Jun 29 Erin Marie
Careena

It is not significant by any means
But yesterday I hurt my toe
It bled and is still sore
I almost said on the phone

And I almost disclosed
How my fitbit is precisely
Two days, three hours, and twenty seven minutes off
In time to wake me up at 4:33 am
Wednesday through Sunday
And to turn it off
I must walk
Half asleep, tripping over crumpled clothes
In the dark
And most days I must do it twice
Because it doesn't believe my feigned woken state

I almost said how I think of you
And miss being able to spend all day
Inseparable and evergreen
Sometimes I ache to think of how far
I put myself away from you
Constantly
But when I mention the aching
I am met with an "It's okay"
But it feels the opposite way

And just yesterday, as I gave it more thought
To something I forgot,
Something I had been scared to ever feel
Palpable and real
With a wide open heart, I concurred
That I could be happy anywhere in the world
If you and I were together
I forgot how I used to be
How the sheer thought of needing someone else
Has terrified me

I don't feel as alone
I almost said on the phone
I don't feel as without
I am enjoying the time by myself

These things are by no means
Things you absolutely had to know
But things I had hoped to share
I know you are busy
I know you care
But I wanted you to know
I had more to say on the phone

 Jun 29 Erin Marie
Careena

I remember meeting him quite precisely
Your grandfather: Thanksgiving of 2012
He lived alone, in a house he owned
And built, by hand, family dwelled

I heard some stories
War glories
The second one that rocked the world
Gentle and kind, he left behind
His normal life and special girl

As I approached the door, I was met
With the sweetest, loving grin
Glasses donned, he led us on
Into the house to sit with him

Inside he told me of his passed wife
And the room he kept for her
Of her artwork and clothing
Ready, if she could ever return

The night passed by like honey
Nostalgic and syrup-sweet
The kind you remember distinctly five years from then
Ones you wish to repeat

He waved us off in his way
Standing at the door
Feathering his hand back and forth
Until the house could be seen no more

I had seen him twice or so more
Until you and I parted for a time
But I always asked of him as I could
Even though I didn't think I should

I heard he gave you grief
For parting from me
At his 90th birthday party
We had something special, he could see

On Thanksgiving, five years later
You and I reconciled
And he came down for a meal,
And I was met again with his smile

I tried to see him as much
As I could because I knew
Sometimes elderly people get lonely
And I would want visitors too

Then he fell ill from the hospital
And so it commenced
The decline of his health
Months of agonizing suspense

Until this week
I drove three hundred and twenty miles
To see him before he passed
To see one of his last smiles

It happened hours after I arrived
I got to say goodbye
I told him I was there, I made it
I saw him and I cried

He could not do much, but he could hear
He could barely even see
And as I let him know I loved him
His last words were his love for me

You sobbed as he said he loved me
You could see him struggle to speak
You told me to move a bit away
As you whispered your intent of someday marrying me

He passed there with us all
Surrounded by love, covered in prayer
The doctors were amazed by our presence
That so many people were there

A day or two later we wrote of him
How can you paraphrase a full life?
Of his war time stories and his glories
Of his loving kids and wife

In the survived by part is where they wanted
To include me but did not know where
To call me a friend didn't seem fitting
For all of the love and care

So you took the computer and put me in
Where you felt like I needed to a part of
Being married was signified with parenthesis
So you wrote next to you (Someday Careena)

Sure
It's easy to see broken clocks
aren't ticking
but I prefer broken people
Clocks get stuck
in their last instant
At least people keep on living

the women of the past keep
phoning.
there was another yesterday
arrived from out of
state.
she wanted to see
me.
I told her
"no."

I don't want to see
them,
I won't see them.
it would be
awkward
gruesome and
useless.

I know some people who can
watch the same movie
more than
once.

not me.
once I know the
plot
once I know the
ending
whether it's happy or
unhappy or
just plain
dumb,
then

for me
that movie is
finished
forever
and that's why
I refuse
to let
any of my
old movies play
over and over again
for
years.

little dark girl with
kind eyes
when it comes time to
use the knife
I won't flinch and
i won't blame
you,
as I drive along the shore alone
as the palms wave,
the ugly heavy palms,
as the living does not arrive
as the dead do not leave,
i won't blame you,
instead
i will remember the kisses
our lips raw with love
and how you gave me
everything you had
and how I
offered you what was left of
me,
and I will remember your small room
the feel of you
the light in the window
your records
your books
our morning coffee
our noons our nights
our bodies spilled together
sleeping
the tiny flowing currents
immediate and forever
your leg my leg
your arm my arm
your smile and the warmth
of you
who made me laugh
again.
little dark girl with kind eyes
you have no
knife. the knife is
mine and i won't use it
yet.

 May 25 Erin Marie
Careena

I tried to take notes before you left
Mentally scribbling down asides
The toughness of your hands
Compared to the soft skin of mine

Blocking out the sunlight
Pulling covers over your head
Pretending that it's night
Is what it's like when we're in bed

Letting me out of the car under-roof
Needing not to brace the rain
You are a different man now
Warm-hearted, patient, unfeigned

We have the same soreness like picture day
From smiling with our teeth for so long
We almost forget what it's like to frown
Until it has passed and you're gone

It drizzled as you looked at me
Got in your car and said goodbye
This is not our first parting
But it is like that every time

 May 19 Erin Marie
Careena

I said I hadn't seen
The same love since
It promptly folded its newpaper
Picked up its hat
And departed
Path uncharted
Unsure of return or existence

I found him again
As he quietly unfolded the Sunday paper
Sipped his watered down diner coffee
Silently entered into the chambers of my heart
Same place and manner as the start

Love, to me, is an elderly man
Worn and tried
Tender and wise
With companionship
And twinkling eyes

And I know him again
How I thought myself deranged
For loving you all these years
In my heart, nothing changed

I'm a little home sick
and a little homeless
never knowing where
I belong
anymore.

Sadness lingers
missing a home
no longer mine
Take me home
so I can see
a place
where I can be.

If you could see how many untitled drafts I have,
What would you think?
Shall I count them for you?
Upwards of twenty,
unfinished thoughts
and half formed metaphors,
poems where I just couldn't
find the words at the moment.

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