Category Archives: Poetry

One Perfect Night

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?

We danced

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

Advertisements

2/15/11

We brush our teeth outside the truck

Mini mountains of toothpaste foam soak in the grass

Strolling through the park we reach concrete and city houses

Etched names in the concrete

You show me yours next to the coffee shop

We have some quarters to share a cup

Down the streets we roam

And find the place we first kissed

Up against the wall

I was in a penguin suit

You didn’t dress up that year

We see the Cherry Blossom petals float off into the wind like a first snow

A strange dog in a Jesus van with bibles and crosses

A man with brown teeth who asks if we’re engaged

There are flowers blooming in the night

And sayings on the bathroom walls

And you carry a burning incense stick around with us

Musicians sing to you and me and play the harmonica, drums, and guitar all at once

And all at once we wake up in the back of the truck and you open the side hatch

And it is our window at dawn so we can see the Oaks and elms and redwoods

The light shines through and side by side we laugh, we lie, we scream, we fly

And you that morning, behind the camera, shooting me-the one eye I could see

Told me all at once I love you

And once, I loved you too.


Lost

Outside the window, children’s laughter

Bright sunshine melting the ice in my mother’s sweet tea

Yellow roses, orange dahlias, giant honeysuckle climbing up the wall

Bloom, bloom

immobile indoors

sluggish Sunday

When I lost you, I lost me.


Beneath the Blue

I saw you underneath veiny ropes

and twisted nets

in the summer of 99.

Where old sea ships lie

Myths of mermaids

A black shoe

No, breaching acrobat, you were lobtailing.

You were logging.

I remember you now.

My feet are in the sand.

I hear you Monday, Sunday

Your sea songs at first I thought laughter

Now I know your eerie high-pitched tune

You lost your daughter

Twisted nets

Veiny ropes

I’ll come in. I’ll come in again.

I want to hold your dorsal fin

and ride beneath the wind.


Open House

Next to the hillside of lilies

And meadow of dawn

lies our blue vacant house.

How I want to go inside and sleep,

sprawled,

Next to you

on yellow carpet.

I peer over the broken fence

walk along its edges.

You stand on the oak patio smoking,

English accents

“Darling do you mind if I smoke this joint?”

“On our patio? Darling, why of course.”

We tiptoe to the roof with

white eyelashes

and sloshing blue feet.

We dance,

naked,

underneath red falling sky.


Substitution

It’s just me.  Me and the sweet oatmeal cereal bars, French toast at midnight with syrup and whipped cream, walnuts, fontina, goat, brie, cheddar, provolone cheese, a banana, no.  A banana smoothie with strawberries and fresh squeezed orange juice, blueberries.  Me and chicken enchiladas, spinach lasagna, cheese pizza, root beer, cashews, leftover meatloaf, lemon yogurt, tortilla chips, potatoes, a six-pack of beer.
There’s no more exercise, unless you count the steps to the refrigerator.

Step
Step
Step
Step

I look in the refrigerator, but you’re not there.  Only the fresh cream cheese, baker’s bread, leftover French onion soup, grapes, a mango, two eggs.  I touch a kiwi, the texture is like the stubble on your chin.  Fresh cut cilantro, like your breath on Saturday nights.
The feeling of consuming each tart little grape, the crunch of peeled carrots getting stuck in between the back teeth, the molars.  For a moment, a rush, like I’m back in your arms, like Christmas with the kids, like washing your back in the shower.  The rush of you, opening our blue door (you painted it), coming home from the market with sunflowers.
The toilet’s overflowed, but all I can smell and taste is the fresh cut cilantro, like your breath, and the kiwi, like the stubble on your chin.
Dozens of sunflowers wilt in the windows.
Yesterday our youngest took the food out of the refrigerator.  All of it: potatoes, eggs, blueberries, bananas, the dark chocolate stash, the lemon yogurt, leftover meatloaf, leftover quiche from the service now molding green, salmon, cookie dough, pickles.  She threw it in the trash.
“Mama, your belly,” she said.  And as I felt my throat tighten, she kissed my hand.  “Mama, I love you.  It’s okay,” she said, patting my stomach.


Immobile In Texas

If my hands were silly putty, glossy and movable, the miles would be fantasy.  If my hands were like this I could stretch to pet your cats, iron the ties, hold onto your shoulders, piggy back down the lavender field at dawn.  One hand could touch your lips, the other grab the sides of your hips.
If my legs were steel or iron, they could move me thousands of miles, and bring my fleshy upper half to you.  Maybe they would start to forget the destination.  Maybe I would have to remind them of you.
If my fingers could pick up a plane ticket and pay green bills, they would, to see your home with the oil paintings of meadows, pines, and dunes, your bed with the silky, enveloping sheets, the leathery chair with your lanky legs resting on the footstool.  They would dance across a counter to pay.  They would act like spiders and crawl all over your back, legs, stomach, face.
But there is nothing left.  I am immobile in Texas with people who piss themselves to sleep.  The rancid smell of shit has fastened itself inside the walls.  People fall asleep in their mashed potatoes and celery sticks.  The families have forgotten or the people have no family, or they’ve simply chosen this existence because they are crazy or depressed, or too fat to move.  It’s true they bring you three meals on trays here.
I too, cannot move.  My body has forgotten what my brain has told it to do.  And this will always, sadly prevent me from seeing you.