Why it did not work (two lifetimes)




I wish I was not the one
to turn his head
to make him think of me
(that time)
over coffee
and raspberry danish
but I do not know why

He called me brutish
for not wanting him-
and not wanting her
to have him
I said – it is not
that I don’t want you-
I don’t know
what to do with you

He could not see
that I had been taken apart
(more than once)
and put back together
not like the others –
it isn’t for lack of desire
(God knows I desire)
but fear pokes its nose in

He wants cruises
and long treks into the hills –
I want a lifetime
to learn how
to make the best lasagne
to figure out how words weave
and grow powerful

(why do I feel guilty)
(that) there are times
I want to be left alone

Jam Hag

Inspector Iris Cooper and young officer David Martínez took in the house before them. All the legends, myths, warnings, and mythos surrounding this place threatened to interfere with their experience and good judgement. From the icing on the roof to the gumdrop trim and doorknobs, Iris’ mind went back to childhood, to all the dreams of sugar her mother wouldn’t let her have, and jealousy of her schoolmates with more permissive parents. She inhaled the deep scents of cinnamon and cocoa, pulling on a pair of blue gloves, and reaching for the doorknob.

 

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El largo invierno acaba

(March, 2015)

Attempting to leave behind all of it
the anger, the inability to forgive-
I bathe and put on something new
I purge my body of everything toxic

How do we live as if the winter was not
how do I go on pretending you did not bruise me-
so I go, I sear with fire and cauterize the wounds
so I go, I remember how to let go of the list of wrongs

Without letting go of the wonder, the miracle
as spring takes over my house, as love fills
the empty heart chambers, still sore
and I weep for what is lost – this day

I tell you, this day is for weeping, for what
could have, should have, would’ve been-
looking for purity of heart, something
nobler than good intentions

But tomorrow, tomorrow the weeping will be put away
life allowed to flourish, love allowed to nourish-
tomorrow will be today, and the anger swept up, tucked away
put in the bin for the burning, the burning of the last

The last remains of winter

 

our circle is unbroken

you come and you come
you roll over and go
your sharp sword shoved back
into your pants
your heart
the color of my garden
once red
black on the edges of winter

in the falling
and lingering
and aligning
and clinging
I missed the part of you
still a boy
ignoring
that you handled me
like a toy

sweet spring puppy love
I slurped it up
the whole pie until
it was all over my face
I ate up the gentle way
you said baby
please baby

and now you smile
your shoes under my bed
and you come and you come
and then
you go

to drown




this room echoes
last night’s chatter
and the birds’ calls
before the sun rises
echo and repeat
each line so polite
so cutting in its precision

you called me friend
but you have left me here
to drown. Please do not
call me mate, I might
lose my grip on the buoy
all that is between here
and landfall, all I want

is a friend who is truthful
and to give in return

and birdsong

 

Cool wind (with apology)

blackbird

 

When the winds shift
next day after a storm
a cool wind (with apology)
I can smell you from over the water
please take me home
keep my feet on solid ground

There is no guarantee
that the dirt won’t shift
and all this we built might crumble to bits
but I am finding it hard to trust the breeze
flighty and self-centered

You make a fool of me
my dignity lost in the air
debris caught up and flying about
with your smell
the woods and rain that you live in

feeding my thoughts each day
waiting for them to propagate
watching for the moment
when seed becomes brain-child
when the scent of you and the juniper
are impossible to resist

 

 

the (our) last time

 

I thought you were there
then could not find you
twisting around to reach for you
(suddenly) feeling very alone
in cool-accusing winds from the lake

your hands nearly frozen
from all the dips in the sea
that great ocean of deceit but
(I blame me) for staying for being
so addicted to (us and) you and me

I looked behind me and beside me
(reading and re-reading your mail)
with the single intent of smearing
my lipstick over all your body
until they drove you to the ER

when I finally find you
they will be so sure
that you are bleeding
and you are-you know
bleeding (me)
you are bleeding me

double-edged affair


are we close?
are we tight-
is the big red bow
topping off this affair
so very impressive, do you say-

isn’t it grand to walk hand in hand
around Battery Park
to hold your head and hair for you
when the ferry makes you sick
isn’t it something out of this world
to know what I am thinking and
to finish your sentences- ain’t it great

how this double-edged sword nicks us
each time we rub elbows
but we never feel it
having the nerve to be surprised
when blood rolls down our hands
give me another word for how
two hearts feel they beat as one
a snare drum heading up a parade down main street
that they all can see and hear

don’t they talk, don’t they wish us well
already seeing our future
as parents and owner
of acres of whitewashed fence
isn’t it grand
leaning and knowing
it is safe to sleep away the hours
the night turning into daybreak
a thief of all our good sense

in a pile on the sofa
your whiskers against my forehead
Bogey passing the hours
on a continuous loop on the screen
his voice echoing in the high ceiling of your loft
saying “I lived a few weeks while you loved me”
and all the while we eat up time
and no one tells us it will not last

a secret code in the club
we don’t talk about intimacy-
we only talk about puppy love
the stuff that daydreams are made of
and no one tells you
that they see the end coming
except afterward
when you cry in your beer

let’s talk about

 

they don’t like
when we whisper
another name in bed
when we are far away
and they cannot be sure
just where

they don’t like
when we disappear
during a conversation
it hurts their feelings
if we 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