Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sense Memory

The crisp breath of air
across my back awakes me;
for a moment you are still here.

Just before I open my eyes
I can smell the faint hint
of your Cool Cucumber lotion.
"Dry skin is never an option"
you would say as you rubbed
down the cracks in your skin,
masking them.

My eyes open and I am alone.
Perhaps you are in the bathroom

or in another room

in another house

in another town

in another state

somewhere I cannot see you
but know you're okay.

I close my eyes, inhale,
and go back to sleep.


When I think of you
it’s like eating ice cream
too quickly
a total brain freeze
where my thoughts
my words
do not coincide with speech
a normal person speaks

you’re like hypothermia
to my hypothalamus,
cerebral cortex,
all things that reside inside my head

the breath stops
the words stop
the brain freeze begins

but my heart burns
like a lantern in the dark
and I wait for the ice to melt.

I just keep waiting.


You're not here anymore
But pieces of you remain
I can spot you sitting in your chair
or using the red duck umbrella in the rain.
I don't know why you had to leave
There seemed so much life still left
Tell God I don't need money, answers, or happiness
If He'll just give you back, he can keep all the rest.


Split me in two
so a part of me is always with you
put me in the folds of your pocket
and take me out when you’re alone
so you can be with me
and no one else in that moment

Just you and me
the way it was supposed to be
until I asked you to leave
and you believed I wanted you to go.

Break me into pieces and hide me
away in the safest places of your soul

I won’t feel a thing
It’ll be like you never left
It’ll be happiness

With you always
even when you think I’m not
A little piece will always be there

Leaky Faucets

I cannot turn the love off
like the dripping faucet
in my Caribbean blue bathroom.
No matter how tight I turn the knob to the right,
water always leaks through.

You say you need time
to figure all this out,
to see if you can live up to the words
uttered from your mouth over a month ago -
promises made of forever
that quickly were forgotten overnight.

You said no matter what,
but the limitless boundary
has found its limit,
and I cannot make it stop.
I cannot take back any words
said by you or by me.

Now I just sit and listen,
Cross-legged on the tile floor,
to the ever present drops of water
splashing against the hair-dye stained sink drain,
and I wonder if the pain in my chest
will ever stop the way you
found a way to stop caring
after swearing on your Tabby cat
the love would not end.

I want to stuff the pipes with bath tissue,
cement, anything to make them quit;
clot them and my heart until they do not trickle an ounce;
make them back up until they explode
like the toilet trick in Goonies;
until they cannot leak anymore,
until everything is quiet again,
and there is no drip left.

But I do nothing but sit and listen
to the water seep past metal screws
to the love dribble past the aching thoughts
and I wait for it all to stop.

Friday, December 2, 2011


3600 miles driven through twelve states
Only four of us left now
Half of our lives are still in boxes
The other half we left for the repo man
or whoever was there for the taking

We found a lamp at the local thrift store
to replace the three lamps we couldn’t fit in the truck
Each day we find another item we are without
and wish we’d made better use of that 16 feet
that I packed for three days before we left.

I make more lists now
of things we need
of adventures we had
of lives lost along the way
of places still to visit
of why we’re still here
of why we should go home.

But home isn’t what it used to be
and maybe it never will be again
This way, thousands of miles between us
I can remember it how I want to
and no one can tell me any different.

Here I can be whoever I want to be
and my heartaches are not public knowledge
and my sadness is mine to hold
and my worth is my own to determine.

But here you are not with me
You are just memories and intangible moments
I cannot grasp or get back
and as the snow falls around me
I feel that old life fading away with the last
of the autumn leaves.

I let myself fall on the white floor of the earth
and feel the coldness around me
I wave my arms and legs about me
until a snow angel forms underneath me
and for this moment I am grateful
for all 3600 miles
for all the losses and failures
for my one great adventure.

Mount Baker

Mid-July and the top is down
we’re driving towards the mountain
as if we can climb it with our 4 cylinder
and never look back

The sun is high, but hot enough
to flush the pink out of the palest skin
Rows of wildflowers and crops drift
out beside us like ocean waves
as we drive faster and faster
toward the “Great White Watcher”
the natives say is a man that left
his flock tagging behind
and I say is a woman
majestic and beautiful
stark white against the bright blue sky
with her sisters in tow

Squint your eyes against the unyielding light
and you can see her there
with her smaller mountain sisters to the right
She is constant, vigilant
A mother overlooking us all.

Beauty Routine

I watch the sunshine
slip down the drain
the way it does over the horizon
when the night fades in

Dark hair again…

Maybe now you’ll see me
Maybe now you’ll want me

Maybe tomorrow I’ll go back blonde.

Paiwacket the Cat

Blue eyed bandito,
masked and black faced
lying next to me –
Do you know how lovely you are?

Do you care?

Your round belly and waddling feet
tell me I feed you too much.
I try to stop but then you cry,
and I cannot limit you.
I will not be my mother –
not even to you.
I love you too much.
Is that true? Even possible?

Your sandpaper tongue
licks my face as you purr
loudly in my ear
and I know you’re happy.
How I wish my life
was that easy to fix.