“The reason one writes isn’t the fact she wants to say something. She writes because she has something to say.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald
Monthly Archives: July 2011
We walk through the heat at midnight
He makes a fist with his hand when I try and hold it
Says he likes his hands free
He folds his over,
The blocks of cement we pass
And like a gymnast on the beam, I tiptoe across
A black open gate with gold spikes
Someone’s red lace up shoes and a stained blanket
We pretend someone enters the gate
He closes it after them
I-open it up again
A shadow on my wall of me and his basil plant that sits on
the window’s ledge
He points it out
And in the film section of the bookstore
James Dean photographs
He’s doing ballet
We both wear our glasses
Blowing smoke outside the door
We move outside and forget about the spider
With the spotted legs that later we’ll photograph
In the morning we’re both bit
I check outside
Spiders in the same spot
Rain now and extra blankets
Clean and laundered fresh
On the outside porch of the Coffee shop
We read each other
For a long while
And browse the antique store with all the keys and cameras
And other people’s lives
And their stories
And come home to hold your hand and snooze
The spiders gone on vacation
Soon, we too will be in a vast desert
Each others red moon sweat
The books our blankets
Covered in thoughts
One shadow; two us
(The basil plant needs a new pot you say,
A different home-you say you’re learning to love)
And even if the basil plant went brown and all the leaves of
my life crumpled to dust
I would still open the black gates with gold spikes at
And love the shadow that’s silhouetted in the darkness
“People see everything through the lens of their obsessions.” -Francine Prose
I leaned my head on his shoulder and peered outside the bus windows. Mostly traffic, some honking car horns and a drab hazy sky. I had lived in this town my whole life, but never taken the bus. We’d bought a bottle of Jack Daniels at Food Value and I was taking little sips, for him big gulps.
“Want a sip?” Sam asked the young busty brunette with an accent sitting across from us.
“Where are you from?” I asked.
“Yes a sip. And Germany.” She said.
“Are you going out downtown?” Yes. Other friends from Germany are visiting.
I liked the fact that I didn’t mind Sam’s eyes on her low cut tank top, breasts, almost corseted, plunging upward. Usually I was jealous of other women.
The night before, 3 am, my feet swelled and I held my high heels as we walked through a little park hand in hand.
Sam said, “I wish you were the pregnant one. I love you.”
He also told me, “She broke my heart in this park. I cried forever.”
We fell asleep at his place. Candle wax dripped from the window down the
wall. In the morning I noticed a narrow red waterfall of wax.
I shiver on the bus because I’m cold in my breezy cotton skirt with the polka-dots, but also because I’m afraid, and like an unconscious twitch-my attraction to Sam moved my body closer to him-I couldn’t not be close.
When we got to the college, we went into a classroom that seated about 100. Sam had just graduated from this college that sat on the edge of the sea.
I held the bottle of Jack and used it as a microphone.
“Class. Pay attention. Life is a highway. I want to ride it all night long.”
Sam grabbed my hand and led me toward the library.
It was a stuffy 1970’s style library with orange carpet and brown walls. We took the elevator up to various floors looking for a place to fuck. He’d said he’d always wanted to, but it had never worked out. We kissed in the elevator, trying to keep the kisses quiet as not to get him too ready too soon.
It was the 7th floor where we ended up. Sprawling windows overlooked the bright green grass that led to cliffs that led to sea. A gray bearded man sat on one of the stools in between an aisle reading and a couple aisles down from that another young
brunette with a scrunched brow highlighted a large text book.
We walked down more aisles of books with no people in them, toward some tables that were pushed together. I put my hands down on the table with my back toward Sam. He pulled my thong to the side, unzipped his pants and started fucking me wildly, but without sound. My hot pink sunglasses fell down from the top of my head and sat on my face. I looked back at him smiling.
There was some sort of movement nearby, some sounds of shuffling. We didn’t care. The noise passed and we could finish.
I took a gulp of Jack Daniels; wash wash it down.
We walked past the young brunette and gray bearded man, and they didn’t glance up or look embarrassed so we thought maybe we were quiet enough.
“Next time in the aisles,” Sam said.
The sun had gone down through those large sea side windows and now, smeared water color sky, pinks and blues, a wink of purple.
We took the stairs back down in case security had cameras. And for some reason we ran down the stairs, wildly as though we were late, wildly as when we were fucking, wildly back into the cold air near the sea. We had nowhere to go but back on the bus, back home, to his place where he might cook some type of camping food-chicken or sausage or eggs or maybe we’d just drink more Jack and fall asleep.
When we got down the stairs, we saw a homeless man sitting on a bench.
“Can I buy a smoke off you?” Sam asked.
“I can roll you one for free.” The old man said.
Sam smoked the cigarette and we walked toward the bus. I had the occasional puff. I tilted my nose to my hair and took a deep breath. Smoky sea salt, stuffy library books, sex; I needed to shower off.
Back on the bus, I leaned my head on Sam’s shoulder, and held his hand. He
ran his fingers through my hair.
I had to go back to San Francisco. He had to be a father.
“Maybe one day.” He said.
“Maybe.” I said, nuzzling my face deeper into his shoulder.
Like unfinished hems
The threads of canopy trees hang
and line the pathway above my head
We walk in silence
I try sour sap berries along the way
I gather medicinal leaves to make a sedative tea
Another fruit, like a potato is supposed to cure sixty-five ailments
Three stray and hungry cats meow for food
A deserted restaurant
A vacant beach
When we get into the water
We come together
We walk in silence back through the path with hanging
threads that stop before they reach the ground
And the potato fruit we cannot reach to take home
The sour sap berries are supposed to taste like lemonade,
but they have seeds and are bitter
Nosium and mosquito bites make mini-constellations on my
The cats grow irritable
A tourist throws a Pepsi can outside the local taxi driving by
I sit slouched, writing this poem
Watching the dark blue uniformed men and women wondering
what they’ve been up to today
Was it a birth? A bleeding spleen? Maybe a gun shot wound.
But here in the cafeteria you can smell death from their
The hand sanitizers and gloves and headpieces and surgical
And the little girl, the newborn,
stitches down the side of her skull
The wheelchairs and the diabetic
The sickness and sterility
There is madness here in this place of lunch dining
There are flowers in vases on each of the tables
Lilies that wilt and have started to turn from yellow and pink
The chairs are wooden and uncomfortable
There isn’t much warmth in medicine
My mother-a nurse, my father-a doctor, my boyfriend (at the time)-sells medical tools
They understand each other
Hugs are pats on the back
Kisses are irrelevant
I love you is please and thank you
Things are just like the people here-cold, utilitarian
And the most ugly painting in the world hanging high above
the cafeteria ceiling
It is a canvas of brown and blue, jagged puzzle pieces
The most boring painting in the world
There is no meaning that could come from this
Here is where true hell lies.
You said I love you
And the thong hung on the door knob
And smoke clung to the walls
I held the light in the right place
For the photograph
You said I love you
There were peppers and sauce
And as much as I tried to cook, it wasn’t right
And then you said do you know that I love you?
The room like a refrigerator
You say it’s more of a summer house
But I can’t feel the cold
I’m sweating and dancing and loving you back
It’s more of a hazy dream
With you and with me
All the words in the world would fail to describe
When I look in your eyes and know
That it’s not just me, or you, but we
And that perfect night we love forever