She noticed her hands resting palms side down, buttoned at her hips (for hundreds of years), but as she was filled with generosity of touch, of word, of beauty she instinctively turned them palms side up, first one hand then the other, as if they were cups that could contain the whole dazzling world from violet door, to beryl door, to flamingo door, to yellow sun, to turquoise door, to salmon entrance, to cotton gauze, to the absolute ageless art of the alfresco open air door, — she was moving through all the sensations and sails of life, which in this case left her hands feeling marvelously warm even at the concrete hour of 2 a.m. while she continued to compose air, and then climb it.
It’s up to you daughter. The sandal’s
on your foot now. I’ve been trying to
forget myself you know, but this
sanctimonious jangle of time keeps
getting stuck in my stomach
sending me back to that bend in the
Gunnison River, my bike transport
thrown down in a fit on the embankment.
A ridiculous book loaner in my hand,
a younger me perched on a rock
trying to figure out how to live a snake-
bitten lifestyle, despite my higher
calling to sunshine & writing glimmers of it
down. But back to you daughter. Please be un-
reasonable. It’s your decision to make.
This privilege will mean the most to you,
and these parts will unequivocally be
I’m in and out of seasons; a half-wit about most things.
Still unable to dress myself presentably, because I’m just
not into layers, or scarves. They make me feel like I’m trying
too hard. Don’t drink wine for the very same reason.
But I confess when I was contrary in Elks Lodge #1675, –
I turned to the projected light. I sucked in my cheeks
slightly. To be, – startling or statuesque. You can guess.
Half hoping I was half-seen, you called me out on it, –
The December issue of Seventeen. My feathered hair,
bedroom eyes. Where is the record of those years?
For a while, I admit I was a lush. Half-spoken, broken.
You can guess. Truth be told, – there was a time
I was desperately into coffee. Purely for the stimulant.
Not for the company. In truck stops, in casinos, I was
a most social butterfly. The loneliest of them all, –
drifting long and far.
I’m not wearing a sweater and time is zooming.
I know it’s too late to start for home.
I can’t pretend, and suck in my cheeks anymore.
I’m always walking with you, -ignoring needed chiropractic adjustments. Never mind that, because all at once the meadow starts ruminating over the fires still smoldering past camel hill. Audaciously, you shoot your finger to the moon as if you’ve discovered a curious thing. I’m taken by the brighter star. Dear God, when will our necks ever align? Still, – every day we’re more honest with ourselves. We tie our tongues, and lace our shoes.
here, inside of us
the whole sky and galaxy, –
two divining lights
these obsessive thoughts
i can’t explain
i go straight to work
build a house of
i throw it in the air
or set it sail on time
as a gift,
a sympathetic contact
i can’t explain
You are not finished, you sorry
sap. If you were, you’d be dead.
So while you still have a sack
of inflatable lungs, inflate
those things. It’ll keep you
floating— a little while longer
at least. Perhaps long enough
to sputter a simple sentence.
So say something true. Like, “This
is my life; may I be worthy of it.”
Then be worthy of it & suck it up,
&stop being a sorry, sappy, sack.
This is the truth. Don’t trip over it.
The crisis is we’re porcelain.
Go back to 1980-something.
Cheryl delivers a baby boy.
It’s embarrassing, how I mix
happy-for-you with my fears.
Go back. 2000-something.
Becky says it’s leukemia.
I’m losing it, I’m breathing
in &out, (again) re-living
the breaking, the chipping,
the living &dying
my friends &man.