After work she went to the store
to pick up coffee filters and diapers,
a carton of eggs and
a bag of day-old raisin bread.
The tomatoes were on sale that day,
At the canned goods aisle she forgot
what she needed to get from there.
Was it cream of mushroom or baked beans?
She stood there quietly for a long while,
trying to remember,
how did she end up here?
Back home there are dishes
to be washed, trash to be taken out.
A small child crying.
A man who pretends not to hear.
And the sun is quietly disappearing
behind its own purple haze.
Two grocery bags,
heavy as iron in her arms,
and she was miles
and miles away from home.
is this tattoo on my left wrist,
from a ragged scar that once was
a wound that bled for years and years.
Poetry is making heartbreak beautiful again.
Seven Year Itch
The therapist says we should go back
to the orange groves in Florida again.
Some people write you poems – love poems
that could burn a house down in your chest –
they leave you breathless, leave you longing,
and then they just leave, so fast you could taste
dust in your mouth. Some people linger like a
fog, want to stay friends, want to come over
when they feel lonely. Some people forget
to wash the dirty dishes in the sink, forget to
buy milk, forget your birthday and the way
you used to laugh. Some people wake up at night
to tuck the blanket under your chin. Some people
love to exclaim, look what I have done for you!
Some people kiss to turn you inside out,
to adore every secret corner. They kiss
as if your lips were home, haven, the place
that they want to stay forever. Some people
kiss so they could go somewhere else, eyes
open, hands fumbling with your blouse buttons.
Some people can’t say I love you until
they’ve studied your past, the exes you’ve
dated, the mistakes you’ve made. God knows
there must be a war raging inside their soul.
Some people chase wild things, hunt them at night
for thrills, and stumble back to your bed at
five a.m., smelling of cheap booze and
strangers. Some people want to bake all kinds
of bread for you, stay home with you, cuddles
and warm socks, hot cocoa on the couch.
Some love is the fire that warms you through and
through, and you will never grow cold again.
Some love is the gum that gets stuck underneath
your shoes. Makes you walk unevenly for miles.
Becomes nasty. Becomes quite impossible to get rid of.
the funny feeling of
an orange popsicle
Now I have the same
look in my eyes as
my mother once had
the ancient sadness
that I never thought
would become mine.
When I was young, I once found
a loose thread
on a brand new sweater.
Not knowing what it did, I pulled on it,
and I kept on pulling,
until I found out.
Every time your fingers dance on my skin, kindling
every fiber of my body into a wildfire,
I think about that loose thread and what it did.
I think about how that beautiful sweater
slowly shrivelled into nothing,
a pile of messy yarn.
her lover makes her feel
like a schoolgirl
on fire drill days.
excited, heart pounding, running
through emergency exit, skipping down
countless flights of stairs, breathless, intoxicated, a rush, so much
fear and despair, and then
she turns around and walks back
into the building, safely in one piece,
no smoke, no burn, no damage. love
does not hurt, her lover says, but
very late at night she
secretly wishes to be engulfed
in a real fire.
Well, if you must know –
my thighs still burned
from the bite of your charm, these teeth
marks under my skins – did you have to
pounce on me with such force?
Don’t come any closer. I think you should
stop looking at me the way that you do. Those
soft brown eyes are luring me to
play your dangerous game. I know
you want me, the whole Serengeti
knows you want me, oh
stop that growling, as if you are
the only one burning up here.
Why did I stop running? I guess
I should have kept running. Away from you. Somehow
you’ve cornered me into the mouth
of your cave, the lion’s den, you clever beast.
The night is falling deep, and over on that tall fig tree,
there is a very old owl, looking at us. Amused.
If you come any closer, I will run. I will. I will.
Do you know
that the rolling plains are whispering naughty
little ideas into my ears? Are these the sort
of ideas that you have all along. Tell me how long
are we going to stand here staring
right into each others’ eyes? Is it
my move now? Why does the wind
insist on blowing right at this moment through
your mane? Your perfect beautiful dusky red mane. I mean,
how am I supposed to resist all of this? How am I
supposed to resist…you? You are a disaster; you are
an earthquake; you are everything I crave
but shouldn’t. My knees are getting weak. It is getting late. Even
that old nosy owl has flown home, so why don’t you just
come here, you beautiful danger, take me back
to your dark cave. Show me disasters; show me
earthquakes; show me everything I crave but shouldn’t –
terrible, delicious, regrettable, feverish things…
did you hear that?
The sound of my surrender
has driven the whole jungle wild.
When you give yourself permission to write,
you’ve also given yourself permission to open your heart
to a world of sufferings.
Yours, mine, ours.