Letting the Memory Settle

As we skipped rocks at Walden Pond in steady rain,

you told me I just needed practice,

that my outstretched hand needed to move

in one single, continuous motion.

You selected each stone with care, inspecting

their flatness as if choosing flowers for a date,

only to send them off into the gloom, certain

of their own uncertainly paced descents.

I laughed at your advice, my voice skipping

rhythmically despite my un-thrown stones.

We were part of our history class field trip,

and you asked, “Why does the water

only reflect parts of the trees?” I shrugged,

letting the question settle into the pond and practiced

questioning what parts of you I could see:

lone like a stone, easing me away with each ring

of water that expanded to meet the trees;

you alone, like Thoreau, without me.

 

Unknown, 2014

Sun

You are a star in a sky I have not seen,

you are a drop of rain in a hundred deserts

and desserts

because walking in the rain can be fun

with ice cream and an umbrella, no?

Your voice plants bits of light under my skin,

your slender frame and well-styled hair

have me wanting more.

You are some kind of fire that speaks

the same language as my Earth– the one

with floating flowers and talking sponges,

the one where Reggie Rocket gets us in trouble

and girls kiss girls at midnight in brightly lit squares

and everything is alright.

Because I’d want to call you baby.

Because, hell yeah, I’d make love to you and I’d fuck you

but do you seriously think I could do one without the other?

You’ve got me smiling ear to ear, wanting more of your story,

your moments, your rush because I know you’ve felt it, too–

with some lucky woman in another room,

where you lit only candles and talked in only whispers.

I would never be quiet about you, unless you wanted me to.

And I can sing your praises now, my mysterious friend,

but you deserve more than words. They do not do you justice.

To your sexy eyes and smooth skin, your laugh bouncing off

subway cars and driveways and street lamps– I wish I could

dance along with it forever, and I’d be willing to,

if it meant having you.

I put you up on a pedestal because that’s where you belong.

Your style is bad ass and your humbleness is hot and your words

have me wanting more, more…because for all your physicality,

I could listen to you speak, no sight, no vision, for days.

You are a star and a sun

because, of course, there was never any difference.

Expect that there is only one sun,

among many stars,

and how lucky I am to get to soak you in at all.

 

January 29, 2019

Assumptions

assume you’re not gonna call back —

trauma says, “Why would you?

Don’t you see my flaws?

Don’t you see my fears

written out in flowers and bulbs?”

 

Ballpoint pens do not lie

like the rest of the world,

like my mind hearing you say

I am pretty, or I am adventurous,

I am, I am…

 

How about you tell me for a change,

don’t let me give my hopes up

but chase me instead–

I know that’s problematic.

But we’re both runners.

You’re faster

(I don’t like admitting that).

 

I assume — don’t you see

and the truth is if my mastery of sound

bites is greater than your impatience

for the uncertain, maybe I have a chance…

Maybe you have a chance…

 

Because I see, too.

I do.

If you just talked out of your ass

that’s one thing — but you paused,

read your thoughts, chose your words,

and said them! To my face!

In a bed, three years of friendship

between us.

 

I will not go skiing.

I will not go see your band,

or whatever men are up to

in a year or two.

I will add you to a list of what-ifs

but fuck-yous,

and I will see you again–

in passing, not friends.

 

You can’t just lay half your heart

out on the table, my friend.

I can’t, but you can, so you did.

Because it’s easier.

Because you’re not as brave as you look.

 

Are our hearts not supposed to

break a little,

after every lost moment?

Are we supposed to minimalize them,

untethered,

dead grandma in a shack,

bury her before the police comes — run! run!*

 

At least I have a beautiful line to carry with me.

No one has ever told me I look like a painting.

Or maybe they have…but not lying on a bed.

 

Because it’s not a big deal, right?

Little lapses of judgement

where heartache dissipates,

feelings exhale, share themselves

outside their owners

what a privilege to be the one

the thoughts were about,

to be there, ready, receiving?

 

A fucking painting.

Yes.

We all are, no?

 

*Last night I saw the film Shoplifters and it was truly great. This line refers to the movie – apologies for the possible spoiler – you should still go see the movie!

 

January 11, 2019

Gone

Can I fly by you

like a fly on the wall

stopping only to glimpse

at your happenstance

wait across

the street

for a girl

that wasn’t me.

Can you pick me up

next weekend

at eight

me, in my blue dress

black heels

and dance with you

until you see

I can’t tell if it’s just you

or the way my hair swims

back and forth

blocking both the UV

and the light

falling from our eyes,

each blink

I’m blinded

until I reach for my glasses–

and you’re

gone.

August 17, 2014