before wishing adieu
consider those rushing years
how they go
girls in wide skirts with brown elbows
flaring in pluming circles, colors of earth and sky
feet tripping over movement, making hexagons of their desire
look back … oh look back
those long years that lay like the junk drawer in your house
untouched by thought or query
ransack shelves you have long forgotten
a hair band from her, 2006 I think, the texture of caught wisps changed so much.
Every room carries the souls of every person who inhabited them
a ring made of silver paper, from the inside of a cigarette box as we sat
in a dark bar on the edge of town, knocking back whiskey and birch
playing footsie beneath sticky tables, with shoes off, bare toes searching
photos of people lost, people found, people who no longer exist lost in circles
the force of life remains inexplicable.
Times past, fast and hot like racing cars revving their engines as soon as dusk
settles like a woman’s gloves on the sorrowful face of the world
for years you rushed around, paying no heed to silent pieces of life you accumulated
halogen lamps stand like cupie dolls with radiant faces
stuffing them in boxes, tying with ribbons, preserving for what day?
There’s lavender from my grandmothers farm, her old best silver spoon, a dog
tag from my father’s first, the smell of grass and good doggie sweat still adheres
an old stone mill and my cousins would drink from tadpole ridden water
and I am the one who grew up to outlast, everyone.
All the people in this photo are gone, still they remain on unsettled periphery
what would they tell me? Get rid of her, she chokes you like
late wine that has corked, she takes and gives nothing back but ingratitude
it’s never enough, it will never be enough, you are not seeing clearly
and the memories of velvet as soft as snow haunt like miniature heart
attacks caught in disused webs.
in jars there are stars and in skies there are words, for everything existing here
is upside down
I write about you until my fingers bruise, I remember the little things
you long cast aside as of no use, like me, like us, like this, once and lost
your memory is a cruel sieve with no regard for history or effort
only the smelt of immediacy and present day full exposure
I have long been your past, just as we have
become junk in drawers, lost to further inspection
when words run dry and even letters stay unopened
your cough sweets, when you ran a high fever and I made soup
the times I took, the hours, the moments,
caught in nets in your mind, to be drowned even deeper
crabbing pots without capture, no dinner tonight you sustain
yourself on bitterness and temerity.
When i am gone, tied in forgetfulnesses bow, you will not recollect
the cards I hand made, how I stitched your favorite sweater
three times till the moths had their eventual dinner
when you were lonely, the words we spoke in the dark
those comforts that are lost in the past, never to be unearthed
I built a life time and you forgot the shopping list
and driving into the sun, lost your desire for remembering.
Here in this place, I keep the momentos of lost walks
the day you whispered to me, I was the one, how we
climbed and fell together, like gradual waterfall
here is the photo of us laughing
here is a snapshot of us ending
still there are always rubber bands and pins at the bottom of a drawer
to snap and prick you back, to caring about something other than yourself
where we lay beneath cherry blossom, because you said you always wanted
to eat sandwiches and drink wine beneath Spring trees
my hair growing below my waist, the pizza they gave us
when one was not enough, drinking coffee on tindered street
wishing we could still smoke, being well behaved, havoc resting
the copper light of that room, how it smelt of patchouli and wine
even as we left.
I still fit into those days
they fit me like old clothes made new with sentiment’s stitch
climbing from the silence of today into
a divining bell and sinking beneath perpetual hurt
till music swells and covers my consciousness with
they slip into me as you dove
deep and never released
your breath, my swimmer, my underwater love.
I still see you there
telling me to trust, when I am walking on our ash
here the trees are taller than those we grew to
know and there are no cactus or flowers of the desert
to go with that favorite tune.
I climb California hills with Barney and he hands me
a piece of advice, a white flag
don’t look back, do what it takes
life is an arrow, cast it wide, cast it careful.
Pink is a damn sunrise slung over beautiful shoulders
running rest of the way home, past the old mental hospital
where secrets are wrapped in files never read, like mosquito nets in Alaska
I go back to my Canadian house and the closed feel of doors
watch snow fall and think of tattoos
over 30 and how time is like unconsciousness
you feel it in another part of you
searching for a way to unite the two.
Slow jazz playing on a malnutritioned needle
here the fair comes promptly in June
they all rush outdoors, so grateful for sun
I tell them, where I came from it never relented.
And I wonder, are you still there? Waiting for me
on the one day of rain? As we kissed goodbye
beneath lampposts, driving separately off, blind in downpour
each aware of time ticking further apart
long arms flung like an acrobat in green ocean
flips ever more easily, than we on land
shall inherit perhaps these fitful musings
of things left behind
The fence between us
you hammered in
you uncoiled and made
tall and hard to