Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Absolute values and inequalities

Is a language all its own
A simple, majestic thing
That I wish I could speak better
Like learning the underside
Of everything your heart says
There are languages I do not speak

I’m good
At catching phrases
Gleaning meaning

I fake my way
Toward a fictional path
Where I can walk with eyes closed
Into the arms
Of nothing

Hold your breath
While the tears start to stab
And your head rolls back
Squeeze the muscles in every part of you
Till your calves seize

To face behind you
A Fibonacci spiral bending arcs
Of seashells and flower petals
And if I could count cards
I’d bet
Those poetic numbers
Might guide…


My tumbles toward you

There are visions
And they have no form
A shadow soul
That wraps its deadened words around me
Black lines on a white page
Full of invisible zeros and ones
An electric set of patterns

There isn’t an end.  There is a passing on
One to the next
And a step again
Stalled out
A step forward
A step backward
Tip toeing twice to the side
Three moments holding my breath
For five beats I close my eyes and break
Eight thousand times

Even dizzy and dreaming of a language
I can only pretend to know
I will hold onto the way
That he told me

“I love you”

Sunday, January 29, 2017

the size of baby steps

I would close my fist, so gently
around you
squeezing a lilac petal
to protect it from the breeze

A breeze that blows too damn hard

In grief, as in life, we learn about baby steps
We learn that YEARS, not days or weeks
fit in that shadow shape

We learn to disco with our shadow side
to place our feet down in precise ways
so that the ripping and tearing dials down

But recipes and meal plans
don't work for everyone

So as silence screams inside my solitary skull
and my country crumbles and crystallizes around me
I continue to crawl

I am tiny
inside all this
but I am everything

And at least I have practice
being afraid

In grief I've found my dance steps
inside an enormous prison
But how can I be found...ever?

Regardless...I am not the first
Nor am I the last
Nor is my journey or pain a thing that affords me
more than anyone

I have no mouth
yet I am screaming

my eyes are dry
yet streaming with all
the tears

I have spoken, softly begged
for him to be well
for a safe unbroken space

and there are streams of bitter lies
where dreams of peace
have died...melting into something


Have you ever put your arms out and spun?
In your living room, on the playground, your bedroom?
Spun until the spinning became a part of you?

And nothing was visibe
But everything was there
to be felt

And you tried to walk
or you lay down on the cold concrete
 and closed you eyes

I have no answers
to anything
not one

I'm dizzy spinning inside my head
just trying to carefully place a foot

I am alone
I accept this

But I don't want to accept it

I'm dizzy and spinning

But the murmurs melt it all together
The pain
The hope
The fear
The strength

Till there is nothing
good or bad
strong or weak

There is only




Sunday, January 8, 2017

The birth of a new mantra

Think:  who am I BEING with my life?
And make a list
There are things that no one puts on that list…we don’t say “I want to be…”
1.       A widow
2.       A single parent
3.       A welfare recipient
4.       A drug addict
5.       An abuser
And yet, here we are
So we have to make another list
And put on it the better things.  Can we find a step up?
Think about
How you want to be remembered.
Where, on that list, can I put down
That I want to be the woman who was wanted?
Does “other woman” work somehow, if I care about him
And accept that he loves his wife
And don’t actually see him in real life?
Where should I list “desperate for love and connection”?
If I’m being honest, in that frightful way that I have, that is a large part of who I am
How I have spent my life
And I know that others remember me that way
Through a lens of disgust and disappointed judgement.

When my husband died, I went insane for a while
Functionally insane, for the most part.  I could still do stuff.  Most stuff.
But still
I went down paths that I’d never have dreamed of walking
And I danced there.  I sat down a while.  I probably took my clothes off.

So.  Who am I BEING with my life?
I’m a mother.  A teacher.  A widow.  A slut.  A friend.  A talker.
A singer.  A reader.  A writer.  A dog lover.  A cat lover.  A comic book movie and tv show fan.
I’m a woman afraid of trying and afraid of giving up.  I’m a walking hunk of cognitive dissonance
Too jaded to be foolish, too naïve to be safe

I’m certainly being me.  ME.  Not trying to be anyone else.
I often say that I want to be different people when I grow up, when I see
Someone acting in a way I admire…but I am not so good at emulation.
Antithesis I can manage…watch what is done and do not what you see
Do, in fact, the farthest thing from observed behavior.  Check.

Other than that, my ME hat has been worn forever…all guises left along the road side
But I find myself, as a widow,
Spinning in infinity
Willing to lay my love down
Sliding in sideways
Till I noticed…there is no one there
To offer it to…
And really, I need to stop trying that.  So now I say to myself
“I am alone, and I accept that”
And it is terrifying.
Because it’s my only choice:  I must accept the things I cannot change
And find a way to filter the sunlight through the rest.