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.

fancy

Remember when I held the nori up to the sun, and our eyes were graced by that moss-green?  The color stained our eyes for minutes as the seaweed crumbled from our lips.  Salt made me crave water, but I didn’t reach for my drink.  Instead,  I asked you, “Isn’t this beautiful?”  And you said, “Yes, it is.”  I wanted to stare at it for hours, but you were “done” after one square of nori.  You then said, “When I get older, I want to marry a Spanish Girl.”  Before logic took over, I indulged in the fancy that one day you would marry.  I didn’t mention the harsh realities or misconstrued negativities.  I just laughed affectionately and said, “As long as she’s nice and loves you.”

I imagined her hair dark like mine.  She’d love red lipstick but never wear it.  And she’d wear ankle-grazing floral skirts made of long, gauzy fabric with puffy blue, pink, and yellow flowers.  Blooms you could run your fingers against; roses you could get lost in.  Perhaps her name would be Maria, and her tan hand would always reach for yours as you crossed the street.  She would take care of you and love you, even after I left this Earth.

You grew impatient with my lingering and went inside to play with your dry erase markers or something.  I let go of the fancy and watched you walk away.  Maria went back to that vague place where particular thoughts crush my heart to a million pieces, and I lose a little each time it happens.  She joined the thoughts of your future everything, your future anything.

Remember when I held the nori up to the sun, and our eyes were graced by the moss-green?  That moment, those seconds?  Life was certain, life was divine.

 

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

give him rest so I can rest

let it be time to dream

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

reminisce II

making me hunger for the cold.  want to

feel the icicles jump down my throat when

I inhale to steady my breath; causing

my eyes to fail me and freeze.  blurred vision

has me fumbling; hard ice has me stumbling.

sliding down to my death cause my legs are

too weak.  causing flashbacks to all those times

I went sledding as a kid.  skin numb and

laughter frozen, not a care in the air.

 

view

Set the cotton candy mounds ablaze;

transformed their blue haze

to grey.

Tried not to look back at the bridge that

called so boldly out

to me.

Imagined me atop its railing;

set to spring forth up

to them.

Mind wandered to that dying bunny

in the yard we found

last night.

Heart sunk and wished I’d held it so it

wouldn’t be afraid

to die.

Today you checked on it. Still breathing;

its glassed eyes on the

blue sky.

Put it in a bag; tied it tight.  To

end its misery;

its fight.

Peeked on it later; its shut eyes now

at peace.  Walked away

to cry.

hush-hush

Have you grown weary of our clandestine

meetings?  You seem impatient with all my

weeping.  My tears getting mingled with my

drinking.  Drops of salt make it taste better

anyway.  The grief tastes sweet, begging to stay.

 

How long will it be?  How long will this grief

remain?  Tired of waking up sad mourning

in the morning.  Would rather smile back at

you, something I’ve forgotten how to do.

Could we forgive us?  Could we even try?

 

With hushed words in secret places in the

dark holes of our home; he waits and spies on

us.  We stop our chatter and vow to try

tomorrow.  Let our clandestine meetings

last.  Let’s be strong.  Let’s ruin this sorrow.

elude

I want to build a house by the coal sea.

You say Mr. Take Awayer won’t find us

there by the dark sea that rocks us to sleep.

Mr. Take Awayer will wear a shabby

garb of white.  You tell me he floats sideways

in the contrast of night.  Always at night.

By the vast sea I pray his calls are drowned

out by the violent waves and rocky shore.

He beckons to deceive you far from me.

But you won’t hear him I promise.  I swear.

I hope you’ll be happy, hope we are too.

When I build a house by the jet black sea

and every night have its torment sway us

to dreamland.  Find comfort knowing it could

swallow us, forgetting this pain on earth.

Hidden afar from Mr. Take Awayer.

 

 

today

Today, this day, 10 years ago she watched her father die in a cold hospital room during a Nebraska winter. 

Today, this day, she decided to go to the beach.  

This woman, while resting in an umbrella of warmth, heard a man shuffle by; wearing a blue shirt, his profile reminded her of her father.

The one that could grow a red beard and whose eyes got greener when he was mad.  The one whose laugh could wake the dead and the one who hid his sadness with a mask.  Until that day – she got the call that he wanted to end it all.  One week he would stay at a different hospital, decades before his unluckiness would take him.  Decades before the cancer devoured his laugh and made him blow up like a fish.  Decades before she saw his last breath.  

The man she saw today was shorter than her father, but they shared the same hair color and smile.  She was sure his eyes were green and that they sparkled like sand beneath her feet.  She would close her eyes and try to recall the ghostly memories of her father.  The way he shifted his weight while talking on the telephone.  Right foot, left foot, with a sort of rocking motion.  The way he sprayed a cloud of Aqua Net on his hair every morning.  And the way he never seemed to dry off his hands after washing them; he just shook them in the air while her socks soaked up the water. 

Between reading, trying to remember, and wave gazing; she spent a great deal of time watching one particular seagull.  The fat one with a long neck who bellowed for the others to stay away.  The one who looked irritated at the smaller, scurrying birds that busily ran after their shadows.  The one who approached her expectantly as she ate her honey mustard pretzels and then was chased by a little girl who reminded her of her daughters.  The one with the peach and blue bathing suit.  The one with the ponytail that looked like one long curl down her back.  The little one with all the power to chase the seagull around and make him soar away.  

This woman longed to borrow the little girl’s happiness, borrow her smile, borrow her power to make the seagull ascend.  Especially today, this day, when 10 years ago she was forced to say goodbye to her father.