Meat Blood Brain Stew And You

There are things we sit and think about on cold days by cast iron

These are the things bright screens and listening machines mute and diminish until we can barely see past the edges of our faces and we can hardly hear our heads

Quiet is the best pot to stew wonder

Boil meat and brain and love together and blood begins to flow in our heads once again

Boredom brings us to a human place, a place that is painful and overwhelming

And it brings us meaning and meaninglessness cooked together into a satisfying, delicately spiced dish

I want to live life away from the clamor of this culture, away from positioning and propositions and the ruthless, zealous sport that clings to my clothes

I want to brush it all away and pull a child from under my dress, lifting him into a world where humanity is washed of insincerity

I want my child to produce, to contribute to participate and yet reject large chunks of this haunch presented to him, rare and bloody. I want him to nibble at the meat, cut away the fat and toss it to the dogs

I want my baby to look up at the sky and understand the planets spinning, the pine trees piercing the abyss and acknowledge his own immense insignificance

I want him to understand he doesn’t know anything at all, but that he is an irreplaceable part of this massive mysterious myth, that he and I will end but the universe will continue and through it we are limitless

I want him to discover that the power of his heart pumping is its own universe.

Passing Through Ridgewood

The night air touches my cheek
With affection
Whispering sweetly, sincere
Calming an uneasy head haunted lately by bad dreams
The street is quiet and I’m alone
Feet echoing on the pavement like a single heartbeat
The hum of window ac units
And distant mariachi music
Remind me of families huddled together now on worn couches
As I pass
Pink cheeks peacefully pressed against mother’s chest
Lives mushrooming from the quiet that once was the emptiness of a lonely room
Love blasts from the stoop
A tornado that sweeps me off my feet and sets me down again, stunned
I don’t have anyone to call my own
But the scent of trees in bloom tonight
Brings me to tears
The volume of my soul is turned up
My spine is a totem pole and my legs swing in revolutions
That time I stitched my own tattered tongue and reassembled my fractured ribs did not scar me
My freedom is tangible
I carry it in my pocket and it courses through my headphones
I whistle the tune
While my love waits its turn
My dreams are bright and painful
These days
They light the street in front of me
And I don’t have anyone
But I have this.

My Heart Is A Mosaic

Aside

You focus on picking up the pieces of your life
Pasting them on a blank canvas
Colorful collage of self and solitude
You sing a story with snapshots that can only be found in travel magazines and books left at bus stops
You deliberately slice each page in two
Take the half you need and leave the rest
Piece after piece, surgery after surgery
You’re crafting a world by tearing apart what once was whole
You took my right arm
My knee
My nipple
But I still have a heart
And I never told you this secret
I never let you know my heart is a mosaic
Made from the rubble of a million glass houses
Formed by the sun playing on the lake in late August
Hold it up to the light and you’ll see something new each day
Its beauty is best viewed dancing under a canopy of trees beside a fire
A few hours before dawn
Hair filled with smoke, body pumping life
And it’s true
This glass ball can break too
It’s been smashed apart like yours
But the pieces are continuously, meticulously glued back together
I take what is already broken and rebuild
No cutting
No blank canvas
Just a collection of tiny parts that pressed together transform
Into a billion brilliant moments traipsing across the water.

When Day Broke Us

Day broke
And death
Streamed through a wooden window frame
Shadows danced on the brittle wall
And I saw you for the first time
Delicate hair on end, lit up
Red eyes hopeless, wild
Veins shouting from the corners of your nostrils
Heart on the floor
Love rose up in my throat and poured
Into the sink
Yellow stains hung around the edge of the sturdy vanity
That held up rotting walls and a sagging ceiling 
Imperfect walnut sanded smooth by hands
Now forever folded and cold.
 
From that day forward
The light never wavered
It was there in the morning
As each dark night clung to us, vying for our minds
It broke in, smashed its fist through the fragile pane
To illuminate my pale cheeks
Dead eyes
Your tired mouth
Our despair.

It shined on our cold fate
Not to warm
But to illuminate the hell before us.
 

Cold Air Companion

The cold air is his companion now
Brightly–colored leaves kiss his neck
The sharp scent of dying matter
Hugs him close at night
And he sighs in its embrace.

I ricochet down sunny sidewalks.

Mothers and children and mothers and children
Off to run errands or clean the house
Smiles that shatter my calm
With rebellious joy.

He closes his eyes and soaks in the warmth.

I do the same
Imagining him here as I cross the street.

Missing is the wrong word, we struggle to define this
This ache, this happy, throbbing wound
This hope
Without which
We would dry up and float away.

33

It’s summer: I’m sentimental and sleepy

There once lived a natural sentiment
confined to a one-room loft
in the city
in a heart
longing to
break free from its container
hoping it would one day
materialize as
hand clasped in hand
soft breath on bare back as hair tumbles down
and two souls
rise
then
fall
as one

please dear shed the fear that confines
that lonely sentiment
to a dark one room loft
in the city
in the summer
with just one window
as it stares out at the garden
yearning to lie in the grass beneath the sun waiting for a brief cool wave of air
to free it
so rare
the heat is heavy
but a breeze will at once break the stillness and brush its hand across your cheek.