We have something that works.
It's such a small thing,
but like a tiny music box that still plays a tune you can recognize,
It's just my palm pressing into yours.
I'll keep doing it as long as it cranks out those same notes.
In my dreams, I drive right off the St. Thomas Bridge into the ocean
All the twinkly lights tell me I shouldn't have
Oh how I 'shouldn't have'
and a song plays in my head that says "Oh how you've grown."
I can't sleep because everything is on fire. I look outside, and there it is- the fire. I turn on the TV, fire. It's in my lungs and clinging to my clothing. It's stinging my eyes and giving me a headache.
It's been dark tonight but now the light has started creeping through the windows to remind me, everything has to continue. I have to go to school. My husband has to go to work.
I want to get in my car and drive somewhere that the smoke hasn't touched yet. But it's everywhere. It's to my left and right, it's up and down, closeup and at a distance.
I want to yell "Fire!" but no one will let me. I want to escape but no one will show me the exits. I'm tired of watching everything burn away and smolder and ache and choke and wheeze.
Vitamin D. Prenatal vitamins. Gauze. Paper-tape. Pregnancy tests. Ghirardelli square wrappers. Anti-septic. Band-aids. Small strips of paper towels. Anti-biotic wound care. Disposable masks.
My nerves are showing up in the cracking of my skin, in my eyebrows, between my eyes, and down my nose.
My hair's growth is stunted by my sporadic picking at the ends.
Now is not a good time. Now is the only time. Now is the worst time. Now is the best time.
I have never seen vultures before, until now. There they were, seven of them. One low circling and the other six huddled around a raccoon on the side of the off-ramp. It was just like a cartoon, I thought.
Vultures aren't really dangerous, I told myself as I weaved the car around the gang. Technically, they are nature's garbagemen.
Still, there is something unsettling about them all the same. Their turkey necks. Their large bodies. The pulling of sinew from carrion.
But most of all the concept that they lie in wait for death, inevitable, with terrifying patience.
She looked at me in a skeptical way and talked about what it means to be a vessel.
She offered some next steps, some sage advice.
But maybe I'm just the soil in champagne France, I thought, all chalk-full of clay.
Maybe the best most renowned bubbly celebrations come from this scraggly old vine.
What do you know? As I pawed at my stomach and breast.
Things still grow in the desert, they just aren't the things you like.
"So fruits and vegetables then?"
"Less fruit than you would think actually."
For me, beauty comes from things that are loosely held.
Looking at them too long alters them,
Sitting with them too long ruins them,
Better to show the rough stuff of life than to crush a dream by the weight of my closed fist.
Better to miss a comma or semicolon than a true feeling.
Better to mix metaphors than to lose them entirely.
When I was young, I caught what I thought were butterflies, probably moths, in the schoolyard.
I was told that if their dust rubbed off they would die.
So I held them in my sweating palm as gently as I could, feeling the flapping thing struggle against the walls of my fingers.
They all died anyway.
The pill bugs would die too.
Everything died, regardless of how gingerly I handled them because they had simply stayed in my hands too long
But before they died, I had accomplished something and it was beautiful.
If I could just let go, they could thrive, but I spent too long with them.
I've spent too long with my own thoughts and they're dying.