On the now

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p: Eric Puckett

I will remember the way the heat turned to snow so quickly 

before we had time to change our socks.

I’ll remember the way we drank champagne when the world felt flat and unrecognizable

We’d celebrate the smaller moments that were close enough to understand

Finishing a week of work, cleaning the oven range, and readying winter blankets for the bed

I will remember the way you took care of the hard things

And it always felt like a surprise

I will remember the lights across the river and the way we swam naked in the hot springs after eating cheeseburgers in the dark 

and the way we danced in the van, being patient with the sadness, understanding that it’s possible to feel everything all at once.

I will remember the sun and the sweat and the tears and the words.

The scares

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Last night the new moon hadn’t hatched just yet

the stars were cold and clear while the human-made objects bleeped and blinked

weaving and wading between the Big Dipper

I spooked myself on purpose

I wanted to beat the scares

Walking in the dark of the night

coyotes far off with a kill

Howling for comrades to join

Rabbits darting across the pathway from casita to main house

50 yard dash -a lifetime to walk

I snuck past the ghosts in the old truck beds, whispering to them that I can be spooky too

Clutching my bag tightly, keys in hand

Pretending that behind my seat waits a killer

Some werewolf apparition

Timing it just right

until my headlights beam straight on those curving dirt roads

To reach around my seat and lunge

When I’ve had enough of this game

I turn the music up loud and roll down my window

drifting through the safety of these fresh October nights

On an ache

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“Our breath is brief, and being so
Let’s make our heaven here below,
And lavish kindness as we go.”
― Robert Service

I carried this book, pages swept with sea, torn and stained by a hurricane
I carried it to the desert and here it sits
On this old desk
Next to the marigold

Im having trouble being here. I’m having trouble moving forward. What is there to do that can be more important than sitting with a feeling?

I am not certain that I am ever going to be the kind of person that I admire. Maybe it is best time to start to understand the kind of person that I am, right now. 

I am the sort of person that takes a long time to figure out a move. I would be a terrible bore to play chess against, because I am forever lingering. I’ve wanted to be the type of person that moves quickly and in a way that propels a growth. Maybe I can be positive in the lingering feelings. Maybe that could be enough for now. 

I just know that all I ever want to do is lie in bed and read dead poet’s words.  I want to sit in the soft sand again and listen to seagulls fight over corn chips. I want to laugh with my family in the dewy grass and share memories until they feel real again. I want endless night hours, filled with slow dancing to Bruce Springsteen and slipping between unknown meridians of time, because it doesn’t matter, really. I want to sleep in my dad’s oversized old t-shirt until I feel better about waking up and making decisions that move me forward, away from here.

Love letters to myself.

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Remember when you were afraid to sleep alone at night and so you drove to Utah and almost ran out of gas on that winding road until you found the one fuel station for 90 miles and inside was a woman and you talked about adventures and bought a postcard to mail to your mom. You drove another ten miles to a camp spot and cooked yourself spicy noodles and drank a beer and watched the sun set. You read Abbey in the tent and liked yourself. That was the spring of 28.  You kept going toward Las Vegas, and called N and R who told you to get your tired butt to their hotel and drink champagne and dance all night at the UM show. The desert air hung over you like a chandelier and you peed near the fountain while the colors swirled around you in safeness.  When the sun rose you drove all the way to Joshua tree on that bumpy road and wondered how many people have died in the Mohave desert and if your bald tires would explode from heat exhaustion. The acid lingered in your veins and your kaleidoscope eyes took in the empty expanse of boulders and silence.  You sweat through the days under the tapestry fort you constructed between two rocks and covered your skin in coconut oil to protect it from the dry winds. You ate oranges and climbed barefoot and wrote dozens of pages and touched your face to feel real and read Tom Robbins and cried a lot. You felt like you were going to fall off the edge of everything.  You drove to the ocean and jumped into the freezing water and did a cartwheel and bought chips and salsa from the overpriced pier restaurant.  You wore that kimono every day over your swimsuit and a chaco tan of dust and sun on your feet. You called old friends and asked for advice. You listened to some of it. You drove to a hostel in Pacific beach and smoked cigarettes with strangers. You forgot yourself for a little while and denied your truth. You reached out to the edge.

Then, you slowly began again.