Thursday, August 4, 2016

Sirens

Baby let me
rest my head
in that sacred
hollow of chest

that you call
an unfortunate flaw
of fetal development,
cursing your mother

for her original
sin against you
but that I
find most sweet

where cheek on
skin is a
kiss goodnight and
muscle barely muffles

the buh-bump of
birthed betrayal beating
a siren song
that all who

are different recognize



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Exercising your rights

I used to think rights were like my skeleton
god-given, sturdy, and strong
the foundation of being a human

But now I think rights are more like a muscle
pliant, moveable and changing
needing to be flexed to remain strong

---
April PAD Day 25 - exercise

Dead end

It was no secret that
he beat her
we all saw the bruises
heard the excuses
knew she wasn't as clumsy
as she purported
to be

---
April PAD Day 30 - dead end

Morning breath

The cup on
my bathroom counter
holds two toothbrushes
and the memory of 
minty breath and 
mornings spent cuddling
under that pearly 
white down comforter; 
of lips on 
the lookout for 
a surprise attack
on cheeks or
forehead or any
patch of kissable
skin, which shivered
each time you 

smiled at me. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Take off

At the beginning
there's a rumbling

a flutter
of excitement

as we run
hand in hand

toward some
unknown destination

where we will
both soar together

or soon
crash land

---
April PAD Day 27 - take off

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Diem Perdidi

Inspired by Julie Otosuka's short story, which I read for the first time today and was tremendously moved.


I was in fifth grade
when I learned what
it was to forget

that my grandmother would
sometimes misplace her keys
or lose herself completely
in the space between thoughts

She once drove a car
into the side of
their motorhome when the
space completely seized her

my grandfather screamed for
her to stop but
she wasn't present to

hear him yelling her
name at the top
of his lungs, "Whoa
Tei! Stop, Tei, stop!"

He raged at the
damage, the fear of
losing a woman he'd
loved for 40 years,

and at the space
that stole her a
little more every day

a forgetting that would
not stop or slow
but plowed into her
like she had that

Airstream and that seized
all of us when
she could no longer
remember any of our names

 ---
April PAD Day 21 - responding to another poem


Black holes



I saw this hauntingly beautiful piece at the Portland Art Museum today and was absolutely struck by it; the hair, the ears, the neck, the shoulders look just like my son ... and the anguish just moved me nearly to tears. It's like someone took a psychic x-ray or the human I love most in the world and this is what they saw. Heartbreaking.

So, of course, I wrote about it ...


sometimes
I see death
when I look
into my son's face

there's
an anguish that
could kill him
clawing just below the

surface
of his skin
a zombie eating
his brain from inside

sometimes
i see the
look of anguish
as he claws at

life
begging to be
freed from the
killer inside, the black

hole
in his throat
that's so big
it chokes out life

---
April PAD Day 6 - ekphrastic


Unsaid

his face droops on the right
though he doesn't know it
he hasn't looked in the mirror
for over a year

of course, when he cocks his head,
as he often does,
staring at the world from a
permanent 2 o'clock tilt

the waterfall of features
is less noticeable

the slope of his eyes and mouth,
melting like Dali's clocks
seem to disappear in some
off-center symmetry

as if this change of perspective
could erase the microscopic clot
that cut his hemispheres
right in two

and my father could no longer
right his crooked smile

---
April PAD Day 20 - what goes unsaid

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Rose

Unrooted flowers
droop their sad heads when there is
no sun to smile toward

---
April PAD Day 17 - haiku

Between us ...

I used to burn hot
kick off the covers at night
as I lay next to you

we would kiss and I'd
nuzzle into that sweet space on
your shoulder, press my cheek to

your chest and feel your
cool breath stick to my skin,
stick to the heat between us.

I used to burn hot
but without you next to me
there's just the cold space of

miles and memories between us.
.

---
April PAD Day 19 - cool or uncool

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Last time I looked in the mirror

The last time I looked in the mirror
I saw my father's face
the double chin
the puffy cheeks
the bloated discontent

But the eyes are mine

They see the years of yelling
and trails of tears, but also
the determined jaw
the open heart
the penetrating mind

They see how the mirror lies


---
April PAD Day 13 - last (blank)

Outside time

there are these
moments when time
seems to slow

as if we
are outside of
it somehow, breathing

slowly, sitting outside
and just enjoying
the moment somehow

--

April PAD Day 14 - time out

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Full-ish

I looked to you to
fill me up
instead of doing it myself

---
April PAD Day 1 - foolish

Love matters

He said he
loved her but that it
didn't really matter

She said she
loved him and he was
all that mattered


---

April PAD Day 2 - he said/she said

Three seats wide

Our knees touch
in the most unromantic way
breathing each other
like lovers who'd rather be
anywhere but here


---
April PAD Day 3 - three (blank)

In my experience

the number of years alive
isn't always the
best indicator of life lived


---
April PAD Day 5 - experience or inexperience

Monday, April 4, 2016

The great divide

The greatest distance
between two people
is sitting side-by-side
unable to speak
what is really
in their hearts

--

April PAD Day 4 - distance
 

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