this

this beauty gots to even out the ugly 

the motion gots to keep you steady 

yet every day is just the same

left is right, this way is that way

the sun is square, the sky is brown 

your sad is mad, your up is down

the beauty gots to even out this ugly

this hope gots to get you ready 

 

 

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.”

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.

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

over

on this day of raindrops on our lips

and

wishing on vanishing rainbows 

you told me you were happy it was gone 

cause it demanded too much attention

but its departure left me useless 

and 

I’ll  miss the purple clouds 

and the pelicans floating

between 

the horizon and the nodding sun

and 

I’ll miss this feeling 

that I don’t want to leave 

passing

once they removed their monstrous

parasols and offered the sun with all its

glory, I was able to see for miles,

see past the stains and all its gory.

walk past my long-limbed friends,

feel their gentle boughs crack upon me

and

wonder if that west window still

offers the view of diamonds and trees.

then without time to think, to blink,

they decide my time in the warmth

is done. parade their parasols atop

of me – flaunt like they won. close my

eyes quick and capture the burn, bid

the orange blaze to stain my gaze for days

and

weep over how much I’ll miss the sun.

 

 

 

interlude

this must be what the seas of Greece look like, 

so blue it looks white 

the water so deceiving 

this must be what normal feels like, 

so chill it’s like sleep

the peace I hear it leaving 

this must be what perfection tastes like, 

so fake it seems real 

the day it leaves me grieving