Without A Self

Where would we be

if we were one

without a self?

Perhaps our kitchens

would be less dated;

our calendars would be

slashed with checks

and thorough lines.

The women in line

at the deli counter

would struggle for some cash

and reverence,

pay up on gas and tobacco.

The little boy on 6th street

would not waver

from the line he drew

in the sand at his waterfront

beach house, asking why it is

the water must turn over

and over–

and, like a switch,

we turn to the next page.

Just Wondering

Do men wonder

what they look like

in a mirror, on camera,

opposed to the eyes of a loved one,

or their own soft pupils?

 

Do men question

their lack of hips and say,

“Hey, I should be plumper there

but still maintain my thigh gap.”

I stare at my own and wonder

 

What men do that I cannot,

if it is real or a facade,

if feminism is something

I can joke at– or if I am

less of a woman by doing so.*

 

I wonder what men would wonder

if they could see a woman wondering…

 

May 10, 2014

 

*I wanted to note that I am not against feminism in any way– I am all for equal rights for both men and women in every form.  These lines allude to some joking a friend (another young woman) and I would do at the start of the feminist movement, when it was still unclear to us that just because it is called feminism, does not mean we are only looking at women’s rights– it’s about equality for all.

A Wish

I will convert,

for you,

twenty seven times over

in order to spin Earth’s axis

back to it’s original

position.

My secret haven,

original,

right,

cool to the touch

skin on skin

and I believe again

that I can win

when my feet are tired

two at a time

again

I wish it was you

holding the umbrella in the rain,

to kiss me goodnight

under some station light

I knew had flickered out

yesterday.

 

September 24, 2014

 

Behind A Stable Heart

The reason I know

what lies behind the velvet curtain

is that I have been there before:

horses in a stable,

easing back their heels

to embrace the swelling sun,

their own bright eye;

a set of doubled doors

leading to nowhere–––

to everywhere in the life of a man

remembering what it was like

to be a child, to fall in love,

to laugh at those like myself

foals in a busy world of emotion,

keeping kosher and drinking tea

for long hours into the night

imagining what it was like

before we swept the curtain away.

June 16, 2014

The Shore

We’re all

on a journey

to let go.

 

Who said

that the cat’s in the cradle

when my arm’s in a sling

with my head wrapped down

like four corners of a box

under the tree?

 

I can break a limb

but not my heart—

and God forbid my mind.

 

When flashbacks come to me

like scenes from a movie

and all I can think is,

“Was that me yesterday

or 7 years ago?”

 

Could it be both?

 

Could it be

that our “selves”

are continually packaged,

not perfectly with a bow

but pinned down like craft paper,

a collage of foam

on the edge of the wave

that must crash down

before we reach the shore?

August 7, 2014

At Sea

It’s where I learned

that not all friendships

can sail off, into the dawn.

 

My new day

has pardoned your wave,

asked all, then nothing of it.

 

I can stand straight,

tall as a sailor

waiting for a lifeboat

that may never come.

 

And yet there are others

out there, waiting.

 

I am not alone tugging.

 

I am letting go,

wondering if all that love

can still be wrapped up

like a gift in the current.

 

June 28, 2014