The woman at the stilled light resembles me in the shape of her (impatience) until I notice her face, made asymmetrical by fire, some refiguring story, and I think they could be just paper plates, dimes stretched thin to fit us faces, “render unto Caesar…render unto God…
our Father who art in heaven…”
Been ten years set free of the obligations of earthbound Father’s Day while You tied yourself- knot at the end of this rope of my life. Hold on tight, little girl, kite in the wind, blue sky coming,
at dusk I take the bits of fortune cookies, crumbs still scattered across the messy kitchen table and…write to you, about the disposable styrofoam containers, syrupy orange sauce, tendency I have to eat my way through grief (of losing you) when…I admit you…do not need me, better that way, my trenchant sentenceless phrasing, my desert-wandering inertia, my messy house and muted grief all pressed into this vanilla-y cookie folded around words written by a stranger somewhere, perhaps one day there will be an algorithm for these things equal parts admonition and prophecy. Oh, prophecy, the old clothes of mortality, cast-off, superfluous from the beginning to
the children of heaven.
If you asked me how I knew it was you I would touch your face and say aardvarks!! Anteaters!! Warthogs!! Your humor as unmistakable as your wit, odd they all refuse to see you, you in the over-sized retro flippers, ducky float ring and wild Hawaiian print crashing the party, the holiday, the cozy churchy potluck making almost everyone supremely uncomfortable. Everyone except the children who delight in your flamboyant honesty, your failure to adhere in any way to our sheepy ways, shorn and alone
You hand off the flowery shirt, the float, the flippers (none of which you ever needed)
seamless garment to sunblind guards
World go dark, pain and love
what was it, mute, inanimate object perched on the counter in the messy late-night kitchen as she finally sweeps up the spilled beans, tosses them out into the night, contemplates both what usually lurks there and if they will grow, sprout, tangle up into vines, vines to block the sun, spin to the clouds where the approximate-rhythmic giant dwells, mocking science, mocking long-dead Darwin, Glutton-clubbing, maggot-and-squirrel devouring Darwin whose mortal life has coiled to dust but whose immortal one is hot, vivid, fierce
Survival of the fittest…
how many words for snow
how many words for rice or rain or storms
We humans and our specificity
Yet no words for listening
Being there, holding on, loving you
Oops! Already well into
Greeting card territory
When what a body needs is those…those
Ladies in the black organza
Wailing in the streets.
Where are they? When we need them so?
All those things we need them to
Say, not say, feel
a new vocabulary
Esperanto for grievers
Words for here I am with you (ret)
Just being here for you (ghurt)
You are not alone (hyop)
Breathing here with you (fppt…)
There are empty rooms and rooms for more
Make more. More for all the ways
I will be with you in silence
Letters strung together for the careful listener
Unspoken I am with you
Through the storm.
I was angry at first
At real atrocities ignored and
fictions so promiscuously embraced
But then I thought heck
So what if she mixes her metaphors? Or fails to tally the cost
Of a world unmoored by love?
I have this one
Haven’t you ever been afraid that this triune omnipotent
God of love
Might be just like
Dustin Hoffman in the penultimate
scene of The Graduate?
Pounding on the outside
(yes, the outside)
of the church, calling your name as you
Marry the wrong guy?
And if you do-
(what if you do!?)
Who will be there
By your side on the bus to forever?
from either a piano or home
signifying the way
music will wash
any pretense of ordinary living has
turned to furtive or else.