Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Day 23


The first one I want to believe
came from joy, the birth of my little 
sisters starting when I was two.
Those were the lovely ones, high-
pitched and followed by dance 
moves, winning-the-lottery screams 
for I knew sisters were better than 
the best of things even vanilla-and-
chocolate soft ice-cream cones 
on the beach and bushes of sky-
blue hydrangeas. A sister was promise: 
playmate, challenger, wardrobe 
exchanger, dream-catcher, life 
passenger and driver. All that 
and the deep thrill of newness 
must have pulled the screams out,
which is something I still crave 
but now find in the form of seeds 
rising into see-through-green 
seedlings, and my daughter filling 
pages with first letters - lines 
like broken limbs soon to straighten 
out, even my son stepping 
into puberty, even his up-down 
voice to come, and his younger 
brother’s as well.  And smaller things, 
the six-inch orchid with ten bright 
blooms and the four more 
about to open. Their fingernail-
sized buds purse like polite lips, 
which will soon spring apart 
to announce the flowers’ show-girl 
entrances, even if there’s no one
home to hear, even if everyone’s 
too busy to bear witness.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Day 22

A summer storm comes 
on like a crocodile.
It waits offshore for hours. 
When your back finally
turns, it rushes in.

Day 21

Of all the photos I’ve never taken, 
the one I will miss most is the one 
I failed to take this past weekend.

In the very photo I’m thinking
of, we are together. The sun
cries over us just so spilling

light, angling shadows off our
cheekbones. We are mid-air
jumping into water, and I’m sure 

laughter lifts from our mouths, 
though that wouldn’t be known 
empirically by looking at the photo, 

you must infer it.  Anyway, in this 
photo, the children are here with us.
Behind their goggles wild thoughts 

roam, ones they don’t yet understand, 
but one day those same thoughts 
will carry them to unknowns

we will not understand, and we
will miss them more than our
very own limbs, we will say.

Their roots will lift and because
I was hurdling from land to water, 
from solid ground to liquid space, 

we will not have this photo 
to remember how everything 
was before it changed, as it will, 

the older generation tells us, 
as it always does - no matter our 

zealous lenses, us trapping time.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Day 20

morning glories fall 
open by the dozen. lilac 
eyes all saying yes.

Day 19

There are some moments 
I can’t wait to shed - sitting 
on a car-clogged highway, 
for one, or in the dentist’s chair
as she starts up the drill,
but today I bore none of them. 
Children’s laughter peeled 
through our yard like bright 
church bells all afternoon,
pool-water dazzled, and
sweet sunlight warmed us
just enough as I wrapped 
still-small bodies in towels.
Some moments, no matter how
often lived, I never want to end. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Day 18

The sun 
peeked over
the ocean
with the tired
head of an old
man or a newborn.

It pitched 
rays - red, yellow
orange and pink
to crown the sky.

I believe 
we will give 
each other 
everything too.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 17

In the neighborhood
where I used to live
a tall building sits 
on a soft hip of land 
at the ocean’s edge. 
Its women lounge 
in designer swimwear, 
by and large their faces
are done - not like the over-
made-up and rouged 
widows from the city 
where I was born, 
but reshaped modeled 
maybe after Picasso’s
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
more than any woman I know -
gouged and poofed, 
with moveable parts. Its men 
work, have affairs and play 
tennis in that order. 
In this lifetime, I will never
live there - even the smallest 
homes are beyond any 
paycheck I’ve ever seen.
Oligarchs frown on 
the renters, and the social 
hierarchy is rigid. 
From the pool, if you look
up and out, you can see
cruise ships leave port.  
Even here one day 
not long ago, a ship 
released a quick plume 
of black smoke which rained 
specks of petroleum 
onto the pool deck. White
towels smeared dark,
and children 
evacuated the pool.
On our beach oil 
slicks grease rocks 
coating fish scales,
suffocating smaller creatures 
locked in seaweed. 
Everyone is touched.
I’m not sure how to fix
this, and I know a poem
is no hammer, no edict, 
but for now I want you
to believe your home 
is the sand and the sea.  
And for now, let's believe 
we’re all renters. Now go  
about your business, go 
live your life.