1 – Ask a question
His lips are moving, but what is he saying?
2 – Form a hypothesis
He is talking about work, but his lips are mouthing love.
3—Conduct an experiment
Smile back. Let go of doubt. Release inhibition.
A second date. Attraction. Lips and hearts magnetic. Explosion.
5—Make a conclusion
This kiss, resulting in explosion, confirms hypothesis.
We are in love. Have been since ask a question.
Alone on a morning walk
splashed in a rose watercolor dawn
Together in the forest
under a clear sky raining glitter
Watching these babies
freshly bathed and sleeping
Oh—what a splendid life
she was honest from the start
she could only handle so much
when results were in
her hand writing over and over them
the only solution was to wail and
begin lying—to everyone she knew
if anyone ever imagined the worst
of those paper bags in the clinics
they need not worry, for the bags
are filled with lies
those we tell ourselves and others
especially our children
whose death is a truth and sorrow
leaving us like an abandoned chrysalis
frail, transparent, with a hole we’ll never fill
only the spirit of a blue butterfly
escaping with the lie
I want to be a poet
someone who writes poems
for a good part of her day
who attends workshops
who starts a writer’s group
who is known in poetry circles
I am not just doing this for me
I am doing it for you
and not only that, but
I want you to like it
maybe even love it
at your grandmother’s funeral
I want it to soak into your skin
and bones, and melt into your
marrow so it is forever
part of me now part of you
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York;
in blurred mirages rising from the desert floor
where no human should see herself reflected
seasons do not come and go
as they could not bear to follow her there
where no living thing should grow
autumn refused to pack up the leaves
who could blame her
when brown is the only color this land knows
it rolls in on nuclear clouds
choking our dry throats and hearts
nor could winter survive
year round summer rays attacking any snowflake
who dares attempt to hold tight to parched ground
he too chose to stay where powerful blusters can
not be weakened by mercury rising
spring, such an accommodating fair haired friend
rather than say no outright, she teases
with a few weeks of bloom and blue
only to rush home quickly to greener pastures
leaving little notice she once blossomed here
we brace ourselves and take cover
for the raging wrath of hellfire burst forth
summer nearly six months of the year
still beating us with its heat stick in October
trick-or-treating in shorts and bare shoulders
missing the seasons is more than a lack
of something from yesteryear
it is a soulless march of walking dead
over scorched earth seeking to wash away their sins
in color, leaves, rain, and snow
some of us were lost
spent our twenties in the Bermuda Triangle
we forgot who we were
lioness and dove, dragon and fairy
only then could you cage us
imprisoned by your tempting promises
it wasn’t until we banded together to
learn our own hearts and gather our spirits full force
we could see through the fog
clear to the mainland where our flag was flying
we let go of the island of the lost
became deaf to your words of mass destruction
they damaged us like no other warfare
until we accessed the power to heal ourselves
and release all that held us bound, lifeless
rising from the ashes of our mistakes
to become the mighty Phoenix and fly
forever leaving you and your kind behind
I want to do the work of bees,
or grass growing in the field
even winter’s hungry wolverine
Labors of passion, because they are:
No choice but to be
givers, not takers
Heirs to the earth
When the sun crosses my face
each day, I shall not think
I don’t want to make honey, grow, be.
There is only this as far as I know.
It must be more than dreaming, and
soon, nature’s fuel will find me
right where it left off forty years ago.
Sometimes it seems like a challenge—
Other days a threat, or a warning.
Maybe simple honesty stings unknowingly
like a threatened scorpion
Subtext: you’re no Sanchez, Lorde, Clifton, Cisneros.
You barely belong in this class.
No. “You’ll never get in. You’re a middle aged white woman,”
my mentor said.
Was that a dare you laid at my feet and told me not to cross?
Were you even aware of the shrine I built for your work upon
my own heart? I gathered these droppings I laid
packaged them neatly to see if their spindly legs would hold
on plain white paper. With my life story and letters
from people who have no clue, I risked it all
and didn’t get in—to the one who lets everyone in
even old white women.
Still, there is always a bud of hope
blooming under those pages in the trash.
A hope that one day you will read a piece and
it will mean something–
enough to get taped on the wall.
What truths did I have to tell at thirteen,
coming out from a day in the Barbie Dream House
for a walk in the desert with boys?
Working class truth exposed
my economic poverty and desperate
hunger to be liked, even loved.
We sat in the secret shallow hideaway.
Me the oldest, tallest, and only girl
feeling good about paltry male attention.
Nobody cared about the truth, not then, not now.
Dare the only choice, for a girl with no options
I laid my neck bare.
Mother smoothed the tremors and sobs
over news of forced conception, until
she saw the mark he left as his own true confession
Hiding under my hair with all the other secrets.
She could not help but laugh when she saw the bright red cherry,
which she managed to composedly explain, is not how people make babies.
anyone could tell by the menu
I was raised by a kid
not even young enough to vote
vegetables in my childhood
were onions on a McDonald’s hamburger
which I scraped off
they were mashed potatoes
whipped with heaps of whole milk and butter
which I glazed in gravy
or sort of green
green beans from a can
which I tricked my brother into not eating
the way I refused to eat tater tots
another bygone vegetable
my mom could send to all the starving children
if I ate the iceberg lettuce salad
with lots of Wishbone dressing
then I could have strawberries with sugar
oh–my kids with their broccoli, peas, and carrots
would rise up in a five-a-day rebellion
if they knew my secret vegetable history