Write like a motherfucker, sweetpea…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………."You have to pick the places you don't walk away from." –Didion
All I wanted was the shadow
of your fingers
and cool eyes to kind of soften as
I gather my wounds in this tulip
and with you I would say
enter and close me up
I waited in your room
like this, folding and unfolding
my fingers over my palms as if it were
the tulip opening and closing,
bearing witness to my wounds
you know so much about, and then each time I
closed them, I saw a sort of smooth scar spreading
over old stitches, and the new ones
blended so well in these new petals.
My mother collected the pieces
one by one
in the desert, the sand and skulls
cutting at her feet.
The Bone Mother, they call her,
La Que Sabe
the Wild Woman.
Piece by piece she collected
the bones of the wolf,
her ratty cloak sweeping the dunes
behind her, her weathered fingers
clutching those indestructible pieces,
never resting until each one was accounted for.
Patience, she’d whisper to me at night
My love, you’re going to need patience
as I lost count of the scars
as I lost another piece slipping
out the window toward the moon.
Once she found the very last bone, the paw,
she’d take them to a fire, lay them
in place, raise her arms, and sing. Read More
(published in Frigg Magazine 2014)
The pop and snap of prescription pill bottles,
swallow, light, inhale, scrape of the chair,
cluster of tap-tap-taps on the keys, a silence—
beyond this room, beyond this wall
I can almost hear you—the soil
sifting, seeds spreading out, dry in your palm;
folds of light robes around you like
birds’ wings—your child
asleep on your warm back,
your sky a sea, an earth, a breath
because you’re there I’m less anxious
(as I palm another pill) because I rely
on sedated time I sit in my chair,
lost somewhere before the border,
where I see myself later—aged and worn away—
walking to you, palms up.
“Here, here I am…” only you aren’t waiting
for me, time is something else to you—
so I see I don’t have to tell you
where I’ve been or why I am here
but that I’ve arrived
out of the cement tomb.
I see there are no distractions in the sky;
the rise and fall of my chest is all,
seas of breath and I am.
I know the scent of your skin,
the feel of your warm, bent back
beneath my body, I know necessity.
I will arrive
when I am not so afraid of myself.
When I am not so sick.
I will cross into the motherland.
I will go home.
I will leave what I’ve built behind and
I will take my place
among the living.
I can hear you beyond this room.