as long as you
as long as you
this is not a poem and i am not my shadow
the wall is solid but the light is not,
yet you cannot feel the difference
there is no baby bird begging for food
beneath a dark cloud
in a pot full of tulips
perhaps there are no tulips
perhaps where i see purple you see green
perhaps this is skin and not plaster
there are no certainties
on this day
in this sun
or this room
with ghost shapes
but this is not a poem and
There are so many way in this life to have your heart broken,
so many days that feel like a too-hard struggle
in a battle already lost.
the world keeps spinning,
the babies keep smiling,
the flowers keep blooming,
the birds keep singing.
If perception is everything,
reflection is nothing.
A mirage of reality.
The bowl in my hand is clear glass and heavy.
What I see is the flame of forgiveness.
A vessel, cradling my heart.
Light, made tangible.
I hold on.
with the calm assurance of a master
beating back forest and flight and wildflower
in a dark cloud of apprehension
broken just enough to let the light through
one bird’s sky is another bird’s justice
and we call this fair on days when the sun shines
sitting in shadow with friends on either side
there’s a riptide of ballast claiming souls
and blooming has its own cost
one dime for pretty and two for compliance
while whispers of revolution father breezes
seeds will find a way to scatter
because we’re rooted in this circle
rose and thorn as proof of humor
bleeding through each window’s lock
Alice holds a doll in tired hands. I want
to smile each time I walk past,
but tears always well and my mouth
turns down with the pain
of perpetual forecast.
“This feels like prison,”
someone whispers, and I
don’t think it was me but
old Joe’s eyes dart straight up to mine
and hold me with watery challenge,
though neither one of us knows
I don’t want to walk this gauntlet
disguised as hallway or write
pretending to be poetry,
but here I am
scooting by with my purple sharpie
concealed in one hand.
Hope sits in my purse
next to car keys and kleenex and
though I’ve paid for nothing
and everyone here
will be sure to testify.
Of life and legs
to places already been
and never seen.
Folding grey in upon itself and shouting color back into the world.
I am listening for grace and finding bits and shards scattered in puddles of mud and the still deep pockets of winter’s coat.
Moving through hard things and surviving them.
Watching lines of geese form arrows of forgiveness. Connecting the dots, but lightly, in pencil, in case I want to start over. Drawing my way through a book named 2016.
Yesterday pretended to be summer and I spent the day with dirty hands and a warm, warm sun, as the mockingbird reinvented his own story. He tells me everything and I laugh in all the right places, knowing we need each other—performer and audience, though I’m never quite sure which is which.
I feel myself growing. Older and lighter, wiser and taller. Heavy-hearted and ever-surprised.
I think about compassion. I think about flowers. I think about endings and beginnings, comings and goings, cycles and seasons.
I think about flight and freedom. I think about the day when both become impossible.
Geese fill the air with a frenzied, raucous melody. Fighting for space and survival. Smoothing ruffled feathers and thinking about dinner, or gravity, or both.
The horizon is always an illusion, marking time on a map filled with moments.
I find my way with blind fingers and broken pencils.
I find a feather in the corner of redemption, and think how floating and falling are simply different speeds to the same destination.
I find benediction.
i wanted to tell you a story
but all these words
cracked open and bled off the page
all viscous and slippery
and dark with age
i wanted to hold them in the cup
of my oddly-marked palm,
or i wanted to hold you and stand
before that blank cracked distorted mirror
and i’ve forgotten
i wanted to give you something
but that box always comes up empty
no matter how many times i trap-wrap
and rosette with sincerity
i wanted to line your heart
with soft mirage memories of joy
but there was wool, only wool
all sharp and dry and scratchy
rubbing permanence raw
and the ceiling
watching shadows dance
in a cinnamon shaped room