Without Water

Be unmoved,
cold,

an angel in a graveyard

of a hamlet.

Don’t breathe emotion,

corrosive empathetic nature,

don’t react,

explosive anger, and outrage,

unacceptable.

Only live in the present moment,

stone.

There is no right and wrong,

scales cast aside

from Judgement’s civil torment,

tore Philosphy’s robes

until the fabric gave way.

Enlightenment,

in form of selfishness,

hedonism,

as a lifestyle:

they will not draw 

any lines,

with pens or swords,

immovable hands,

bent arrows.

They seek to absolve guilt

by ignoring it,

but are imperfect

in their practice, 

questioning water for its tides

pulled by a heavy moon.

Mersault knocked on the 

door of unhappiness

four times,

but they seek to find

a way in,

willing others to

take them there.

Woolf killed her angel,

I seek to do the same.

I will love, and hate,

and suffer, 

because it is natural

to me.

Perspective

All anger aside, I tend not to put stock in

an opposing view 

when it has been expressed to me

ad nauseam, and with little

evidence to support, against my claim. 

It’s like having a severe

allergy to something odd, like apples,

and someone keeps pushing that you

aren’t really allergic, they try to trick 

you by sneaking it in your meal, randomly,

hoping to get the reaction of

“Wow, I really loved this,” so they

can confess they put

the allergen into your food, 

and be right.

The reality of your throat closing,

swelling, as you gasp for air,

and they hover above you helplessly,

asking you what’s wrong, is a strong one.

The poisoner can’t understand the allergy

since they don’t experience it as you,

don’t feel sick when they eat apples,

don’t think past what their own experience

allows them to.

Whereas the poisonee is so aware

of the allergy, they keep vigilant

of labels in supermarkets, checking

jams, jellies, juices, candies, and 

baked goods, before they buy the product.

Likewise, when arguing with someone,

who has taken the cardboard cutout

of their specific argument,

and they get mad because you

“won’t hear their opinion,”

remember to listen to yourself,

and only you: not newscasters,

public opinion, nor thought professed

by higher minds. 

You are not less than adult for

backing out of a heated argument when

insults have been cast, nor are you

bitter for your pain, but wise.

Trust your experiences, and your

intuition. Love, if you can manage it,

trust if you dare,

and wrong no one, not even

in a most passionate moment.

Anima

Dark, and headed to what I then called

my apartment, I barely noticed

a flicker of movement,

and tip-toed my brakes,

staring face-to-face with a surprised fox.

I had just spoken to my father’s girlfriend,

at the time, and was deciding if I

should run, or stay with a man

who tampered with my birth control,

and locked himself in a room

filled with my possessions,

to keep me his.

I’m not sure what transpired in the 

thirty seconds fox and I held gaze,

soul meeting soul,

but when it decidedly turned 

to slip into the brush,

I realized what I would do.

Grey muzzle, and a dark stripe

down its back, a tint of

dusty orange, and yellow eyes,

I wasn’t even sure what

I was looking at, at first.

And when I needed to move

from my toxic in-laws,

vulpes vulpes blazed across

the field between our house and 

the woods behind it,

a red-orange comet telling

me to make my own way.

Again, after my baby, 

my three-day-old daughter

died in my arms, 

within six months I was pregnant

with her sister, and afraid

of suffering the same fate.

Days before delivery, a grey

fox darted in front of me,

and somehow I knew that

everything would be okay.

So, when I saw the silhouette, 

creeping through the unlit parts

on campus, after a free lecture

I attended,

I paused. I waited. 

The animal looked at me, eyes lit 

eerily, look of wild magic 

and ancient knowing,

filled with more questions than my own

mouth could think to breathe,

it stilled my heart.

It was right after someone I love

had shut the door on me,

and my care. Was it strength, 

or curiosity that held its gaze 

to mine?

Now, I have accepted my own feelings,

and have slowly begun to mend,

but just yesterday, I saw again

my trickster of a friend,

who didn’t even pause to look back.

Each spotting seemed so significant,

a connection of spirit, animal within,

and I put reason aside on belief 

that held a message for me,

every meeting.

There is no affirmation in 

its sighting, no answer in his

lanky gait, nor knowing stare

to pierce my heart and make me

decide at that moment.

Perhaps I must wait to meet

my advisor again,

or perhaps this time, it wants me

to figure it out for myself.

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.

Roused 

Five hours of fitful sleep, and pouring

over texts of words that escape

my memory, moments after 

reading them.

There is no Shelley who spins

tales in my head, only images 

that do not follow, and phrases

that do not explain.

In earnest, I have seen the sleepy

artist’s palette, her brush dropping

from her fingertips as she dozes,

wakes in a quiet panic, and

tries to recall her vision

that becomes a dream.

There are shades of blue and aubergine

that hint of dusk becoming a

surreal depiction of a sky,

and shades of soft-yellow, quick brush

strokes, unfinished, only groundwork

she will lay to give a seamless glow.

The paint drips together,

swirling without mixing,

firm, linear shapes that

end in a small globe, and 

does she see?

Slipping in and out of consciousness,

she might reflect on painting

ahead of her, but she does

and does not see it,

a mirage of collective soul,

dribbled out through boughts of

wakeful tendancy, and 

hue.

Response to the Minute Poet

Love never failed you.

You keep living in this place,

I’ve seen the pictures, but 

it doesn’t exist anymore,

a mere fantasy of past, convoluted

by memory and interspersed with

with weeds of your exclusive perception.

A girl with a shy smile, t-shirt

and jeans, she walks in your

shared space, and the colors fit her.

Loose pony tail, hurriedly done,

no make-up, no jewelry,

as if you’d surprised her with the

camera. 

She wasn’t someone

I would have taken for you, but her

eyes conveyed a simple message,

and for what you missed, I cannot say.

This ended. You and I both know.

And you thought I was like her,

felt the same energy of storm, 

and a heartbroken vibration that

echoes from the depths of our eyes.

Whatever failed you was

not love. No fault in a person

who is not her, no

reconciliation through your agony.

You ignore the state you are in,

but sooner or later, 

it will catch you, cornered and alone,

and consume you whole.