Someday This Will All Be Gone

Time tends to create an opaque membrane,
with more limited optical clarity
behind the lenses of eyes

that automatically adjust for distant targets,
when someone, who is very fond of blue,
comes near.

It draws the taupe veneer of history
over the windows of the heart,
goading light from the front of the house—

What if I could shine from inside out?

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I Hope You Are Okay

I hope you are okay.

Thanks. That’s all I have to say about that. Interesting how many platitudes have an opposite impact of their intent. Interesting how “hope” can be used to mean expect. Do I have an obligation to meet others’ expectations, even when it is not I who them? Do I have to be “beautiful, smart, talented, and funny” because those are the qualities you expect to find in the legend of a woman who overcomes. What if I spent all of eternity mourning, pacing the banks of the high-water river, pleading with it to accept another day’s tears? Would that be “okay” with you?

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I Like How You Spend Your Time

I like how you spend your time
breathing—
into your pelvic fire,
to help signal a feeling of release,
balancing contentment with desire,
because it is necessary for holiness.

I like how you spend your time
eating—
what makes you pucker:
green tea, Montmorency cherries;
steeling yourself for loose hunger,
and for whomever says: Yes, please.

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Things My Mother Gave Me [That I Did Not Ask For]

shoulder pads
a cigarette burn on my left shoulder
her middle name
a battle with me at the middle
second helpings of mashed potatoes
too little pride to succeed, too much to ask for help
how to win Monopoly
how to cheat
how to cheat the system
Nintendo 64
an excuse for asking:

“Do you love me?
Do you love me?
Do you love me?
Really, are you sure?”

love

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The Raw Touch

Never is honey as raw
as its origin flower,
at the moment of dehiscence,
giving in to the release
of seeds, pollen, and the quiet

that comes after —
the spontaneous opening
along a single crack
of built-in weakness,
where the wound fails to heal.

Mark how the wisteria behaves,
dripping from a ceiling
in the 1900 block
of NE Schuyler Street;
how its winglike petals

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