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?

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.

 

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.

 

mood

Sometimes I see you turn right in front of

me.  I wish I were blind so I would not

have to see.  One minute calm, the other

minute pain as you rip the flesh off my

palm.  I look into your eyes, but you’re not

there.  I cry and plead.  See what you’ve done to 

me?  Do you even care?  No good answers

to sing sweetly in my ears.  All I get

is your same blank stare.  How can I talk to

you, my son, when you are no longer there?

 

 

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.

la manie

it’s nothing, it’s everything

it’s the stuff fraying at the edges

it’s the goo left in-between

 

try to outwit it, run and escape it

but it’s clever, it’s faster

go blind when that mania warps shit

 

it’s nothing, it’s everything

the ailment that’s in your brain

leaving us stuck in-between

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.