On Being Judged By My Grammy, And Told, “I’ll Pray For You.” 

Do not weaponize prayer against

me, or anyone.

I am not in need of your prayer

if you are using it to ask God

to change the way I think;

he created this mind,

as he created the galaxies: 

multiple, infinite, different

than the one we currently reside.

You can pray for me without 

announcing it to me,

when I speak my mind,

or say something 

you don’t believe.

My God does not hand out

gold-star stickers in heaven,

nor give special privileges 

on earth to those who announce

over and over

that they know God better.

Pray, instead, for Love to reign

from heaven, permeate these

broken souls, proliferate 

these addled, unopened minds, 

and sculpt an age of understanding.

Use it to better understand God’s

words, not limited to a book,

reinterpreted by man, 

again and again.

Beloved, let us

love one another, and

in this way, 

we may all benefit.

After Reading an E-mail from the Graduate Admissions Office

Sunny skies painted my horizon blue,

much more for rain and clouded

afternoons, in Summer,

until I learned solar waves do 

percolate through my heart, 

beating against

its cage, freeing me from heavy

thoughts, and careless self-imaging.

There were words written to me in

happy tones, congratulating,

like the long hour had passed,

the minute-hand moved toward the zenith

of its arc, and long, dissonant notes,

chiming from a belltower

that often set me with anxiety,

today are liberating.

I have been walking through the pages

of a well-known novel by Salinger,

soaking in the character he presented,

likeably unlikable, deviant in language,

antisocial, and realizing that

I’m never quite so alive as when I hold

a beaten paper-back between my palms,

and thumbs.

My study is writing, and writers

have infatuated me since I was old

enough to concentrate the words

into images, in the basement of

my grandparent’s house. I remember

being disturbed at an image that

King, one of my Grandma’s favorite

thrillers, painted in my mind

like blood upon the lily hand of

Lady MacBeth, unwashable for

all the running water, a spot on my brain.

I still see the cat, a beloved pet,

bringer of mystery, and magic,

strung up against that sign in my head.

I can still hear the words of the

protagonist

 in my head 

as if they were

spoken to me. 

I like the way that books displace me,

force me to interact, even when I am

scared or heartbroken, and stick in

me, like song-lyrics to a normal person.

It is in these moments, my study,

casually flipping the pages of something

well-known, and beloved, that

I feel loved.

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.

Sassy

Defender of a yard unkempt,

neglect and abandon, your companions,

and yet you stay, you loyal

huge dog, half polar bear,

half lion, wholly underappreciated.

It was our folly for taking you from

this place, as you put down all

of your weight, your force, certain

not to be moved away.

Protector of this forsaken place,

we kidnapped you with 

good intent. Believe it or not,

we do these things out of love,

and we herd you into a truck,

taking you from a bed of old towels,

wet newspapers, and some

tufts of fur you’ve torn from your tail

in distress.

We move forward now, but 

understand your crying, it is part of the process.

You are scared

of what will happen, if they return

and you are not there 

to guard them.

Worry not.

Dog, you are powerful,

gentle to be sure, but indomitable 

in will. There is nothing

you could be forced to do

if you did not want to.