Monday, April 21, 2014

The Two

I am Lorraine. In the canary yellow dress and petticoat. I've come home from work to place the crumpled brown bag of groceries on the kitchen table. Soft like taffy. Malleable. Imprinted. Easy to upset. Adept at verbal cues and emotional nuances.  A hand on the hip. A swift change in the cadence of your voice. I am stirred by everything you do. And everything you don't.

She is T. Drapped in deep green. The color of the stormy sea. She is hard candy. Brutally honest. Disconnected. Jagged rocks for hands. When I arrive, she buttons her tongue to the inside of her cheek. She does not have the language to talk to me, the easily bruised bird. We exchange pleasantries. Talk in between. In spaces. Safe ground. And after we make love, I am empty inside.

And so our lives played out like that. For years. Resentment growing like mold on Monday's leftover pot roast. She hated me for my bruising. Not knowing that I bruise because I am alive. All those things denied to her.

But then one day, I remembered the end of the story. The story of Lorraine and T.  Lorraine, intent on proving her independence to T, left her in the middle of the night to go to a party alone. I remembered vividly T smoking a cigarette, waiting on the couch for hours for Lorraine to return. But Lorraine never came home. When T heard the ambulance screaming, she ran out of the house to find the neighbors gathered around. T panicked and ran to Lorraine. But it was too late. Lorraine was brutally beaten. Nothing would ever be the same.

It read like a cautionary tale. I knew that I could no longer be Lorraine. Spending the rest of my life masking for T. Spinning myself into her. Closed and afraid. And then, acting out in tiny moments of desperation, in oh so dangerous ways.

In forgiveness of self, I etched the word "grace" on the inside of my wrist with a ballpoint pen, and walked out of the door on my own terms.

Lorraine, we are finally safe.  We are free.



Sunday, February 09, 2014

Collection

That's the trouble with penance
Even after you've emptied your pockets
It still demands more

Monday, January 06, 2014

Trapped?


I’m seriously reconsidering my move to Chicago. It is so fucking cold. And the cold has got me moody and stir-crazy.  -15 degrees? Seriously? Like 0 degrees wasn’t cold enough. Old man winter is so stinking insulting. 

And I can really think about absconding, because well, um...I have the freedom to do pretty much anything. I have a job, actually, a relatively good job, but I am not my job. I find it difficult to say that I am a teacher...rather I say, I teach. I could very well sign up to do cartwheels around the world next year. That’s just how I think. 

And I am not tied to motherhood, which is simultaneously liberating and slightly problematic. Many women organize their identities around motherhood--it is convenient way to create meaning and purpose in a world that can otherwise seem random and incidental. You know the story--the unruly woman kissing girls and taking shots in the bar, suddenly births a baby, and subsequently, stability and domestication. 

But can you be a mother and free? Can you access full autonomy when another, literally, being created from self, depends so fully on you?  I don’t know. 

What I do know is that many women in their thirties cannot shift, change, and move so quickly because of motherhood. What the hell would I do with that? I am freakishly mad at Chiberia’s (Chicago+Siberia) frigid temperatures and snow because it is interfering with my freedom to get the fuck out of the house. But a child. Who would I blame?

So, I’ve been thinking much about Adrienne Rich’s quote on responsibility to oneself.  Of not marrying, or taking on motherhood as an easy way out--a way to “escape from real decisions.” She calls on women to avoid what is expected, to be different. To live actively instead of a life of “passive drifting.” But dear Adrienne, If I am not leashed to motherhood, what am I leashed to? How will I create meaning? What will be my legacy? 

If I don’t have little orangutans, then my life better be fucking amazing. Like. The best life ever. I have to travel the world. And live in a polyamorous, Zegg Community and grow my own avocados. And tomatoes. And I have to take lots of pictures. And I really need to start writing that memoir, because if I am not remembered through a fertilized egg, then how the hell else will be I be remembered. 

I better get on this promptly. I will. Well, just as soon as layer up and dig my car out of the snow. 


Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Fall

Do some of us remember that we
made that choice once before
to leave that place for now
which is broken
and separate
and wish that maybe we would have thought of more
before the fall

Is that us? The perennially discontent.

I've heard stories of those who have returned for a few moments
only to be pulled back into decay. They say they tear at their robes and gnash their teeth.
Swear to one I have never felt such stranger like.

I remember. And for that, nothing here will ever be enough.

Nothing.



Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Ziplock

that is the thing about love
every once in awhile 
in just a common, artless moment 
it awes again

while sleeping
your left hand broke free and found its way to me

i woke
my heart
untied
in
to 
two

Monday, December 24, 2012

Blindspots


did the sun
ever once so quickly 
look at the bud
as to say 
i wish u were the 
bloom?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Like Tears From a Star



We made love to fragile. I did not know how fragile you were until I knelt down to drink and you broke pieces in my mouth 

You knew early that I would not stay and that you could not escape 
so you left your pieces in my skin for the journey   

Sometimes I discover your glass splinters with an ache  

and I take them out and make them in to an image of you

in your new life 

wild and free

Sunday, April 29, 2012

LITTLE RED



I age, wrinkle and collect experience in the strands of my hair.  It is the knowing that brings me comfort these days.  

There will always be someone willing to tell you who are, if you let them.  Swallowing true intentions
slow...like vermouth. The wolf quiets truth with small suggestions and a smile.

I’ve been naked, and offered a scarf, and pair of gloves. Given a new name, scrubbed clean with hair fastened into a tight bun in exchange for my voice.

When they tell you that there is something to learn from everyone. Don’t believe them.
This is how the lonely and the loveless enter. Young girl,

Careful 
of
 snakes 
in
 the
 grass.

See with your own eyes. Trust the quiet exhale of your lungs.

You. Are. Powerful. 

Friday, April 06, 2012

RUN

the mouth is an overflow of the heart. and your large orbs. they are both mirrors and wells.
the measure of what you think is threaded across your neck.


when u close your eyes, i know that it is to avoid the meeting of mine.


i saw your dreams walking down your thighs last night.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cleave

I can think myself out of a paper bag, tied tight and locked in a spinning chair above the sea. I think. I ponder. I rationalize. I conceptualize. I rethink.

My heart and mind are distant cousins. They make battle across my bones. I coax mind, follow heart. Mind replies, “ I must think about it.”

This is where you come in.

Stand guard for me. Watch for the moment. The sweet seconds of opportunity when I escape for light. Grab me. Shake me. Rock me back down. Wrap your arms around me strong. Don’t let me go. Whisper into my ear and stroke the wool hair on my head. And Wait.

Pull me into the opening and watch me fall
watch me break free
into you.