Musings with Morning Coffee

This week, a woman was shot

in my city. It happened but a few blocks 

from where my children, and I, sleep.

This morning, her ex was found

in his car, on a road I cross every day,

four months after their

relationship had ended.

His suicide is thought to be 

his admission of guilt, 

his resignation

of what could have been.

I will not condone murder,

and love is only love if it is mutual, 

otherwise, McCullers explains it best.

Between lover and beloved, lover

is the more favorable position,

but intoxicated with fantastic notion

of what this person makes you feel,

beloved becomes victim,

playing with fire, like a fearless

stuntman, risking more,

everytime they interact.

If lover cannot handle pain,

bitterness will take over, and fester

in that broken heart.

Beloved, let me love you

by letting you go. 

There will be

no coercion  of my own will

over yours.

I would never bring about your end, 

and I believe the fact that 

a man takes his own life, after robbing her

of her life,

shows that even lovers

know their plight. Not having

to hold, is not the worst thing,

if the other does not wish

to be held.

What matters is when we realize

to let go.

I’ve been in far too many situations

where someone wanted me to

be, for them, what I was not,

and I didn’t have the courage to

speak against them. 

It is just as frightening

to be beloved,

as it is painful

to be lover.

To My Friend Who Advises to Shatter Something to Pieces

It’s not that there is not merit to

what you are saying.

Sure; there is certainly satisfaction

in breaking something apart,

reveling in the tiny fragments

that scatter where it once 

claimed whole.

Creation, even, 

in destruction.

But if you take an egg,

throw it with all of your strength,

and watch the soggy insides

drip and ooze against the concrete

where it met its demise

so suddenly,

you cannot take back your action.

Similarly, with your suggestion:

take a bat and smash it!

You have defied the first Creator

of your now beaten, 

broken object

that was once a vase, 

a lamp, a teapot, a glass,

never to be as it once was.

There is no coming back,

no repair you could possibly offer,

amount of glue, or time, or energy,

to give back to the first artist

who sat painting, painstakingly,

threw on the wheel, handbuilt,

or blew with heat and fire at their brow,

the sweat and blood worked into 

their art piece,

nor do you honor the first owner

who saw it as something that might

bring color and light into their

home, or coffee, how it matched

some part of their own soul and 

called to them.

It is a statement, to be sure,

and granted, I do not take to

any theory of broken windows

or juvenile crime from your 

emotion that you deigned art

the very moment a wooden

bat connected with a fragile

figment, standing in your

way of violent rebellion (it is, afterall,

in our nature to do such things),

but I must protest.

What is it, exactly, 

that you wish to state?

That you can break something?

Did you believe that you could not?

That no object lasts forever?

Were we not already aware?

Or is it a metaphor for the fragility 

of life, a moment taken to

destroy what took hours to 

design, seal, and paint?

What is the point of that?

If you took these pieces, and made

a mosiac, or pictures for a show,

slowed down time to watch that moment

preserving it on film forever,

but I don’t feel that is what you are doing,

no.

You destroy it for the sheer joy

of destroying something,

and nothing more than that.

I can not abide this.

I won’t.

Thoughts in the Dishes

I wash dishes endlessly, but I do not pay it mind. Torrent thoughts into
my daily tasks, and memories long
forgotten, surfacing above the graying water like coffee cups of every shade.

Twirling in whimzical waxy Crayola
pencils, which we asked
to borrow, and my precious “neon” Gel pens, make a card for her
twelfth birthday.

I handed the crumpled,
sweaty dollar bills to the
camp snack bar attendant for
some Reese’s, and a bottle of
Code Red Mountain Dew,

all a part of a present
that she giggled with glee over,
and she loved the hearts and butterflies hand-drawn.

All she wanted that Summer
was to hike with someone to
the waterfalls, but it was sweltering
in North Texas, so I went swimming
every afternoon instead.

When camp was over we said goodbye,
but being a member of the same church, it didn’t seem so final,
until the day my parents asked me if
I knew her.

Sometimes I still feel the ice cold
sensation, like death itself has gripped
my heart, laughing at my bewilderment
as he spares me and takes those I love.

I splash into the old sink water,
blindly feeling to pull the plug,
and watch dully as water
spirals down the drain.

When asked why I am so fixated on death

I know
that death is merely a part of life.
A fixed location, steadily awaiting
our eventual arrival across
the swirling fog and seafoam.

Maybe it is because I have never known
life without end, and I have seen so
many final chapters, slipping right out of my arms, fluttering, transcendant.

I would rather hold death,
the lives of those I hold dear,
than pretend there is order
without chaos.

Swallowed By the Beguiling Sea

The advice she gave me rattles through,
shaking the dust and cobwebs
from the furthest corners of my brain.
Such a strange thing, it is, to realize
you are dying.
Stranger still to watch it happen.
Pressed up against the glass,
we peer into your life
pouring hopes and anxieties
sobering our emotions.
Death is painful,
agony’s brilliance, sparking into
all of the scattered memories
felt but not seen.
Removing all but fear,
we grasp each other,
trying to come to terms with your
newfound truths,
whispering and hiding tears,
falling without our consent.
How odd it must be to be grieved
still living, watching as your family
and friends say goodbye.

Waiting for death to finally take you,
and he sits in a corner,
politely waiting for your sister to get here.
He tries to be unseen,
holding still as a statue
cutting the fabrics of time and space,
to collect the ones he needs.

Why do we pretend that life is full of meaning
when none of us really understand ourselves?
Each dogmatic, spiritualistic, and philosphical response
falls short, and few of us are ever
truly awakened.

I feel as if I have been cast
deep into the depths
of a monstrous sea.
Fortune guides me into the eye
and I watch the zypher and the storm
swirling around me, whipping my hair into my face.
I clutch to my small bouy,
upset by the tempest waves,
thrown toward the blackening depths, crushing weight of water, overhead,
and I struggle.
I fight for my life, my will to live, clawing at the water in attempt to surface, kicking furiously.
Lungs are burning, breath is lost,
and finally fatigue sets in.
Gravity pulls me down, further than
I would have ever imagined going
and I am helpless, sightless, and defeated.
I sit at the bottom and wait
and hope I am forgotten.
Nothing is more painful
than watching people you love
mourn.