inexplicable

I wonder if the freaks of the shattered

doors will get lost

now that the holes are fixed

I doubt they’ll cheer and clap

as we rid them of their destruction

but

I like the way the bright color

adorns the walls in this space

as I wonder how long your peaceful

calm will stay in this place

fear

I think back to one Halloween—thirty-eight years ago, while walking
through the woods and talking about candy and mud pies—my little
sister and I were chased by a man on a motorcycle. We cracked the
sticks beneath our feet with the weight of frenzied confusion.
We jumped over streams of murky waters, leaving all the tadpoles
in our wake. In fear, I ran so fast, I left my terrified sister
begging for me to wait. All I could do was pray that my sister would
be able to keep up, stubby legs and all. All I did was look back and scream,
 “Stephanie, run faster, please keep up!”
Now, as a much bigger me, I feel less like a coward, but I sometimes
awaken in the darkest part of the night. I’ll freeze and shake, like a
thawing statue, thinking my son woke up in a manic state again. I
become like ice, frozen with fear. In this, fear is clear. It sees right
through me to magnify every flaw, and everything going wrong. It’s in
the dolls and horrid images that haunt me until dawn.
Ever since my son’s diagnoses, fear continues to take me into the
future to exhaust my days. It’s the lack of progress, no growth, it’s my
wasting away. Fear is the attempt to take the pain from a loved one
even when you know they’ll never be the same. It’s a first cry facing life
and it’s in the last breath facing the unknown. It’s in every syllable
against deaf ears with violence and shouts begging others to hear. It’s
in the static lost in translation and in those distant, muffled cries. It’s the
thoughts of tortured souls right next door and in the ghosts that have
lost their way home.
With the arrival of Halloween, I find myself reflecting about
that day long ago when we wanted nothing more than to be and to play.
Think about how I was the protector, I was like Sheila the Great, but I let
fear dictate another fate. If I could do it all over again, I’d stop and wait.
Plant my feet in the muddy waters, before the ledge of rocks we had to
climb. Take Stephanie’s small hand in mine and declare,
“Fear, you’re no friend of mine.”

friday

the beach was littered with red that night

near the end of September

the sun was mourning the end of its reign

the fact that he’s so blazing here year-round

was little consolation

he gave himself a pity party

I just remained and enjoyed the constellations

rage

I wonder if the Hulk ever hit his mother.

Did he ever graze her cheek

with his massive green fist so fast,

so hard, she couldn’t speak?

Throw her out of his room,

out the window, out of the house?

And I wonder if when he returned to normal,

did he recognize her scars, her hurt.

I bet he couldn’t remember–like him.

Darts his eyes from the display of pain.

Doesn’t move when she flinches away.

Doesn’t recognize the tears

because he can’t remain.

And I wonder if Stan Lee understands

what it really means to love the Hulk?

To stand in his way regardless.

The supernatural drive to help him stay calm,

despite the horror, despite the harm.

The relentless love at stake…

all the tender, godforsaken love it takes.

impossible

they were running wild near the edge of a cliff

and they asked you to rip your heart out

which you gladly did but then they told you

to push one of them off the brink

push, you weakling, push

would it be your young blonde with the lovely smile

or your red-headed child with eyes of light?

you put your heart back in and begged them to

take it again 

they looked at you like those hollow

beings that haunt you during the day

without saying a word, without a second glance

cause you’d had enough of their nonsense

said a silent prayer and took flight

like falling snow

leaving whispers of forgiveness

that your children would never know

miss

been so long sometimes I forget the color of your hair

miss the way you meandered through our home

much like those ghosts with tambourines around

their ankles and faraway thoughts in the air

 

been so long sometimes I forget the way you cared

miss the vision of you with gold around your neck

much like those spirits with the sun at their backs

their warmth and faraway peace in their prayers

 

 

 

astray

gave a gorilla a teacup and he crumbled it before

I could reach out, I tried my best not to cry

over that ancient porcelain

I tried again and it happened over and over until

the floor was covered with shards of my past

went to bed perplexed that my praise didn’t

motivate him enough to care to keep them

or at least to want to make me happy

rested my head upon my aged pillow

among the dust, among the plaster

dreamt of gorillas with their array of fractured teacups

and their damned gigantic buckets of laughter

bond

woke up and there was doom, so much

it was like I was drinking it from a cup

perhaps it’s because I dreamt of those black

ribbons that like to get tangled in my hair

that damned pretentious silk

I feel them now but I have to forage for

those twisted inky feminine cords

don’t you see them

you have to see them I swear

but

you insist they aren’t even there

and

I know I must give up my lost search

not question this pain on earth

long to walk without a step

breathe but not take a breath

just be and not let go yet