The little girl who had forgotten the story of her mother's dogwood walked around her yard in socks. Her boots hung by a knot in their laces over her shoulder. She walked with her head turned up toward the sky, her ears taking ecstasy in each crunch, but she shivered with the knowledge that Winter would soon come, carrying with it the chills and the biting, gnawing, wretchedness of a season without sunshine.
The Past - A Start
To look only behind you is a painful existence. There is a reason that my grandmother will not speak of her history, of the trauma that gripped her childhood. The future is brighter, the time to come more opportunistic than the time before. She would press her palm to my cheek.
"Don't forget it."
For months now, I have forgotten what comes next. For months been unable to plan or predict. I see only the rubble that rubs off my feet at each bus stop, each train stop, each rest stop on this path. Exhausting, it is always, this neck turned behind me. It feels as though I walk towards the past, not away from it. My chest tight, near bursting with the pressure of my shirt buttons and the weight of last Monday.
Writing poetry is taking a deep breath
of air conditioning on a muggy day, it is
forgetting that boy, that girl who
says those things, those words that
make you feel like the air
is water, and
I cannot teach you how to love the way
words float off your tongue or
how to find joy in the snappy phrases and
pauses between lines because
you will not understand
until you stumble over it
Smells (draft two)
a smell has just reminded me of
fresh, near sterile water and
the foulness of my breath,
of a heaving,
of my insides out.
A need to annotate on the margin of morning,
quivers, pattern disturbed.
Still dubious that what is inside
will stay there,
or that it should,
only trusting that poetry
can make anything sound pretty.
notes on three quotes
Three quotes that were popular on my day of this year,
"Too much perfection is a mistake"
Attempted sympathy that a cynic turned near optimist choked down
with three grapes,
and a bite of too ripe nectarine,
and two rolls of her left eye.
Sixteen years working to see that
striving for perfection will get you three steps from nowhere,
but accepting that your own perfection exists,
is a peace all its own, so
please keep your negativity away from me I'm
trying to make happy.
"I am a museum full of art
but you had your eyes closed"
written by a poet turned icon,
for girls with blame seeping out of their eyelids,
a need for someone else to be at fault for their half-shaken tickers.
Came to terms with the idea that he saw my art,
and decided it wasn't for him.
"For the ones who dream of stranger worlds."
Music stopped playing, or didn't, but I can't hear it-
our world is strange enough
men who protect are killing because they are scared of a color,
men who rule will not let the bravest protect because they came out,
men fight over land that
was not ours to begin with
we cannot claim,
it is shared amongst,
you and i, and the honeybees, butterflies.
“Too Much Perfection”
She kept the words
"Too much perfection is a mistake"
tattooed in pen ink on her forearm,
over a scar she wouldn't talk about.
The words not for their
cliched sympathetic tone,
but for the confusion with which she first read them.
For perfection- is just that.
To most, mistakes, flaws, drip negativity,
but to a girl with no windows,
only candles dancing on ochre,
a mistake was too perfect.
Silence is a friend of mine,
silver locks frame her face,
and she smiles - sometimes she doesn't -
but anyone who smiles all the time can't be trusted.
Our first encounter was discouraging,
her, the reaper of loneliness, in my eyes,
me, a raucous writhing of limbs, in hers.
But now we sit on Saturdays
drinking tea and taking in the things we can't