Letting Go

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The space between
faith and failing—as fragile
as my grandmother’s slip–
I see
those two don’t exist
as I had thought they did.

After waking–
as if from a cave and floating out
into an inlet in an ocean,
left for dead–
your eyes need months to adjust, your breathing
needs to steady, you can’t speak
or understand the horizon

and then
there

blinding linens, her knotted hands
on the clothespins, pulling down
the white cord beneath white clouds
by the Birch tree;

whites
color around my thoughts
as if surviving meant
that the only truth
was there.

Publication…

I just wanted to share with you all that my racy little essay is getting published by Mad Hatter’s Review! I’ll share when it’s up!

…for Erica

for Erica, March 2015

I counted Mexican Paintbrush petals
in your mother’s garden
where we dropped our bikes every
summer morning, preparing
our packs for the day’s ride
or swim, mapping the summer

I thought about what you said
the night before,–how you planned
to escape someday, how you
needed something real
and I felt naïve in my
cut-off jeans and chucks,
I felt like I’d never be that brave
because I didn’t know
what it is I could escape—
how different life was
supposed to be

you weren’t afraid of the world
I felt so swallowed up in

we rode out of town, into the country
stopping in forests
to run our hands through
the moss grass beneath the needles;
we found Continue reading “…for Erica”

Publication Alert

A thank you to Boston Poetry Magazine for publishing my two poems “Stitchings” and “Undercurrent” –much love!

She’s Come Undone

It is a sunny afternoon, the light

coming in yellow through her curtains

that cut through the smoke.

Cat Stevens feels like water inside my soul

and then she switches it to Bread

and hands me a dust rag.

I dance across the green and brown

carpet squares; I wipe the hazy walls, the stiff

yellow furniture with the green and gold flowers;

speakers as tall as I am:

it is 1984 and I am my mama’s bumble bee

 

She is young and beautiful;

this is the age I wanted to be her–chain-smoking Dorals

and sipping black coffee, no men for us, no fathers, no drunks
She tells me to get dirty but stay in the yard as she

folds freshly washed laundry from the Good Will.

I see her always moving, and I was a part of that motion,

that current,

that music like water.

I used to find my gravity in her eyes
Not this woman

 

with

this stare,

this woman

 

who wrings

her hands

and tells me
“Amy if there was a gun, I’d do it”

 

tears roll down the lines
of her tired face
weeping for the men that
changed us. Changed us all.

 

At thirty, I am across the table in my secret desperation

I hear the invasion of The Guess Who singing,

my favorite, “Undun” Continue reading “She’s Come Undone”

A Trauma Theory

It was my third year in college when I first heard the term string theory.
I remember moving forward into
what he’d say next, and as the professor
strolled over quantum physics and how
this theory could explain
all the forces of nature—
what it could reveal, the dark mysteries
it could possess—
I know that I felt the spindles in my irises unraveling
like a sketched star in reverse, and that
it connected to words in my brain, and then
to the angles in my fingers, the shoots in my nervous system

bodies in cubic space and time, specks in the ether,
strung together, moving each other,
causing and effecting
And all of this happened not out of belief
but from the simplicity of proofs.
I pictured the chemistry in my brain spark,
and that these strings moved around, refracting
and bending the way I did against my
faulty wiring.
My amygdala had a pulse.

—perhaps
it was my first touch with existentialism.
Or perhaps it was my first touch with faith.
But I lost the comfort of a small
ignorance and I was exposed,
and all at once, in the back of the room
at my desk, I pictured, in the span of a thread,

Illness.
repelling me, twisting and corrupt and
in sync–out of alignment, changing rhythm,
the defection streamlining down to
me like a shared, infected vein

and I think
that was when I first stepped away Continue reading “A Trauma Theory”