I can’t help but think of her when I braid my hair. And the day she taught me. Or the day she read me an angry poem about how I was stealing her identity. Funny how the interweaving of hair strands could arouse in her a fear of enmeshment. Meanwhile I was desperate to braid my hair every day. To give to myself what she could not: togetherness.
Whatever could be said
Of the two of them
Would not include
The true essence
Of their bond,
Nor what tore them apart.
The only way to look back
Was with fondness,
And a profound, incomprehensible yearning
That swept through them
When the full moon shivered
And the clouds formed tear drops
In the autumn sky.
All they could do was weep,
Or harden their hearts,
Whatever got them through
The dirty muck
Now is the autumn of my discontent
My being I
I being this ailing world
And within it
A speck called me.
Browned in vein.
To the tired earth.
The grey sky looks blue when you’re yellow.
I hope the rain cradles you
And makes you new.
I never would have learned
What a boundary was.
Thanks for stomping on them
Until I figured it out.
I love you for that.
I walked to the grocery store the other day
For a bag of jumbo avocados.
I took them home and mashed them
Into guacamole for a birthday party.
I added lime juice,
Red onions – diced,
And tomatoes — the kind that tastes more like a vegetable than a fruit.
I added garlic salt,
I tasted it every step of the way.
I sat down at a table among friends.
We ate the finest homemade macaroni and cheese.
We slurped up sweet zoodles,
And whole heaps of cheap wine.
At one point a baby raccoon wandered into the yard.
We told stories on a small pink stage.
We made s’mores with peanut butter cups.
We sat until the embers burned
And the partygoers left.
We smoked cigarettes and talked about shame
And the limitations of our power.
We reconciled differences,
And laughed with each other.
We looked at stars
And fathomed at their deaths.
When the night ended I went inside
With a ball of fear heavy in my chest.
I found the lovers hugging in the kitchen.
I did dishes until the ball disappeared.
The guacamole was gone
But for the hardened, discolored remains
In the bowl.
I put my hand under the hot water
And let it run.
A voice in my head said something about a global water crisis.
I turned the faucet off and stood there alone.
I looked out the window into the yard,
Where the puppy had dropped another baby raccoon
Dead in the grass.
I thought about masks falling off,
And the smell of nag champa.
I thought about the desert,
And vision quests,
I thought about how some things turn bad
Faster than avocados
And how the things worth staying for
Are often taken for granted.
I looked at my reflection
And saw the abandoned house next door.
I saw the bushes rustle
And the shadows dance
I saw among the darkness something like a home.
I fell asleep at dawn with my headphones in
And my heart threatening to burst wide open.
What if time offered you
A chance at something new?
Would you hold on to the past?
Massage the old wounds
‘Cause they’re so familiar?
Or would you allow
Life to progress as it wants to?
Would you give yourself
To the flow of things?
Trust in its movement?
Do you have any choice anyways
When love bangs on your door?