Like Any Old Element

Skip a life completely 

Stuff it in a cup.

Family’s are subject to decay 

Like any old element. 

Memories become impossible burdens 

On the soul. 

People get lost in their dysfunction

In their own lives 

Myself included. 

They forget too easily 

What was once precious,

And forgo it for their own reprieve. 

Sand castles built in the afternoon 

Will have washed away 

When the stars come out. 

The waves may look like glass 

In the morning 

But at night they rage. 

They swallow sand and kelp 

And images held dear.

No man steps in the same lake twice 

For it is not the same lake 

And he is not the same man. 

Things do change. 

If I am certain of anything it is that. 

Not much can be done about it. 

No amount of denial or effort. 

You make the best of it. 

And maybe internalize the pain 

Take it upon yourself 

That the family was destroyed in a fire 

And the good times are draped in shadows 

And you are not in family photos anymore. 

And the beach grass smells like something 

But you can’t remember what. 

The sticks don’t resemble swords anymore either. 

They’re just sticks. 

And the water is receding 

And so are you. 

And if there is any silver lining 

It is that mountains don’t move at all. 

And they will always be there to cradle you 

When your mother has died 

And your childhood home has been sold 

To a couple 

Who made a sauna out of your playroom. 

And if you are lucky you will not 

Remember anything. 

You will find your solace in the moment 

In the sun 

In the wind 

Beneath trees 

And your own inner strength. 

You will live in a depression 

But create happiness from inside yourself. 

Your heart will beat stronger wherever you are 

Regardless of the sunsets 

Regardless of fig newton’s

Or fruity pebbles.

Your heart will beat stronger because you made it so. 

You made it so. 

You made it so.

Avocados

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, 

Lemon pepper 

Cayenne,

And sugar.

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, 

And galaxies, 

And love. 

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…

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?

In Circles

Funny how life turns in circles.

How we come back around to the same lesson

The same story.

The same drama living inside us.

It happens without our knowing

While we sleep

And dream.

The circle comes back around.

My life is a series of concentric circles

Flowing outward and into each other.

Yours is too, if you didn’t know.

I am bound to something

Something inescapable

Something which breathes a life
Greater than the one I have known.

It is on the other side of this old cycle.

Remembering never to underestimate

The enemy within,

Nor the soul

Which knows its true North

No matter what.

Spinning round we go

Ever deeper into the meat of things

The real gist. 

My depression lives 

In that liminal space 

Between Winter and Spring.

It is never very loud.

But when the frost is fading

And the bulbs are nipping at the soil,

That’s when it rears its head.

I lose faith.

I begin to give up

When it seems that my truth

Is a lie;

And each time I come back around.

Riding the circle.

Laughing at my forgetfulness.

Weeping at my struggle.

Though I falter,

Though writing becomes a chore,

A burden,

A shackle,

If I live to see it die,

If my father does not see me

Become the being I am destined to be,

I will never forgive myself.

I could never forgive myself.

I’m sorry for forgetting. 

So many times.

Again and again.

But I suppose that is the nature of life.

Always spinning in circles.

And sometimes it’s easy to get dizzy.

I Am. 

I am not limited 

By skin. 

I am one with the air 

Which fills my lungs.

The sun 

Which lights my way. 

The soil 

Which cradles me, 

And from which sprouts 

The trees 

The flowers 

The grass.

I am one with the forces 

Of Nature,

A living breathing manifestation 

Of the strange, miraculous culminations

Of matter.

I am by no means 
Separate or distinct

No matter what I’ve come 

To mistake as true. 

I am not limited 

By skin, 

And if I am to be called Zoey 

Let it be because I am life.

I am life.

I Am,

Simple as that. 

Now if you’ll excuse me, 

I’ve got to brush my teeth. 

Your Vision Quest

I hope your vision quest 

Yields fields of Henriettas,

Rivers of clear potable water, 

Cacti itching to share their wit,

Songs on the street corner, 

No scrubs 

Purple Janices in your head space, 

Lingering, transforming 

Breathing in a freedom 

You have never tasted. 

And I hope you see me 

In the red stained hills.

I’ll miss you. 

I know it’s a short while 

But I will. 

And I will miss your laugh,

Calling you Kevin, 

Waking up to your creepy smile 

Beaming at me, 

Drinking beers in the park. 

It’s been a tender month 

Knowing you,

Growing too.

May the trajectory of our lives 

Yield the sweetest fruits

And may we learn together 

The art of loving 

As the ancients intended, 

Allowing it to become 

More impersonal with each passing day 

Until we are certain that love is a faculty 

And not an object to possess. 

I hope you find a place where the stars 

Wrap you like a blanket, 

And the lone wolf sings to the moon 

And your heart makes itself known 

In wondrous colorful ways.

I love you.