l’oiseau

after it tempted me with its stalky teasers

showing me its many scarlet hats

I saw her camouflaged behind the leaves

dull brown hiding her ruddy brown

with her head looking down

I heard her call out a song to distract me

then watched her fly away

broke my heart she didn’t want to stay

uncomfortably

I felt the friction like a cat’s tongue

hesitating to taste what’s on my finger 

cooed sweet baby words in its ear 

to get him to linger 

drove under the dopey gray clouds

so tired from the day 

and told big happy lies to myself 

begging the sunshine to stay 

water

her skirt blowing in the wind,

next to the cliff, next to the ocean

her gnarled foot making the rocks,

the sand trickle down

flashbacks of her ballet time

her foot against the edge

and

the crows flew sideways that day

she looking out with eyes closed

wondering if tomorrow she’d be so brave

flashbacks of her walking away

chill

A few days ago she held the branches like a parasol – shielding her face from the heat she once loved, lived for even.  This same woman used to plant her face against the icy window on a February afternoon – just to sense its glow.  Close her eyes and envision the red.  Remember the way grass felt under her bare feet – lick her lips recollecting the smell of water leaving a garden hose.  Mutter under her breath, wishing winter to leave – she was sick of seeing dead leaves.

This woman now settled in the place of perpetual summer – feels the all too familiar chill to her bones.  She puts on extra layers while the lizards lie like statues at her feet. Watches the hawks bounce on the January winds and forget that she is driving.  Digs out her grandmother’s quilt from her closet (the quilt of pale random squares, playful tufts of thread, and white downy backing), and she will remember the sweet dreams of her youth.

Winter found its way to her, and she just wants to be warm again; be happy again.  She wants to remember what hopes brought her to the land of palms.  Stop cursing the march of time.  Mutter under her breath, and wish winter to leave – she was sick of certain memories.  Be grateful that her winter really isn’t winter; except for right now.

ghosts

washed ashore, no breath left.  rocked to death, their

life emptied into the torturous sea

that swallowed them.  promising them lives, but

it brought them back against the wood, against

the rocks.  their pale faces charred from the sun,

their thinning brows white with salt.  their hopeful

black hair tangled with the splinters, their bones

rattling, their bones done.  I pray God saved them,

even if they didn’t believe.  please let

there be some mercy in that mystery.

but I’m afraid there are more coming,  more

running, being chased, fearful, while ever

so mournful.  lost ones being swallowed up

by the sea, washed ashore with no breath left.

barely

gently place the bow to string.  tiptoe on

ice, nearly silent.

how do you do it?

appear and then leave almost without a

trace, but I witness your shadow depart.

I reach out to air to find no one there.

here, nearly silent.  

how do you do that?

grandpa

startled yet grateful that I saw your face

the other night.  I haven’t seen it since

1988.  kind eyes, more white than

blue.  slow to smile, but when you did you meant

it.  what a gift to have seen you in that

man, a stranger, walking past.  walked slow in

that fog of numb I entered in hoping

the illusion would last, but looked back to

see you walking away.  tears pushed their way

through, I had no choice but to feel them.  felt

a breeze grace the nape of my neck, close my

eyes and continue – startled yet grateful.

 

vanity

 

I wore a flash ring on every finger.

seven bracelets on my once small wrist.

grew envious of how well that boy looked

wearing the black floral dress standing there

by the pink roses with an expression

I couldn’t name.  how it oddly made me

miss your shadow in the night.  how it made

me mutter under my breath like a spell.

stirred the craving to be young again.  but

sometimes the memories can be cruel and

deceiving and I harshly remember

the beauty never lasts and never will.

 

 

 

distraction

all this strawberry dust is making me

more attractive to the bees

as they whisper their youth in my ears

let their wings do as they please

wake up and feel the rush of fire rise up on my arms

it tap dances on my shoulders

his breath not far behind

his sadness broke my finger, felt the odd twinge of pain

as the nausea swept over me causing me to sit down

cause I’m so weak

but it paused his trance of rage for a minute

long enough for me to catch my breath

please Lord, let me catch my breath

let it be time to rest, let it be time to sleep

dream of those enchanting bees

so polite they quiet their buzzing

for my worn-out ears

as they lure me with their nectar

tempt me to their land of flowers and honey

 

to calm

To calm your wild

I’d give my life

stop being a mother 

stop being a wife 

 

To calm your wild

I’d except my tired eyes

die a painful death 

swim in a storm of lies

 

To calm your wild

I’d do anything 

stop being human 

crumble my beating heart

become a thing 

 

To calm your wild

for you to have a life? 

I’d do these things 

I wouldn’t think twice