You got distracted cleaning the kitchen. I thought about telling you to hurry up. Realized it was already all too fast–you were already growing up too fast,
I should will time to slow down, distract it with something
To keep us here together
Just a little longer
Ulysses fights through unspecified traffic, roads clogged with people trying to make their way home. He texts–
Proof love is
Trying to escape the lie that there was another day that could’ve been–something with more walking, running, skipping perhaps, less pain, which you and I measure in numbers, whole or in pieces, because how could you measure it otherwise? The way you might
Measure a life in years, decades, fractions of things. We are all just fractions of things.
Only from great heights.
I struggle with sadness (with good reason). The world is a dark place. Sometimes I will construct bits of words to hold off the sadness, things that are true but cannot fly or sing or curl up in one’s hands. We make words alive all the time–alive to life or alive to death, but not everyone can use words to make the dead rise or the sun, to speak worlds into being.
I know only One who can do that. Word of God, speak us all to life.
Despite my refusal to believe in the ghosts of the dead, stalking the yard, watching from the hill, beneath the trees where we have buried them, it remains the souls of the technically still living who haunt the before-and-after story of the man buried for another
never asking what exactly it is a carpenter does with
the disarray of
rails, posts, and sockets from the busted-in gates of hell
Trees remind me of home, as do the adorable wearable blankets one might buy for a baby born in a winter country. I struggle with the pronoun I, construct tree houses and wearable blankets out of words strung around the neck of a woman turning into the composite her grandmothers long gone on to the next thing…home…give me a cup full of it, your face, voice in my head, Man who shows up just in the nick of time in sorrow as piercing as joy.
Perhaps you know this place. Perhaps it is just up the hill, just around the corner, just out of reach on the spectrum of visible light
For-those-who-have ears to hear
She mistrusts me now, with good reason. I took her smallest one and when I brought her back it was only to say goodbye. She moves the surviving ones to the back corner of the closet where they are surrounded by the fragrance of girls’ Sunday dresses, sashes the vines and tangles of a forest we can only see through the window. She shuns the crass plastic takeaway boxes for the Formica bowls we bought in South Korea before you were born, before you were the little ones stashed in the closet for safety. I wish more things were just metaphorical thought experiments and fewer things were laced with grief and its outsider ways.
I understand when she lets me feed her and when she growls be careful, lady, I am done with white man’s justice.
“Don’t worry, Girl,” I tell her. “No white men here anymore.”