Insufficient

I don’t know what else to say, except I love you, Manchester

*****
I have said nothing to anyone about Brussels. I have been
silent, as I was after Paris. (I should have said something)
(anything)

What is there to say-how much is enough?
(Mumbai, New York City, Cameroon, Boston, Ouagadougou,
Jakarta, Manchester, Tanta, London, San Bernardino,
Istanbul, Oklahoma City, Chicago-
do you have time for a complete listing)

I know that anything I say will be insufficient and vague
in comparison (to the truth)
[put up next to what they need
more than words]

If it were me, if I was there, I imagine
I would be as silent as now, wanting to
scream but instead- zombielike- tidying up
walking through what is mundane and useful
and cleaning up the atrocity of violation.
[(This is not yours. Why
do you insist on breaking it to pieces)
is as close as I have come to words]

Are you not tired of the raging?
I weary of the anger, the pure hate
that does not end
always simmering, sometimes boiling over
yet constantly being refilled, that tank-

What can I say? Who am I? I am your neighbor, weeping for you.
My words feel small. My anger does not feel
sufficient

rain requires poets answer
typically I reply
often silent until
I have something to say
then you can’t shut me up
about who it is
that can’t stop crying
from the sky

Lemon Pie Blues

Today hurt bad like cuts on my fingers
then slicing lemons for hours
your face, always disappointed, and
I would like to be the girl
to bring light to your eyes

How do I explain why it hurts more
to be misunderstood than kicked
honey, how I wish I could have you here
to protect me now
because I am feeling low

Feeling tired and wondering why
I never fit into this world of woe
come Sunday everything
is going to feel alright
praise God on Sunday we will dance

and give happiness one more chance
come Sunday
everything is gonna feel alright

Confections

(2015)

I roll out the dough
sugar cookies
dusted with cinnamon
my thoughts miles away
seeing your eyes
glazed over
like spun sugar

I’ve ruined the sauce
tears dripping into the pot
ruining it like last year
how my heart
split in two
and drained out
into February

Roll me in five spice powder
drop me in hot broth
the essence of me
will fill your sinuses
so you can never forget
how hard
you might try
how hard

Your skin
was like sugar
and the cocoa dust
left on the plate
so that after you left
I wept over truffles
and your skin-
bittersweet

69.

I see the end coming
far off
(but sure)
I feel the pull of the earth
weakening
when it used to hold me tight

my eyes blur
you are hazy there where you sit
nearly with me
but somewhere else
at the same time
the fog rising between us

I see the end coming
far off
(but sure)
the aches are greater
when it rains
your anger is greater
when I cry

and I wonder why
I have failed
to dredge up empathy
among the roses
this dry spell of months
is heavy to drag behind

Pointing fingers

The sun needs to come back out
for I am clinging to the
dross of the morning, and
I am breaking my own heart
every time I consider
who you are

An ominous hand it is that grabs mine
pushing the pen to the oblique
each lovely sentiment
drawn in hearts and flowers
urged to its brink

Who will fault the artist’s model
for the work
seeping black paint
the carpet soiled by rotten thoughts
surely you see every
forced wish

Lengthy courtship with success
wasn’t I smart
didn’t I choose it
my red slip showing
each evening and you
whispering
yes
this is life