33879402735_73c9d87faf_kThere exist still
people who were born when the world
like a split fig, bequeathing aubergine center
was half the size
in a fabled time when
individuals could be appreciated
for more than their overt strip-tease
hot and pulsing on flashy poles oiled by media
my grandmother
with her perfect straight teeth
and flossy hair refusing to be tamed
called a beauty in her day
would never have held up now
a corn maiden left to rot in untended field
days then, of gentle reproaching and
beguiling unknown
how intoxicate to consider, what you cannot reach
where now, less possesses such mystery
in its hoard of foil
than generations guarding jailers keys to reaching secrets
you could think all your life you were set
in one direction like weather vane, divining nature
and upon the death-bed of your elders, find out
nothing you rolled in your palm, was true
not even the dice you flung impatiently forward
for now we have proof
and proof is not
like a closed oven door
raising cake or bread
proof can rob us of dreaming
and those imprecisions and improvision
making fantasies stick like early
peas fattened against their husk
now the only fantasy
is waking up to become someone else
soon they will have us inhabiting machines
thinking ourselves free
maybe the irony will be
in those metal cases our brains
will grow mercurial wings
we are after all, rather fickle things
thinking ourselves to immortality
as Icarus searched to quench
his melting dissolution
I don’t share this ache to overcome my nature
it is my wish to lay me down and sleep
fertilizing the next seed
so when they say eat your greens
if you do, you may be the one in six to reach triple digits
I secretly chew and spit into black soil
preferring the liquor of a shorter candle
if I lived that long
nothing of the world I once loved
would remain
Buddhists say
live in the moment, not past, nor future
but I am a backward bespeckled girl
with a tilted womb and trigger finger
I am a girl who was partially born
with patched lazy eye and pigeon toe feet
I inherited bunions from my father who
stole them from his grandmother
she was blind with cataracts and still able
to see clearly
don’t live in the city, she chided him
the country boy who sought
museums on sunday’s instead of church
you’ll always be lonely, she prophesied
and he was
staring out windows at tall buildings
with long faces, void of harmony
whilst I leaned more toward my ancestors
who tilled fecund earth with prematurely calloused hands
finding peace in silent prose press of peat
to nourish encroaching tides of meaningless
gabled society can bring
from my mother I gained
some wit and spark
but also the propensity to climb inside myself
so far I didn’t know how to trust
and when it rains and the weather shifts
its turbulence
my head aches with clamoring change
an internal disturbance like children
playing band with pots and pans
it was always the habit of myself
to disbelieve the town crier
hefting his false bell
handing out sugar for the children
and pills for heavy-lidded adults
back in time I stood
warming my small hands against radiators
gloves wet from snow thawing
capture of damp wool in sticky air
the psychiatrist said
did you come here alone and you are only twelve?
I wanted to tell him
how many times I learned the way forward
without hands or trace
but some truths are best kept
behind your surface
he told me something I have never forgotten
it is the unkindness of those familiar
scars us worse of all
than any cut from a stranger
yet still
grief is a thing of feathers loosened by seizure
as rain will envelope sound, cutting off from usual ways
we tread deeper into ungulate symphony
he said; somebody should have loved you better
and I watched
my gloves shrink ever so slightly
as loose wool pulled taut in warmth
just as I
will lean into glassy light composed of grainy prism
away from those who string their netted words
higher and higher in hope of catching
it is summer now
the sprinklers in gardens come alive at night
catching mating dragonflies unaware
lightly slapping window panes as they arc
and fall
the cat will only seek to step
on cooling tiles when sun has set
and behind my eyes if you looked
a hundred cages stand emptied
where generations have flown
toward the sea and diminishment
I know
as I feel the tilt of myself shift like
long seated shadows will at last
urge toward darkness
the slightest ember could ignite
this fragile ballet of footprints and placement
as tables set for breakfast loam in nightfall
specters in deletion, we rise and consume
time and understanding
softly by
the spoonful