Cate turned 41 three days into the (most recent) millenium.
A lot of people thought the world was going to end
(something about computers or calendars)
She celebrated over a sparkling wine brunch
with friends she rarely
They giggled relentlessly over the old jokes and
over the o l d jealousies.
That time at the Chinese restaurant at
Who saw him first?
Wasn't it Jane?
Where has she gone, had anyone heard?
No one had but it didn't matter
(so long ago she had stood, placed the thick cloth napkin on the table beside her plate and excused herself to another universe)
Her alarm rang early the next morning:
jarring an artificial start to the day.
Cate wondered where she was for the
moment (before remembering)
No, it wasn't love
Swept right across my heart,
a cartoon breeze
white swirling tail drawn over blue
No, it wasn't love.
But recognition flickered
from behind your
Overlarge, to match
the head and grin and
those items held to define you
resembled a familiar shelf
where I rest my own desires
to not swipe left
I can't can't can't dating websites
joining two lines
smoothly, without ripple or gaping
seam, is the task of galaxies
watching the end and
beginning, gliding over the now,
(inverting the mind's usual function).
And if it all goes
*crumpling the wasted effort
There was a boy in our class no one liked.
Not even the teachers.
Not even the good ones.
He was a small kid with a chipped front tooth
too big clothes and third generation sneakers
Not even Mrs. Farris could love.
Not even Mrs. Farris,
Who taught music from behind the curtained stage of the cafeteria
wearing pretty clothes and a performance smile
No one could deny.
Not even Chris.
Not even Chris, who moved from his assigned lunch seat
brought fireworks on the field trip
and who said what he wanted
but probably couldn't read.
Chris went out for choir in the fifth grade
Like he had in fourth
when Mrs. Ferris turned him away.
Behind him in line to audition,
I cringed at the notes that creaked
and broke over his soul.
His voice was painful and
might have been carried by stronger singers
in the service of a 10 year-old's redemption.
But not even a fifth grade cafeteria choir
in poster board costumes would
hold a space in the risers for his conversion.
Chris wanted to be good then,
maybe for the last time,
And no one could hear him.
The first (?) of many delinquents I have known and loved...
there was a voice
that only spoke
to say everything
the line is long
the people waiting
the sky is gray
the weather is mild
your friends are gone
were never here
nothing is real only
for a while
I am the pebble
sunk in the clear slow spring
watching the warm sky
and the bright green grass beside
I am the pebble
low in the dirt murky water
cowering in swirling tides
when the banks are grey and far
I am the pebble
after the water has run dry
sighing into mud
while the sun rises round and hot
I am the pebble
at the eternal hour
melting fast to putty
just as the sky goes black
all i love i lose
all i know i feel
all i breathe i choose
If by this time next year we are strangers,
the tide having carried you away while I stood by scowling,
feet sinking in the sand,
cursing the moon for betraying me,
muttering to myself that I wanted you to go
I will immediately hope to
all those days when
Under bright daylight
in the just right mood
surprise tinges of gold line your eyes
soften your smile
and shine your diamond soul
through the room
The cusp of seasons waxes a melancholy mind
each turn a little less sure how the sun hangs
in the sky over the homeward drive
low for a while then high
Shows even at five and ten and twenty nine
when the world felt twice than alive
everything was always dying
Each pass the summer skies go undermined to autumn
then fall to ice beat back with new grass
wither in sun's fire
While inside the dishes and the laundry pile
hearts ply and lose desire
blind by days
to the ties of light and outline
perpetual arresting revise
I bought a few sprigs of lavender tied with yarn from a boy outside the bookstore during the brightest days of summer.
The small decoration lay on a stack of books by the bed, scent fading with the passing days, inches from my pillow.
Meanwhile I ran about dusting and polishing, fluffing and waxing, making everything nice.
At night I fell into sleep moments after lifting my feet from the floor, forgetting all I dreamed.
The sun comes up too early
dissolving the night from behind
suspending last night's sleepless
in a passing timeless bind
Two worlds outside the window
The new day and the past
Toss the covers and brew the coffee?
or plead with the stars to hold fast.
The dawn shines soft at first watch
casting the world a pale blue
By midday it glares down on burdens
pointing cruelly at an endless queue
But noonday passed behind curtains
holds bothers in dark sympathy
lets correspondence die in assumption
ignores bills to delinquency
Either way the moon hangs devoted
bides his time in faded plain sight
to whisper the patience of nightfall
hold the world in it's pitiful light.
Driving home from baseball camp
the bright blue summer sky
makes everything crisp and clean and warm.
Thoughts drift by like dandelion dust and
disappointment peels from my soul gently:
a tissue lifted from a box.
Nothing is forever
and everything is wonderful.
Just look at the sky.
Doll eyes, he says
You have doll eyes
Glassy, blind doll eyes
waiting for any random child to squeeze me to life
Bring me reaction.
My pupils hold tiny negatives of him.
He checks them for impairment.
Sitting side-by-side on a damp porch step
he tells me the story of the spiders
plunging mouth fangs into live, bound captives
melting and digesting their insides
leaving an empty shell
Brittle, used and dead.
Intact from the outside
— The End —