Thursday, October 25, 2007

Woke up with fever
in Wilmington by the bay

and watched as you
pressed nearer

Night before was a
gleaming on the shore

when the tide kicked up
all that we had made

Warm weather holding--this
home twitches with want

Hotel room dreaming
as you, as you pressed

I swore last winter when
snow on your scarf melted--

a snowflake made what followed:

i like it right there
good, it's you

And maybe this is it--
as the tide kicked up

as the tide kicked up what
is was were am are being been

Monday, October 22, 2007

I lost your thread. No, I mean I lost your yarn trying to give the army another parachute while we fought. We fought out in the woods. Well, it's not lost. I know where it is. Up in the tree with the battalion of troops. But the Cat's Tail is swatting at them and the crows are planning an assault. Let's form a rescue mission and save them from freezing in the wilderness (assuming they didn't already starve to death). This is how you execute a rescue mission:
1) Determine if the scene is safe and call 911 if not in a wilderness setting. Well great this is war and we're in the woods.
2) Determine if the injured person is breathing and pinch their nose shut while giving two long slow breaths.
No, sorry. I'm wrong. This is CPR. We need a rescue mission. I guess there are no strategies. Look, if you go get your scissors, I'll get the ladder from the shed. We need to bring these boys home. We need to bring these boys home and we need to bring your yarn home.

After that, we'll celebrate with lunch. I asked around and these are the requests I could hear:
1) Peanut butter and honey with little banana slices on toast.
2) A hot dog with mustard only and some wavy potato chips.
3) No thanks
4) Ham and cheese please
5) A BLT, but with turkey bacon because it is better for you.

Be careful though, won't you? Don't go snooping around in the dirt. Ma says to look out for the--what does she call them? Radishes. Look out for the radishes planted when my grandpa was a boy. No, he didn't plant them. Ma says the people who marched through our fields, the bad ones, they planted them and that the seeds have not died yet, not even through all the winters and all the droughts. Ma says they are asleep deep down in the dirt and they can sprout explosive any minute.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

moments of perception

1. In the subway, a young girl is asleep in her stroller, legs sprawled showing her underwear. Children can get away with anything. She has one shoe on, the other sits in her lap. I am too old to pass out on the subway and show my underwear to the car and have only one shoe on. When a child does this, it is precious. When a grown woman does it, it is a drinking problem.

2. I lie down in the bath tub, flinch as the water seeps inside my ears. I remember doing the same thing as a girl, and I remember hearing the tip tap of my heart once all the water stopped sloshing. Only now I don't hear anything other than a far off disturbance. I've never experienced a stampede, but I imagine this is the sound they make from a distance. I think about the things I've never: eaten lobster, watched an opera, had a seizure, learned a language other than my tongue, been to any country other than my own, seen any coast other than my own, endured any serious lasting want other than loneliness. Upon further thought, the distant rushing I hear under water is the blood inside of me.

3. I am on hold, calling in sick to work. This is a time when I am actually sick, and I know my hoarse voice sounds fake. The manager asks when I think I'll feel better. I am feverish and shivering and throwing up and this is the point in being sick when one cannot remember how being healthy feels. Likewise, once health improves, one cannot remember the pain of the stomach ache.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Shadows on my face cast long under the white lights of the gas station. We're stopped on a dark strip of country road and the dust is all kicked up behind us and far ahead it's a stoplight or tail lights, either way I feel almost spooked swallowing thick summer air. This gas station is the kind without attendants where you just pay at the pump, with some vending machines and an air pump under the lamp post. You and me don't have any curfew because it's June, and in June we can crawl into bed together under a gauzy sheet and my mom won't say anything and your parents are never in town to say anything either. I lean against the door, turn my back on you in the passenger seat, turn my back on your hand which hadn't touched my wrists in four years and my legs never. I want you to be looking out your window at some trees, but I can feel your eyes on my back turned, and so I crack the car door open but just smile. I do that sometimes; I don't have words only smiles, and it's so strange to me even after all night that when you open your mouth it's for me.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Victory of Samothrace

Speaking can sometimes be the most violent act between two people. Like the time you opened your mouth and my arms fell off. It was strange because you opened your mouth and my arms fell off and we were not dreaming, or I was not asleep.

There was that time in France when the front was drawing nearer and they had to empty the museums. And Winged Victory was inched down the steps from her throne, wings trembling, as if each thousand particle were a threat. Men wept, thinking Surely, we will never see her again.

And then there's you at the end of the hall, dark in between but behind you there is light-- suffusive and warm like memory. Or there's you, five hours in the future always riding buses over bridges that are older than my city. Or there's you, airport crowds parting to back turned. Or you, the creases in your palm, folding into mine like little prayers.

Greece never found her head, never found her arms. Scholars say maybe she was holding a trumpet to her mouth shouting victory. I can't see anything but the wings, trembling.