life was for awhile, and finding that there is still a spark inside
  • If it weren’t for God I wouldn’t be making it. I was barely breathing. So grateful–

I can’t help but feel much hope that I have yet another Monday to work and grow and write and share.  I bid you a good day and wish for you a great, productive, creative week–

–Rose

Wild flower on asphalt

Agraulis_vanillae_at_Isla_Margarita.jpg

Lying in the middle of prairie flowers and wild
grasses-better than in the road-and how much do I owe
for loss of time money and how much it cost
in the long run. Sometimes we mourn and then find out
we were holding the knife that cut down our past

When we met I was in a shop buying a chicken, writing
a poem on the back of a grocery list. I want that mystique
that kept you coming around. A rose died-so what
you gave it to me-so what. I can buy dozens of flowers
but you-there is just one-you fell asleep on my breast

Our love is not like the others, cool as Eskimo nights
our love is crispy like chalupas – with a creamy center
driving through the days and weeks, trying not to
drown ourselves. I painted you with a touch of noir, making you
over with the look of Bogart I needed to navigate life

I get blue when I see what has become of you
so far from the happy times I barely recognize
the boy from 1989. Did someone do this to you
(did I ) or did you let it happen?
Every happiness flown away like fritillaries

 


The Gulf fritillary or passion butterfly (Agraulis vanillae), photo by The Photographer

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

Smell and memory

Scent is a memory and he is chiefest
he and his smile reaching out to me
from thirty years ago in a storm
reclining while I peeled a tangerine
wiping my mouth on his shoulder

The day we met it was roses
beauty and glamour and colors
lavish as any red carpet night
rivaling the blooms on my cheeks
as I type this glossary of daydreams

Red wine is the color of my lover’s eyes
the one that got away, the one
that will never smell this scent or lean in
to know why I buy ninety-nine-cent green beans
but spend eighty bucks on Dolce and Gabbana

This one defining air to leave behind
so that if he makes it, walking
steps behind me, soft shoeing it
he will know that I was there
and will run to catch up

Life, this tangled seaweed on the beach
confusing our senses and good sense
suddenly, upon the scent of him
remembering a day of celebrating
when I was sure that I had just been born