Seven years


Seven years I let myself formulate excuses

not to return

and on the eighth

guilt had made her way into my closed heart

laying a light ribbon on the frayed part

 

going back was like being reborn

as yourself and not yourself at all

I walked familiar streets, spoke similar words

accent hardly altered

as if no time had passed

and so they said

you look exactly the same

though they were changed and I were changed

all altered irrevocably with time worn stain

as if glass no longer could be relied upon

to give accurately our real prescription

even friends were foreign handed

or I no longer of that land

left behind when things were too sad

I sealed the bottle and set adrift

seven years of absence builds

many barnacles to anyone’s vision

when the damned see the truth

the liars remove their seaweed masks

curtsy finely and pronounce

we did our part

exit stage left

standing on warm boards of the theater of pretend

where dance and energy has dissipated

into cloven wings

hear me now

shadows of my past

the girl with the big smile

her perfect fine figured mouth

and matching dragon tooth skirt

as if we dressed together in the darkness

of one another

except she is a mother and

I have a cut-out womb ebbing in formaldyade

don’t worry I feel no pain now

some of us are bearly hanging on

what good would a child of weakness

bring the sorrow further inland?

I miss her

like I write letters in wax to myself

those over easy days we knew who we were

or felt … some approximation of reality

good enough for then

when she looked at me

unequal teeth smiling and needing

how did the splinter drive that deeply?

wedge like sword between this time and before?

we know nothing of the other

as a blue bottle

cast on green and yellow water

will wait

seven years

to reach shore

when I climbed out and dusted myself off

she was gone

her footprints erased from the sand

nobody recognized me

only the echoes of an angry sea

calling me back to exile

whispering

you do not belong here 

and the white cliffs looked relieved

when I flew overhead

my heart aching with loss

the cheer of relief

like a season

changing from golden red to

brown

Parody

dance

My old school friend

never gave up the habit of

biting her nails to the quick

she had German hair that stood in a halo

a little too thick

and we danced in 1950s skirts

to Shaking Stevens

her mom knocking on the door

turn it down I’m studying for my PhD

since her father left she has climbed

higher toward sea level

whilst we only knew parody

turning the dial on the radiator to

heat up the hormone room

life then was a warm window

two girls crossing the floor in bare feet

she’s staring at me from across the way

still nervous and antsy

as if exams were looming

and the cold nose of winter refused

to flatten our hat sprung hair

from its floss

I will know you

childlabor-03

If you want to be certain

change your name

alter your identity

everything known

erase and begin over

and still

still

as you write something down

leaving hangnail of familiar

in the tick of your mind

shaping air balloons for the blind

I will know you

Echoing back

 

40ce96627e2a59381507324cc14e8c38She has gone down with the light

into deepest water

where frozen the eyes denied

see murkily through specter

she has gone down because you deemed her

unforgiven

and all your entreaties and kindnesses

were sunken lies

all the time you waited

like the brown recluse

sits watchful

beneath porch steps

for the unwise

she has gone down because you needed her capsize

to stick the thorn deep and watch her bleed

for those who dare to live inspite of you must pay the price

we are nothing if not accurate

in our thread and release

the arrow

a light airy sound

blistering cloud

cutting through

pierces its mark

and she must sink beneath the waves of your wrath

to ensure justice in an unjust world

that is your closure

as you put away

the disturbance of her

and feel relief

to rid yourself of your reflection

echoing back through the trees

Be weary of how you are understood

da5ec0f73a1d0a745155da12928afbfbDo not fall in love with a writer

unless you are willing to open yourself

to the inevitability of their description

for at first with the best harvest

the vintage will be sweet and lingering

with notes of honey and wild

as sure seasons turn

their fingers pressed on your pulse

will catch the days of sorrow

blurred behind storm

and reading yourself

translated

isn’t for the faint hearted

or those without touchstone

it is like a ship wrecked out to sea

blown far off course

losing compass

be weary of how you are understood

when the painter dips their brush

seeking inspiration