march 21st, 2013 - “gloria.”
sunday mornings were spanish music
coming through the bedroom floor &
avocado pits in mason jars;
wishbones drying on the kitchen counter,
& i’m watching novellas on mute,
(through eyes rubbed red from
cat hair and dust bunnies
that wouldn’t stick to hardwood floors)
on a television still half-hidden
by a christmas tree (in february,
or march) over butterscotch candies
& golden storybooks, unsure of whether
to dread or praise the car ride home:
at 10am on the new jersey turnpike,
is god stuck in holiday traffic with us?
is he a gray old man in an even grayer
pick-up truck? a young girl waving from
or, does god sleep late on the weekend?
does he even speak to little boys?
march 13th, 2013 - “doce.”
march: we share a pair of red cotton gloves
from the dollar store, one on each of our
outside hands, so we can still feel the heat
of bare skin in one tangled fist between us
on the walk home.
april: we kiss for the first time, sitting
on a picnic table in a white gazebo hidden
somewhere in rural pennsylvania. we light
sparklers & lose our voices on the drive home.
may: i watched your blankets fight the wind
& clothes pins from a broken folding chair
on your father’s back porch.
june: in her backyard, we fill my aunt’s
bird-bath with ice and cheap beer, prop the
kitchen window with my brother’s boombox
& paint our hands with squished fireflies,
july: we laugh like skinny lovers with
wind-knotty hair and grass-stained barefeet
by the beech tree under the viaduct.
august: i pitched the tent, while you ran
beers from the apartment, to the baseball
field where we slept, pillow-less & sweating
to the nylon floor.
september: you laughed at me, the whole way
home, when i told you i was afraid of horses.
october: our indian summer ends with a week
of rain & two-blanket nights.
november: we tack the big dipper in plastic
glow-in-the-dark stars to the bedroom ceiling
and it’s spring in the shawangunks again. i
tell the story of boötes & you fall asleep
on my arm.
december: we spent the night in your childhood
bedroom, your closet spread out on the floor,
in search of winter sweaters. the house is
mulled cider & chinese five spice.
january: you slept in off-white hand-me-down
thermals stretched thin over kissed hips &
creaky bones; we hid in a sleep-cloudy
bedroom from snowstorms that never came.
february: i finally get your coffee right
march 11th, 2013 - “lavandula.”
fill me, like neighborhood children
plugging rocks in mole burrows
& letting the hose down snake holes;
with last breaths before sleep
& each petal that falls
from your windowsill flower box
(dying to escape, or vice versa);
with lavenders & the jug wine wisps
your hands leave behind,
to steady my chin for a kiss.
i want that faint sigh of relief
in every word;
your presses, at 3am, when the blankets
fall from the foot of the bed.
march 8th, 2013 - “untitled.”
there was no bang to muffle
with cupped hands over
just my teeth grinding dust
in time to your breathing;
mittened hands swinging,
crushed leaves underfoot.
march 7th, 2013 - “estybrook trail.”
when your face thawed & spilled
downstream (by a sanctuary
in your backyard, with a big rock
for sitting) it took me with it,
& the only proof of our existence
was a snow-fort,
no longer camouflaged against the
dying grass, bent from winter’s weight.
will i too, grow crisp with yellowed edges?
am i your father’s baseball cards;
handmade & pressed in a library book,
that you found in early march;
in your practiced cursive handwriting,
left to dry out in an envelope
with evaporated glue?
march 6th, 2013 - “europa.”
i remember: daylight on you
for the 1st time
was me peeking through
holes in your blanket,
promising not to watch,
while you dressed &
tied & re-tied ponytails.
was there solace
in your vanity mirror for
sore feet & your
while we spat
at solidarity for a grey t-shirt
heavy with slept-late guilt
& night sweat?
march 5th, 2013 - “dowsing & divining.”
i stole my mother’s stationery
& a calligraphy pen (black ink),
worried we might not have enough
eyelashes between us
to pluck & form the letters in
our friendship oath & good luck prayer,
a backwoods pact: (1) to keep blood
& spill secrets, always.
(2) to remain forever cautious
of those whose who give human names
to cats & dogs,
(as if to lessen the the sting of
their refusal, not inability, to
reciprocate in casual conversations).
(3) there is no god, save for the
heart in your chest & maybe
the occasional yellow-jacket
that lands, but doesn’t sting.
& (4) there is no 4, & never shall be.
march 3rd, 2013 - “americana.”
i remember, early friday morning is
your scraped knees
pushed through the driver’s seat
& my hair stuck in the headrest
(back before i cut it short).
we & no one else to keep us
from windows down and
heat high, fan on 4:
time measured in afternoon cartoons
moves no faster & all trees
blur from windows at parkway speeds.
i remember you, in savoring gasps
between gusts of wind & the clicks
when cassette tapes flip sides.
it’s those breaths, when you ask:
are we dust in brunch table sunlight?
to float & settle & float again
in coffee/tea with too much sugar,
& stick to the sides of the mug?