The Specter of Certain Death

I

The specter of certain death raises its head again but this time it’s as a punch line. We can share a laugh with nothing more than eye contact now. How could something as heartless as time perform such a sweet service?

II

The best of us have flaws while the worst carry the seeds of redemption, waiting for sunshine and moisture to set them free.

III

Even if the day comes when there is no place in your life for me
and that could happen
(let’s not fool ourselves)
I can’t imagine a day when there’s not enough emptiness in me to fit you.

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One of these days

I’m going to ride on the back of those clouds
one of these days
even if it rips the skip from my bones
and grinds me down to hamburger

I’m going to feel quicksilver in my veins
and wildfire in my intestines
even if all of my hair falls out
and my bones turn into mush

I’m going to swallow an ocean of you
one of these days

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You Hung Yourself

I found out this morning that you hung yourself
And my day went downhill from there
I drank too much, again, of course
and ate too much too
trying to fill up the hole
then I hid inside the soft safe place where dreams and demons mingle

Why would someone do that to herself
when there are easier and less painful ways?
Why didn’t you do it yesterday or next Thursday or never?
What happened to the hope that had to be there on an earlier day?

We didn’t speak the same language
And I’ll never learn yours now
All we had in common were words
And you can see how feeble they are

I won’t get drunk tomorrow
I won’t remember the details from the moments of the day I read
that you hung yourself

 

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You were an ocean

When I was younger
You were an ocean
A terrifying beauty
There were colors in your coral reefs I’d never seen before
Sometimes I drifted into your depths
until I couldn’t see the shore
Body surfing in your waves
until my muscles were sore
was as much fun as I had known
As much as I will ever know
The beasts that stirred in your depths
Could tear me apart in their teeth
And the dream of drowning in you was real
You covered so much of my world

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Now that I’m older
You are a river
A soothing place to rest and watch the clouds roll by
I lie on my back and float in your current
and never lose sight of the shore
I skip my stones across you
and see my reflection in your placid surface
I see the sun setting across your lee shore
with all of the colors of coral
but behind it, the darkness is coming
Sometimes in the winter when you’re cold and hard
I walk over you
And have no fear
That I will drown in you
I wouldn’t mind, now, if I did

I wouldn’t mind, now, if
You were an ocean

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odds and evidence

Against all odds and evidence
All you need is love
I still believe, impossibly, the best is yet to come
All the fractures, strains, and breaks are as valuable as privilege
as precious as the prejudice of
knowing without seeing
flinching without being hit
crying with nothing to cry for
talking with nothing to say
losing good money to a machine
or an instrument that doesn’t play

This is the time when the evidence cracks
and the blood that is flowing belongs to us all
and belongs to nobody
and belongs to the people who haven’t been born yet
who will know prejudice against us

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