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I cannot look at the ocean through a window without wanting to touch it. I have always felt restless by the sea. It is the same way in this field. As I stare across the low land to the mountains that smack the sky, I want to lace up my tired shoes and run to the sun. The windows flood the day inside and my feverish head convinces my spine to stretch. The soup warms my belly and I wish to feel my body firm against fresh clothes. Instead I crawl under clean sheets and imagine it all washing over me anyway, in dreams. 

There is a theme this year already and I don’t know if I’m brave enough to understand that I am brave enough just yet.  I listen the the wind howl and an audiobook talks of morals. I wonder about the origins of the word Loss and think of the French name, Toulouse. I sip ginger bone broth and pad around the red cement floors, wondering which new drawer to fold my new identity into. I gaze across the gold fields at every hour these days and the skyline shifts but the mountains stand firm. Perhaps the dog understands why we’re here. Perhaps he even knows where we’re going, which is how he sleeps so gratefully. 

I tuck my shaky limbs under heavy blankets and imagine that if these walls ripped apart I’d be alone in this big white bed, this big golden field, still safe. Still whole. 

/She said losing love is like a window in your heart/everybody sees you’re blown apart/

The things I whisper aloud in the liminal dawn is kept close and the music finds me still on the long highways between obligations. I watch my face in all the mirrors, hoping that behind the familiar eyes there will be familiar comfort in change. I read of woolgathering and remember that to observe it all is always the only task.

To accept the new lonely for what it offers, to bow and gracefully heave it along through my new days, 

There might lie the theme.

So much. 

I find myself whispering those words in the small morning in half-awake dream before the world hears.

I don’t yet understand if it is something I’m asking for, or if offering as a gift. 

So much. 

I remember to lean in more and more lately. Remembering how it felt as a child to dive off a jetty. Remembering the thrill of tubing too fast over concrete waves and the blue smack of the water, of release. 

I think of all the hurt. I think of him in the bed, aching and hating. I think of all the things I could do, I could say, to be comfort; salve to his wounds. But perhaps I know so much more than before, that to do so would be to pull from a very foundation. To squeeze a hurt only keeps it from shifting. I do not yet know how to fix a broken bone. Nor a broken heart. The only truth I keep remembering is that you can only go forward with your love. There is only so much in salve. That it’s okay to need more. 

so much.

on holes

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We stopped in a small town in Texas for gas and chips. Everywhere Trump signs, tractors, and those camo buffs that wouldn’t ever block a sneeze. The faucet was leaking in the women’s bathroom. I tightened the levers as hard as I could, but it kept drip-dripping.

I wished it well, walked out and we kept driving east

I read Bell Hooks and she talks of loving oneself radically, underneath the burden of a patriarchal design. She writes that women are taught they are better at loving, which is dangerously untrue. What they learn is that they are better at folding the laundry and compromising the definition.

 I see it and then I don’t, like the squiggly lines behind my eyes when I look at the sun. It is unwise to ingest everything as real, even things you know to be true.

My boss tells me that psychic empaths have holes inside of them where others can leak in

This makes sense to me in a perspicuous way

A woman used to make three different kinds of tuna salad each time she prepared it. 

One child liked onion no celery. 

Another liked celery no onion. 

The third liked both, plus mustard. 

She did this every time and when asked how she liked her own tuna salad, she didn’t know

What this all means is that there is foundation in understanding oneself enough to not take the leaking faucet personally.

Things to hold

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 I missed you today in Dunkin Donuts, suddenly. My throat got thick and I focused through quick tears on the things that I can hold onto; The styrofoam coffee cups of your work van, the seat row filled with things that smelled like gasoline and sweat.

Putting our small suitcases into the back, packed with fresh disposable cameras and new Hanes underwear, excitedly planning the days of summer with you that stretched endlessly ahead on the road to the ocean.

Your newspaper on the dash and your patience.

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.