Monday, July 26, 2010

Oh no malice does exist, in these words I am now writing.

Tomato plants smell so good
Of summer and green and newness -
Funny, how something can smell untouched.

I thought about that in harvest today
Concentrated on my simple task

((Pluck what's ripe
Or almost ripe, almost ready
Remove the crown
Sort for quality
Count what you have.))

So I didn't have to think about what it means
To be poisonous.
Like the tomato leaf
That smells so good
But attacks the body, if ingested.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

But seriously guys.

The other day I felt a baby calf
Inside of it's mama
A hoof, really,
Wedged inside, beneath breath, short hairs, skin, muscle, fat, layers
Twisting a little, uncomfortable in it's small world
So quickly, we outgrow what we're made of.

And I had to put my sunglasses on
To hide wet eyes from my students
After I put Mechiah's hand on the cow's side, pushed it firmly
So she could feel it too.
And as she walked away, I heard her remark to a friend
"It's crazy, I watched my mom be pregnant..."

It's those connections that get me every time
The ones I try to build in my own mind and heart
But don't need to, because goddamn, they're already there.
Those connections that go:
grass to sole
to sock to foot to ankle to...
Stronger shoulders, clearer mind,
Open heart.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

So you know.

This morning, you said that my body radiates warmth
Which is a rather nice thing to say, if you ask me.
Out loud I blamed my ethnicity,
With my back on the bed and my feet up in the air.
I hang everything I'm secretly proud of on the vowels at the end of my name.
You caught my feet in the air, laughed.

But quietly, in the bathroom mirror,
Before we left that room for the last time
I smoothed my curls with my fingers
And considered where that warmth really might be from...
How cold Northern California will be.

And when you commented on the deceptive breeze
Blowing with pursed lips over the bay in Baltimore
About how it hid the warmth with it's movement...
I considered that, too.

Friday, July 9, 2010

This is about too many things at once.

Once, in a bout of complete unprofessionalism
I gave a thousand dollar prize
To a liquid-eyed native american woman at a craft show
Not because her work was best, at all, really.
But because she put her hand on my arm as she spoke to me
Of fox tails and raccoon bones, of softened deer hide.
And when she handed me a pouch of stones and a turkey feather,
she explained that whatever stones might be in that pouch,
And she didn't know-
Those were my stones -
I didn't really understand what she meant, but it was beautiful.
And I love things that I don't understand
That are beautiful.

Now that pouch hangs on my rearview mirror,
Holding onto things I don't dare touch,
But can't let go of -
Just yet, anyway.
And I'm thinking that when the time is right,
when I'm in the middle of the country, on my way to California
To start something new -
I will open all of the windows, untie the pouch,
let the wind toss it around, sunroof open.
And when it's done,
all that will be left will be the stones at the bottom.
My stones.

For now I'll dig my hands into earth,
Become grounded.
Submerge myself in water, and be buoyant, naked.
I'll wait for wind.
But the fire, I'll put that aside for now.
I'm putting it somewhere for safe keeping, because I'll want it someday, I know.
But it was out of flint anyway,
And thank god I'm not.
For a second there, I thought I was.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Scroll down.

There's a picture of us on Halloween
The night we sailed three hours down the river.
Triple-fisting drinks, until I couldn't stand in my heels, laughing, dancing,
Threatening to hold hands and jump off of the back of the boat together,
Find some new world under the water to exist in.
Where half-baked, hair-brain ideas were currency,
We would be king and queen - invest in barnacles, plankton.
Jacqueline Cousteau, you said. You were jealous of my name.
On the bus ride back we stuck our heads out the window
Shared a wet, limp cigarette, and each drag was a toast -
Because at that moment, our city was the most beautiful thing we'd ever seen.
And so we had Eliot drive us to the river, we ran!
Jumped in with our costumes on, and the river claimed my hat.
We spent hours dancing, soaking wet at the same bar I would later lose you at,
When you were so drunk that you fell asleep between cars.
(The night you told me I saved your life as I dragged you into bed).
But I digress (always).

Back to the photograph.

It was Richmond in October,
And you can tell in the picture that it was still hot
Our skin rosy, glistening, both of our costumes over the top,
What I notice most about the photograph is our hands.
How tight our grips are: yours around my shoulder, mine your waist -
As if letting go would have meant falling.
And it would have.
We needed each other then.
This is, of course, a metaphor, (isn't everything?)
For the six months we spent separating from each other.
Grasping onto mirrors of ourselves,
Until we realized that parts of the reflection were missing.
Large, important sections: the left side of your face, my ribs...
Your heart, my head. That's right, isn't it?