Brooklyn Bridge

Maybe it’s time I delete you from my text messages;

Maybe it’s time I scrub you from my skin,

the kisses you would have planted down my neck.

 

I can close my eyes and see you in your black tank top,

the sun warming our backs,

a dozen freckles sprinkled on your shoulder.

 

The things I would do to that constellation…

the stories it could tell if I connected each star

with my finger, or kiss by patient kiss.

 

The sparks that fly between us are almost as bright,

lighting up my hope against my better judgement.

 

And since I cannot erase the stars from the sky,

I will take a snapshot of that moment in my mind,

maybe save it with my screenshots.

 

I’ll hope that this time next year,

I’ll meet Earth’s orbit where I saw you last:

on a beautiful bridge, with a beautiful boy

 

Remembering what it was like

the first time I read a poem that breathed your breath,

traced the marks that line your skin,

 

Felt the smoothness of your lips against mine—

while specks of light danced on your Brooklyn face,

the way the sun welcomes the stars home.

 

September 26, 2019

Time, Reflected

The feelings I write,

the feelings I give

today I ponder time

and a clock strung with string

and the powerful men

of tomorrow

when I take a stake

in my own power,

honey,

when I sip tea and drink juice

(smoothies, preferably)

I feel mad at times,

and worried at times

past and future “tick” by

but present

molds,

holds,

unfolds

in the up-down motion of an eyelid,

the snowflake melting on your palm,

the silence when dad shows up

but not mom.

It is in these spaces that time was invented,

and dreams were had

where forgiveness was a portal

within a portal

and sand did not make the hour glass –

it was the ocean that made the glass,

the sea whispering home

as I recount

powerful men,

and the flipping of coins,

and the thrill of a poem

well ended.

 

inspired by the work I saw at chanorth art residency: https://www.instagram.com/chanorthartresidency/

cover art: https://www.instagram.com/dannibellandostudio/

 

July 29, 2019

White Houses

When someone lives

both near

and far

from your heart—

where do you go,

where do you start

to make sense

of that sense of loss,

that sense of time

passing like a train

past white houses

they have sat

and waited,

sat and, sat…

I see Paul in a fresh tuxedo and his bride in a gown

and I laugh:

how could this idiot get to be this “happy” before me?

Bullshit.

How’d this boy once a man cut me out of his social fabric

and still get the chance to be walked down the aisle?

Shit…

men are socialized that way:

the give and take, the call and response.

Somewhere in my heart, I missed you, Paul.

I missed all of you.

But finally, I am waving goodbye…

 

A throw back in many ways. Thank you, Vanessa Carlton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM3fEJyPrrg

 

February 28, 2019

Three Parts

I.

Our hearts wide open

on the sofa, in the den,

we glide

past memories and landscapes

of lost wishes and dreams untouched–

but oh, my dear, did you touch them!

How far you ran!

How far we traveled

when home was right next door?

I can only tell you so many times

how much I love you,

mom and dad,

how much I owe to you,

my gods on Earth, my saviors

of moon and light —

of all the in-betweens and all-togethers.

Success? Winning? Acting out?

Do you remember me,

do you know me better than I do?

I am your baby bird…

and I am here, beautiful, flying…

you make money not to chase

your own dreams, but for us…

talk about pressure!

But I suppose each generation

has its shortcomings of identity

and mind that the world threw at them,

so you throw it back up,

say I’m better than you.

 

You made me.

Without your light,

I cannot shine.

 

II.

And you tell me: “What doesn’t kill you

makes you stronger.”

What if I fear I have lost part of me?

But dear…look around,

you are here,

and this is now,

and now is the Earth and time kissing

on two planes, four dimensions

that we know of, hurtling off in space

and yet perfectly safe.

This world may think its won–

they may have knocked me down–

but maybe that was not me to begin with.

You ask why I’m so quiet?

Because I’m readying up to get mad

and spread some joy around to make it better.

You told me you have some secret cure?

Cure for what? A story unfolded?

Afraid of one’s own shadow?

Or the light bouncing off your face?

Is that how trauma works?

Healing is all Earth is,

is all that’s in your blood, your muscles

and tendons and heartbeats and breaths.

I am here to guide you,

parents, elders, child.

You may see me as Father Time,

but I’ve been your mother, all along…

riding sunbeams, glorifying everything

and nothing. I am Earth.

 

III.

It’s cold in my childhood, only-home

for-a-while bedroom

and I wonder what life “should” have been…

Life sees no life without death.

I was there. I played. I fell. I rose.

I survived, god damn it.

My body and mind are still god damn

here, my spirit unbroken.

 

Sleeping, eating, breathing…honey,

you are an animal as we all are.

There are moments you must do nothing

but rest, let the Earth care for you.

You cannot take over for her.

We all know what it’s like to interrupt

the most powerful women in our lives.

This is the mother of all mothers,

life giving grace from the God

that is a woman, that is everyone in between.

You have a scary fucking story in your head,

taking over God’s role?

Hell no!

I have my dad’s wings

and my mom’s heart,

so I can keep gliding,

gliding…

 

January 4, 2019

A Song For You

To write a song for you…

I’m not sure

that would be enough

to conquer all the land mines

and droughts of ego,

to call back love and light and mystery

all in their due time.

You are an angel

from a sky I have not seen;

you are a fighter

sent to battle with the demons of our ancestors,

a capitalistic machine

that drowns us all in its own way;

you are the oxygen tank.

 

Take your place on the stage, my dear,

and I will hear your heart sing before your lungs,

will promise to throw every rose

from my garden up to you,

to let you take a bow,

to strike up a conversation with my neighbor

when he says, “God damn, that child sure does know how to sing,”

to which I will say, “And she sure does know how to live.”

 

May 6, 2018

Hello

my darling,

sleeping in this bed,

waiting until

there’s only now

and no tomorrow;

each cell

a masterpiece

of sound and I

celebrate

the beauty

that has come

into my life.

 

Slowly, sun lifts

from eyebrow

to eyebrow,

yawns across the sky

and grants us a grin–

now tell me again

of this thing called love?

I hear you

in the night,

just as gentle

and unafraid

as you are

in the morning–

sun shining,

blades of grass

shooting upwards,

following my mind’s eye

as I send

a word of thanks

to whatever god

there is for sending

you to me.

 

How many steps

were taken,

books read,

conversations had

until you reached

my lips?

How many times

did we scream,

“When?”

before I could

tell you,

“Now”?

 

It is always now.

 

It is always now

that I will love

your midnight kisses,

blush as you name

your reasons

for loving me;

now is the time

I love you

and the tongue

you use to speak,

words of rise

and triumph

and resistance

and awe.

 

Now is a time

for no time,

for no thing,

except our cells

lighting up,

greeting each other,

saying,

“Hello, again…”

 

March 8, 2018

 

Should

Maybe

I should

write more;

maybe

I should

change

the story;

maybe

I should

wear a shirt

when it rains

and nothing else;

maybe

I should

pretend

I don’t feel

other people’s pain;

maybe

I should

go over there

and explain;

maybe

I should

keeping looking

for love

in all the wrong places;

maybe

I should

look at a poem

and not a mirror

to fix all the broken pieces;

maybe

I should

see my throat

as a moat

and not a trap;

maybe I should

gain some flexibility

in my lines

and my words–

cut myself some slack;

maybe

I should

be aware

of the fear

in my viens

and nothing more;

maybe that voice

in your head

is nothing more

than an eyesore;

maybe

this pen

never actually

runs out of ink;

maybe

I am a person

that can help the ship sail,

not sink;

maybe

I should look for God

a little harder;

maybe

I should

keep the drain

clear of any shit

expect clean water;

maybe

I can be

the person

that person

wanted me to be;

maybe

we can see ourselves

out of this misery,

penitentiary

of American “should’s”

and personal “would’s”

and keep going,

going.

 

October 22, 2017