Monthly Archives: July 2011

life

I’ll find a man. We’ll get a house.
With a pool. And a dog. Have a kid. Small talk
with neighbors.
       How are your tulip bulbs this year?
       My, how Sally has grown.
I’ll get a job. At the local elementary school.
Teach them animals sounds. What to add. How to subtract.
       Eight plus what equals 11? What is missing?
       Twenty minus what equals 5. What was taken away?
I’ll get a car. Drive to Whole Food. Greek yogurt on sale this week. Organic lettuce. Pesticide free.
Have barbecues. Make mild complaints.
       Oh, you know, getting by.
       But oh, this rash!
I’ll wear an apron when I cook. Your favorite dish.
       Kiss the Cook.
       World’s Greatest Mom.
       Don’t Mess with the Chef.
I’ll travel the same paths. Watch the orange tree grow. Complain about the price of gas. The politician’s indiscretions. I’ll dye my graying hair. Pack up the kids to visit my mom. Make a feast for the holidays.
       Your turkey last year was by far your best.
I’ll grow old in this town. I’ll die in this town.
       What was missing?
       What was taken away?


public

In LA, it is only acceptable to walk
if you are in a parking lot
or on crack.
I rode the bus for the first time yesterday,
31 years, and a glass pipe hit my shoe.
It was clearly used.
I took a photo.

The boys on the bus talk about parkour.
It isn’t done right if it is done inside.
You have to find an obstacle to overcome,
not make an obstacle to overcome.
I thought it was about moving in a straight line
despite obstacles, not finding or making them.
But I spend more time finding or making obstacles,
so clearly, I’m not doing it right.

I see I puzzle the drivers,
walking on narrow pathways between yards and pavement,
what passes for sidewalks,
because I look neither drunk nor poor.
I am drunk on life, but poor in spirit.

Tomorrow, I’m going to rent a car.
Then I’ll see LA the way it was supposed to be seen.
At a distance, behind glass, like a movie set.
And then the actors will make sense,
I will receive my lines, be fitted for my role.

Next week, I’m flying back home.
Which is nowhere near where here is.


curtain

my world has grown sharper,
like HD, like someone has turned on the lights.
and it makes me see better
that there really is no point.


Conversations

“I talk, you listen,” he breathes, begins his tirade.
There is no end.
I listen, he talks, I breathe, bite my tongue.
There is no use.

I tried.

And nothing he says is true. He pauses for an rankling achoo.
Daddy, I wish I were through.

Like the shoe you chucked at me, like the broom
the wound smarts but it isn’t you.

“I talk, you listen,” he shouts, his temples red.
There is no home.
I cry, he yells, I run, bite my tongue.
There is no base.

I did. I tried.

My words don’t seem to come through. I pause for a second or two.
His hands are still on the shoe.

Like the tiles I fall on, like the door
it’s as cold as when I was born.

I can’t hear his words anymore, above the cries of war,
I’ll just stay here on the floor.


blunt

No one likes to hear you complain.
There is nothing wrong with you, except that you think there is something wrong with you.
You don’t listen to me when I talk sometimes. I know this. I talk to you anyway because it’s nice to have someone pretend.
I don’t understand why you love her.
You are more beautiful than you realize.
The way you talk louder when you are insecure to show people that you are not insecure is how we know that you are.
I don’t understand why you have forgiven him.
I know you flatter me to get what you what. I would have given it to you anyway.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve lived lifetimes of hurt. Sometimes I feel like I haven’t lived at all.
You are only funny when you stop trying to be.
I don’t understand how to love you.
I don’t understand how to let you love me.


hardwood

i pose you, floppy as a doll, as an unfinished sentence,
in both shadow and light. your legs twist in shapes i can
only call secrets, whispered as they are, soft as they fall.
behind the lens, i outline your curves and make you sad
so that i can love you.
                                           you are not real and i cannot touch you.
the glass between us moves with your breathing and you close
your eyes and wait and i see that it is not you at all.

i love the color your skin makes against the air, i love the
nostalgic scent in the way your knees bend, i love the water
of wood underneath your thighs. i love the weight you give.
i love the space that is not you.
                                                             i love the lonely that misses you.
i love the pillow that hugs you. i love the lamp that kisses you.
i love the eyes that see you. i love the idea that made you.
i love the time before you.


endless

you caught me off guard, like the cool
delight of a thunderstorm in the summer heat
the pause between the lightening and the thunder crash
when anything could happen, even you loving me.
ephemeral like the lightening, jarring as thunder
you passed through like monsoons and i am slick with laughter.