She is not a poet. This is not a poem.

She leaves poems all over the place

like dirty socks.

Words worn for a minute and rolled off into a wad in the hall,

under the bed,

in an imaginary New York apartment with wood floors,

but this is just Phoenix

and the fucking heat will burn a hole in your soul

like the words you want the world to hear,

but instead just sit on an unread unfollowed unsubscribed blog

without anyone–not even your mother

ever laying eyes on them.

She

sits in her white suburb at the kitchen table scarred by the

careless hands of children, and she stares

at the wall thinking

about how to put these words into some sort of meal

that makes people devour them and sit back with full bellies

savoring the juiciness.

She is just making poems from a box, ordering takeout

phrases that just do not satisfy.

She

used to be part of family dinner and even though it wasn’t New York,

the poems didn’t matter anymore.  She was full.

And now, she is alone in a room full of people

and the words matter to no one else

but fill up the moment, the day, the life

for they are all

she

has

 

 

Advertisements

After the Fire
Let the Motherfucker Burn

It turns out to be a moment
like a police officer showing up at your door

informing you that a part of you has died
all of the breath leaves your body

someone has to shake you to inhale
but you can’t find the air

that is the moment you realize
nothing in your life will ever be the same

the moment you realize it was in fact
too good to be true

when no matter the angle
or the distance

the only thing in focus is him smiling
at her with the secret whisper that was only for you

too late to test the smoke detectors
too late to clear the dead brush

this is not the fire of welcome home
no, this is to oblivion

where your life and the walls that contained it
are blackened smoke and ash melted into a muddy heap

where nothing, not even your own hand
is recognizable

Lost to Avalon

We were born under the stars
in a redwood forest
our words spilling into the night air
from the twisted vines of all the lovers before us.

It was no accident that the redwoods burned to the ground
the same year, the same month as all our promises.

Yesterday, I reached through the ashes,
pulled the magic through more than a decade
to wrap my body in it once more.
When it was over, I saw at last
the magician

packing up his illusions.
I could not unsee.
No more sparkle in the stars, bodies in the moonlight,
lips and breath like wine.
All the real magic was left to the wizards and fairies
of Avalon.

We are too grown now–
too drunk to believe.

After the Butterflies

Long after the butterflies
have flown,
after the artist’s hands stopped painting
thick textured strokes, composing our oneness, our space,
you can stand all winter on the edge
of the canyon
waiting
for the shapes and colors to change.

It is easy to miss in the watching.
When looking closely at the line between darkness and light,
you see there is only blur,
bits of darkness mixing with tiny breaks of light.
They are not themselves.  They are not each other.

We have journeyed many times around the sun,
only to find ourselves now in this alien space
where you look familiar, but have no gravity.
Where I find myself floating away
untethered, bound to become the distance.

This is the place where we no longer feel
the desert floor beneath our feet. Here where we were
once drawn together in your cool shade.
It is now a far away fairytale place, a
time lost to dreams.

Me, waking atop that mountain
exposed and burning in the midday sun.

Coltrane and Rainy Days

Cursor blinking on the page

unfinished labor of money, not love

while lost in a moment of Coltrane

always back to those honeymoon days

where it was cool and rainy outside,

cool and warm inside, barefoot in blankets and books

philosophical political purposeful conversations,

nights filled with red wine, the soft twinkle of

patio lights surrounded by passionate minds and

laughter, the burning of more than just candles

between us.   Another time before children,

before the fast-forward of life and cymbals

banging, before beds were strictly for sleeping,

before bright lights.  Maybe it was only a moment

or something we saw in a movie once.

 

Lost in the lazy piano and hot-blooded

trumpet, I can see those artist hands

of yours against my white arm

resting on the slow breaths of your chest.

Music drawn to a sad close,

I hear it– flashing cursor, pinging email,

stacks of paper.

But this day; this life,

was meant for so much more.

May You Always Have Mangoes:

with love for Ms Jones and Mr Brown on their Wedding Day
Two, November, Two Thousand Fourteen

at least one shared sunrise
waking to that slice of light across his or her perfect sleeping face
stimulating dinner conversations, wine flowing
just the two of you, or surrounded by family and friends
laughter. always laughter.
the right amount of longing
until your smiles are joined again
sunsets on the porch, on the beach, at the end of an argument
that never makes it through the night
love that feels as strong as the first time and as deep as the
last for all the rest of your lives
happiness together
like a bouquet of fruit flowers
delivered fresh to your morning table each day
may you never run out of things to say
and your love stay sweet and ripe to make your mouths water
through all the seasons of your lives

these things I wish for you
lovely couple

may your house always be full with the beautiful orange joy of mangoes

The Moon in Mexico

Somewhere deep in childhood
a time in Mexico
warm blue ocean, whir of foreign tongue
a girl’s dream began
building castles in the sand

Something more than shells came back
hidden in her lifeblood, in the cascade of golden hair
always a connection between waves and shore
always a love story born
by tide and moon

So when I saw you for the first time
I recognized the fiesta in your eyes, the waves in your smile
moon glowing from your heart
whispering to my senses in distant languages
all grown up now from the girlhood dream

There you are, sand on your cheek
helping to conjure up new girlhood dreams
with these tiny constellations we created
“I love you Mama Luna!” they say, but
are seeing your reflection in me

It is you who came to us from the Mexican moon
on the glittering ocean flowing into a young girl’s dreams.

Island Exposed

I am an island
and you are the sea

Only you.  Surrounding me
under me, lapping gently over

smoothing my edges
until one day I feel exposed

and realize you are adrift.
Nature out of balance,

a tide out too long.
“I am the ocean.”

you want to say
but don’t

“I am tired of gazing at your weathered trees,
your stony beaches.

There are hundreds of islands,
new, different, in love with me like you.”

You say none of that.
You silently retreat.

“But, I love you,”
I say.

There is no ripple to that
whisper.

Only blowing dust in a desert
that was once the sea.

If this is a dream, I’ll meet you at South Mountain when we wake

“Daddy Long Legs”

He sauntered suavé
from his mother’s womb and she
carried him on the wind like a leaf
all the way from Porfirio Diaz, Mexico.
They say spiders can love butterflies
I am not always sure

There is something in the warmth
of his brown body
curled around mine in quiet moments
an intrigue of danger to the female heart

With his head of black hair and
taut legs climbing into a fast car
a seductive pillow talk and smiling
hoyuelo whispering words of
forever until the dawn

It was summer then
and there was always the fear
his great migration was merely to
find his next prey
I sometimes suspect he eats Monarch Butterflies
my fragile wings all aflutter

 

“In love with the Taliban”

Nine years it took
for me to find myself again
There you were trying to sell me candles
that burned long after the sushi and
sake were gone

I had to laugh when your dark lips asked
“Are you married?”
In the middle of our first love.

Then you asked in Japanese
“What time do you have to be home?”
Oh—my smile released purple butterflies
From my exposed heart; I believe
I am
finally home

We sat close through the whole movie
our hands sweating to reach out for one another
Fell completely in love
without touching

When you slept in the hospital bed
next to the tiny redhead
When you watch me dress
like you really mean it
Even when you ask me what if…and
I can’t be bothered to answer

You speak to me in Spanish
“Calme te mujere.”
All I hear is
the way your lips move
to the sound of my breath

I see the picture of you
your beard growing into your eyes
because your days are spent
playing peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake
with the love who now holds your hand

and I think,

Man, I’m in love with the Taliban.