More: 46th Post

                  MORE

                                              —War again
The F-16 cuts through air,
then more air, through clouds,
then more clouds, through whatever is
above clouds
above the round earth
with its prickles of cities,
its patchy fields and scratchy deserts
kept in by dented roads,
its pigs, wolverines,
& cats.
All that under it, &
more: perspective, view,
dreamy vision, memories of
front rooms, school rooms,
hospital rooms,
time striped, hatched,
notched on the face of it,
on the vast open face of it,
nothing subtracted, good
or ill. Nothing
taken away: not memories
of who one is supposed to hate
nor statues of who someone once
admired. Like when S said
emotions are only added,
added to themselves and to each
other, and that my reminder we needn’t
be lonely isn’t right, exactly.
The love is added in, she said:
added in like almonds or copper,
like copper to gold, injected
like insulin, inserted like
a grace note. She said,
the night bird will still call us to
wakefulness and we’ll be alone
before we’re together.
Together,
I insisted. We are
alone and together,
and we’ll be wistful and satisfied,
and forgetful and reminded.
It’s the blessing in the red ridge
of a scar, she tells me.
The and of living more.

I Wanted to Be Enormous: 45th Post

                                 NO SAVING

In the night a car plowed sideways through our front yard
and left a tall cedar pointing into our bedroom window,
like a prosecuting attorney asking who
did what, when, where.

“Did you put on gloves?” a friend asked about my being
first on the scene. God I forgot. I wanted
to save someone. But limber as gymnasts
the drunk driver and passenger stuck their landing.

There was that time when Chris came shouting
into my kitchen and I tended her cut scalp,
tried to get her to call the police, stuck my anger
behind my face and just cleaned

the red sink, red counters, red floor.
No gloves. No saving.

And the time a man who needed a bath and clean clothes
heckled us marchers at a Pride parade.
Most of the women said Have a nice day and kept walking but
he called me a name whose invisible weight

tilted a scale inside me. I didn’t aim
for his face and miss.
I aimed for his hat brim
and it took his head with it.

What were you thinking? my lover shouted
as the man walked away fast, muttering.
God I don’t know. I wanted
to stop him. I wanted

to get his attention.
To make him afraid.
I wanted to be enormous
to save someone.

Erosion: 40th Post

Flowers starting to wilt sm

THE WOMAN WHO FELL INTO DISREPAIR

forgets that parts of her
are missing
that other parts once
angled for attention

she took time
as if it couldn’t be bent, flattened, eliminated, reordered
and effort
as if it was matter
as if it mattered
as if it could be compressed or exploded, colored in, Photoshopped out
with her everywhere,
twin burdens slung from a yoke

she ignored the warnings all around
the flags, sirens, scars, flashing
beacons, allergic reactions, slaps on the
cheek, fullness, emptiness, the color red,
the lack of color

she had let it go let it all go let it go let the cells
puff up or fall where they would into the cracks in her arms and legs
over the dents in her lips through the tunnels in her scalp
into the empty spaces she’d forgotten

a landfill of woman
a historical dustbin
an entire lost tribe
too remote and ugly to signify

Anything to Grab Onto: 26th Post

Bald Eagle sm

Lament

–for my mother

The time

everyone else

had left the party but the music was still throbbing

and Stefan

two languages

away from me

had my blouse half undone–

that’s the light

I mean

orange

smelling of alcohol

dangerous with its promise of brilliant regret

The time

I jumped

heavily clothed into the water

for lifesaving practice

and the water

pulsed

above me

reflections subdividing like amoebas–

that’s the distance

I mean

deeper than

my arm’s length

resonant with resistance

The time

I climbed

on Trinidad Head

alone on black wet rock

shocked

by the sudden

brawl

of ocean too close–

that’s the texture

I mean

where anything to grab onto

is life

even if it tears your flesh like a cat’s claw