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.

Charging at Windmills

When is the last time you heard from him?   

The questions that try to tread

so lightly on my feelings, dig

deeper at effervescence

levitating my soul.

Can I ask? Does the mention of his name 

make you angry? Sad? 

I’m never quite sure how to answer

these plays at my faith,

and understanding,

I want you to prepare yourself 

for the possibility that he won’t 

come back. 

Like frantically plucking out feathers

from a living bird’s wing.

You have hope?

I won’t call you stupid, but…  

The unknown is pleasant in the fact

it doesn’t kill off that hope.

It’s needed to survive, and sometimes

that fragile bit of false hope

is all that keeps us waking up,

and going to bed at a reasonable hour.

I can understand where you’re coming from

To follow our dreams, they 

are afraid, to follow our hearts,

we are fools, and faith and trust,

they’ve fallowed their own fields,

and enkindle yours.

Prepare yourself that he won’t come back.  

I’m sure they mean well,

they try to keep you secure,

and afterall, you’ve had doubts yourself, 

but

I didn’t want to tell you,

I saw him a few weeks back,

he passed me in the city,

and he didn’t say a word.  

The act is repulsive,

taking away any shred of

potential, to keep you “realistic”

or from getting your hopes up,

and what’s wrong with either?

If he wanted to be with you,

he would be here. 

Nothing.

E Pluribus Unum

There is nobody like you, and

I see you everywhere:

Cast as cleverly as a Midsummer Night’s

Dream, in the words of another person,

in my spells of restlessness between

waking and sleep, on my phone 

(a picture of your face, your hands,

of you). As I walk from Spanish class,

words still clinging to my mind like

the beginning of conversations,

unending, circular paths, 

I spy someone who looks like you,

and I pretend not to watch him, stall

my inhalation, I might not hear

a word.

I pretend I don’t use my rearview mirror

to see if he deigns to glance back,

even for a moment,

some rom-com fantasy neither here,

nor you.

My friends tell me that I need to move on,

that I need to forget you.

I mention your name, and am immediately

met with frustration at how I just

keep you in my mind,

like a silk ball-gown that is too small,

in a closet that is bare.

I tried hard to love someone else,

anyone else, 

but this implacible heart of mine laments.

She keeps thinking about the hours

of conversation, heavy and light,

war and sexuality, death and

the art of living, philosophy and

friendship.

And she contemplates the one person 

in the world

who read me so well, he got me a book

of Broken Guitars,

and then explicated them with me.

That is my favorite gift of all time.

Had I told you that?

I pray for you still: over your family. 

I loved each person you told me about.

They won’t know me, but I love them.

I hope your friends are taking care of you,

playing League of Legends, getting

into trouble, mostly making you smile.

I wish you happiness.

… And I confess,

the Bluebird poem was written about you.

I worshipped you, a Greek God, 

and I couldn’t help myself.

I spent a year not writing

poems to include you,

and I hid the ones I had written

about you, from you.

I was so embarrassed when you found it.

I told you that it wasn’t about you,

but you knew.

You always knew, somehow.

I don’t love anyone else.

Just you.

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.

Three 

We three waited

for a waterslide,

unsure if we could 

all go together.

Each positioned a seat on a 

yellow raft with handles,

and nervously giggled.

Young ladies, each adults now,

wonderment in our hearts

at how simple things like

gravity and water could transform

three sisters into the children 

we once were.

Terrified at points, 

feeling like the pull

was too harsh, 

and panic in three sets of eyes

three years apart. 

Each thought that 

we might die.

Just hold on.

Don’t you dare let go.

Into the abyss, backward

we were thrust, and after 

what seemed eternity,

(about 3 seconds)

we emerged joyous with laughter,

too giddy to find out footing,

three sisters onto the 

next slide.