Draft came in whooshing the warm away but my hands were warm to the touch and tangible impossibility what I feel is relief it turns out I’m still alive after all I turned the corner the door was cracked where I’d left it for hours I left it loose on its hinges I I let the wind do what it does let the ghosts do what they do find me find the weak places in my defenses in my genetic code the lapses between my synapses where my biology isnt fused with my fragile psyche the draft deep down I can hear the hurt an audible clinking like a wind chime harbinger give me life let the ghosts do what they do haunt my halls my hauls of good faith and warm hands and so cool to the skin the draft comes in.
The future is right in front of you
Yet I feel almost hopeful
And will this be the worst year of my life?
–worse than 1995 (or was it 1996)
–bad times you swore you’d never forget, dates you thought would be seared in your mind drift away slowly, slipping passage of time
–worse than April 8, 1990
–or that one dreadful July
–worse than the worst day of every year
But the when’s are determined in advance
A seating chart and priorities numbered and neatly ordered
When I don’t know how to finish
I finish first
My breath bated
I’m dead with dying
There is an eye I refuse to catch
I was born with knowing
I look and I listen and I discern
You’ve caught my eye
I’m not God
But I know
Tell me everything
The bile and the filth and the worst, pour it
All that will be left will be left behind
Listen to my knowing
Let me catch your eye
My knowing is a reflection
There’s no dream I can’t decipher
I simply know
You tell me what’s the matter
And that’s what’s the matter
through kinder eyes than you can’t bear to see
This is my knowing
I was born in January
I am dead with dying
There’s an eye I refuse to catch
It’s the eye of a child
Who won’t let me see
Something terrible happened
Something awful and humiliating
Something that drained my blood from my face my screams from my throat my heart from my chest and
Something that puddled my potty down my leg and between my toes
And I don’t know
And I don’t know
I won’t catch my blue eye that eyes me in the mirror
I was a child born dead with knowing
It was January
It was cold something terrible
And I don’t know
There was a time when you mattered
The last bloom
On the Rose of Sharon
In which your spirit did not survive
As the sky
Or a petal from a poppy
Or a child of God
Did you really believe that?
That there was a time when it mattered
The way beauty fell away to reveal something more beautiful and terrible but toxic
Because it was yours
The lost blossom
Let’s forgo the easy way.
In October, I found myself at a funeral for a friend’s daughter, who was just shy of her 19th birthday. She’s just a kid. It’s the phrase that played on repeat the whole day. At the service, two things were emphasized that struck a deep, reverberating chord in me:
— Finish your unfinished business
— Learn as much about life as you can while you have the good fortune to have breath in your lungs
It made me think about what it meant to be an 18-year-old girl again. I can’t quite fit into the shoes of that girl anymore, but I remember the world had endless potential then. There was a promise of things to come. I still think there’s my whole life to do all the things I wanted to do when I was just a kid.
I’m not just a kid anymore–even though I don’t feel like an adult, either. I’ve had 18 more years on the planet than this girl did, and I can’t help feeling as though I have unfinished business. For all the hard (and necessary) lessons I’ve learned in my life, I’ve not learned enough. I’ve not done my part.
I’ve spent a good deal of my adult life sorting myself out. It’s been necessary. I believe in the power of self-reflection and brutally assessing oneself. I’m self-aware, sometimes to a fault, and I believe in the power of self-reflection and internal struggle. While suffering matters – it means something – I’ve nearly out-suffered myself.
But I’m not a kid anymore. The thought is as sobering and final as the closing of a coffin.
And so when I started thinking about how to enrich my life, the one thing that kept coming up was travel. With the exception of a “go me” solo excursion to Alaska and some side trips here and there, travel has been on the backburner for quite some time. It’s too bad, because I feel a sense of freedom and euphoria when I experience a whole new world.
And oh, where to go. There’s so much ground to cover (literally). The immediate bucket list is chock full of mountains and/or glaciers and/or snow…the very things I do not have in my corner of the world. Nepal and Iceland are the top two international contenders while the national parks in Alaska, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming are calling my name stateside.
The details will come. It feels good to make an 18-year-old promise to myself to continue to learn what I can about universe. After all, I’m not a kid anymore.
sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad sad
13s are symbolic,
The Greeks or some other dead people said so,
Maybe it was just rhetoric from the OMEN
It is not Halloween: it is not make-believe
there are no promises that can be kept
by gift we live by right we die
grace is optional
except when it’s not
the grace to bear grief
is sometimes always never
the only prayer there is
in these hot, breathless last days, it’d do us to get on with the praying
sooner than later
I have a large flowering tree
More than I can count
Pink blossoms, thin and bursting,
Centers dark as poppy hearts
They drop to the ground
I’m disappointed in their ordinary deaths
Until I see the blooming petals
Fall onto a smoldering pile of dog shit
It’s then I think maybe life is good after all
I went back to read your words
But they aren’t there
They aren’t to be found
The website says
There’s nothing there
Was there ever?
If I can’t read the words
I can’t be sure I ever knew you
You always knew I was of flightly, flimsy flesh
So why take the words from me
Why is there nothing there?