there is of light released when we lift our legs
to swoop a foot in the direction of a proverbial ass.
it is in the spiral helixes of our DNA, whirling ecstatic,
the summits of our strength peaking, how damn
good we look with the reins in our hands, riding each
beast of an adventure into the next. smart asses like us
raise hell and are effervescent in our loving, flowers
in our teeth, shaking our hips at the skeptics shaking
their heads and clucking their tongues at us, if they’d
let us, we could show them what tongues were made for,
our words are adored, our wet brains glisten in our skulls,
we are the brilliant creatures mythology is made of.
let the rest suffer their mundane lives, we’ll continuing
being the light which makes the dark of this life bearable.
I know, darling, sweetheart, baby,
life hasn’t gone the way you wanted,
no one recognizes you anymore and
you one day woke up to find you were
the cranky old man shaking his rake
at the leaves drowning the lawn, or
the woman who had grown used to
being the prettiest girl in the room
and suddenly they stopped looking.
You want your world back, you’re
tired of strange faces, you worry
when they speak that language they
speak of you with pity. Love,
we all want the same things, a life
lived well and without hunger. That
fear you know so well? Imagine
walking into every room as an other,
the face strangers have attached
hatred to because it is easier to close
a door than it is to open it. Imagine
then loving, chinking out holes in
the wall you’ve built to protect
yourself from the unknown, imagine
new air entering your body, the
cobwebs unsticking, blowing away.
Imagine each stranger you meet is
a child, imagine you are this child’s
sibling, think of this life as a field where
you can chase each other, invent a
secret language of intimacy, unlearn;
remember you shared a womb.
Imagine that each time you accept
someone the light inside of you
brightens, imagine how much
easier your life will be unencumbered
by hatred. I look forward to being
I found a photograph the other day,
taken ten years ago next month.
I’m on a boat in a little blue bikini,
the water is turquoise, sand white.
I’m leaning into that petulant hunky German
who, for that summer, claimed me as his own.
God, I loved being claimed like that.
You told me back then about your Mexico days,
how years later you regretted one man and
your regret was that you didn’t give into him.
Thank you for the warning against caution,
I was such a kid, I can’t imagine what it was
like to watch me put my hands in the fire,
I like to think it was beautiful, saying yes
to every pretty thing in my path, gazing at the
world through the green glass of beer bottles.
I had no perspective and am grateful I didn’t,
I wouldn’t have ridden off like that with him,
I wouldn't have taken off my clothing
and learned how it felt to swim naked
in the ocean at night with an impatient lover.
I faced the disappointed eventually and learned
to shutter the hurt in but wow, I was something, no?
thank you for encouraging me in all my joyous recklessness.
I was relieved that first day in Kansas
to enter your home and see your painted floor,
the wild array of shelves, books and color,
the first time I heard you laugh I knew
we’d be friends, our dork years in common,
literature; soon the phone lines were
buzzing with stories, you patient and frustrated
along with me the year I learned the hard way
a wolf can lose his teeth but not his hunger.
What I always come back to is your face
when you saw the red-haired brown children
playing at the wharf in Mexico; I was still
raw with devastation that day and wanted to
cry when I told you that’s how I imagined
my children would have looked like, and
how badly I wanted for us to be sisters.
That night we danced wildly to a cover band,
drank beer with your students and laughed
at how it all turned out, all that love I gave
your brother boomeranging through the
bloodlines, returned to me through you.