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

boat

 

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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Up The River

I

We came to the place that was founded by men who risked and lost lives in the mouths of great beasts whose fat was burned to light the page and warm the bones of men’s children. Presidents came, and prostitutes too, in days best remembered in drawings and the fading photographs that line the entry to the place built to house weapons that is now home to books.

II

We walked in the shadows of Martin Van Buren and waded in puddles of forgotten tears. We listened to stories, with rhythms and melodies, borrowed and plundered, of fathers and kings and lovers long gone.

III

We answered the questions as well as we could, not knowing how honest or accurate we were able to be. We waited for sunshine and cried for the past and we buried our gold in the hungry dirt of Finland.

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More light than dark

I

I feel like there’s more light than dark
But I have felt like this before
And each time I slide back
But each time I come back stronger
Like, what doesn’t kill you
And each time I hear a sound I hadn’t heard before
This time it was a brittle crack
that rippled down from my skull to the bones of my
extremities

II

Earthquakes happen all the time
just beneath the surface
of Earth’s thin crust, stretched across its molten core
like our skin, absorbing all of our
experiences

III

I left in the middle, for something else, and
realized that you were gone and
felt happy for you that you had found
finality