left boot sole

this year-long rattle in my heel, finally free

oh, little stone! where did you come from?

did you chip off a Czech cobblestone? A Parisian stair?

Maybe you found me outside that coffee shop in Boston.

There’s a streak of green on your side – is it Viennese?

Perhaps it’s Guilford moss, or from the walk in the woods around Oxshott.

you have walked with me, far,

I wish I could put you back.

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what we need

paint blown over

falls. pours. the empty bits drive away

take my shell: grimy nonsense

a muddy-burnt face. love is not

this, store it up for a screen

run it past all of us –

trainers squeak your floor.

coterie

(The Mindy Project says

that psycho people can make friends. That I

can make friends that stick. I will run up stairs

to find them. Gamble for it. Dance in the dark.)

The girl who did my nails had bright blonde bangs

and we talked about “down the shore”. Maybe

I am actually from somewhere. Maybe I have a tribe.

My Delaware valley accent is back. Outside smells

like the Easter baskets Nana Wagar gave us that one year.

I’m under the gun again, but with so much home stored up here

I can get back on that motorcycle and cruise over these buttery roads.

Someday he will sing “Sha-la-la-la-in love with a Jersey girl!” and I

will be that girl. We will stack rocks at the Cape May sunset.

The band will play again. I will get splinters on the boardwalk,

hell, maybe even a spray tan. No one would judge me for it.

My wanderlust has been beaten, frozen out of my heart.

I just want to sleep till noon and wake up somewhere

safe. I want to give my kids

this sandy soil, as it pours through my manicured fingernails

and (no one called me “weird”.) they will pluck tulips

and yell,”tractor!” The old folks church will smile

and take them out to breakfast. (as they loved me.)

it was meant as a joke

racism begins with ignorance, so

why is it an accepted excuse?

“I didn’t mean it/I didn’t know”
do NOT

remove the hurt, heal the wounds, hold the hearts

with a thoughtless joke old heartaches are broken

in haste, we waste

time could have said “this is a bad idea”, but no one asked

the point is, an issue is raised

and this is our chance to fight for the right side

get up, stand up already against

land of the free, free to be

(a little bit) racist?

magazine catalog advertisement holiday

this thanks I give

over heavy-laden heads and hands

clenched

fingers red-white as they shake together.

watching the aged crown of white stammer,

tell me of your lifestory and cry proudly

over your grandchild’s hand,

his blue eyes are yours.

gallery

weighted, wandering, I gaze at

each fleck of gold, caught in

the streaky colours that fill the walls,

carefully composed into chaos.

worries smile and crawl

out of my skin

curling up safe in a tiny triangle of green,

laying down in a perfectly shaped eye

grinning back at me.

They live there now, healed and happy

whenever i find this painting

I will also find them.

baby

so tiny, so little and perfect.

they freeze the world around them, all is

wrapped up in hands that are half the size of my palm

their hair light, tossing as they run, scamper.

I saw them in Prague and watched rainbows

dancing on their heels

as they ran through the fountain, droplets

arcing in sunlight from their tender toes.

I, a broken-wrecked immature adult

found hope in them, though they did not know it

my arms ache to hold them and love them.

three chicago friends.

maybe I just tripped and fell into you

I was so tired, your every word cushioned my weariness

more than you know. I leaned back into years of security:

we are still friends.

I still know you and you remember every

detail of things I told you.

No judgment at all. In fact, you love me just the way I am.

We laugh together, sunlight

and transit breezes pull back our hair and we squint, grinning.

I reiterate: “I feel no pressure to be anyone else!”

and you take my arm in yours, making sure

that I don’t walk too fast or slow, that we

are wholly together and here.

Then I cried on the train

because you poured love into me and filled me with hope.

in which I express how much I do not understand the youth of America and their social inconsistencies

one night on after a night off, it’s

so frustrating the way each of you check in check out

of my life, our relationship. “You can trust me”

“I’m here for you”, etcetera. You have my number. This

is supposed friendship and connection, supposedly

we are friends, yet when I turned

you down you walked away to find

someone who would say yes.

So when I am spent, broken, wrecked

and hurting so, so badly, I cannot know that you will be there. Many

are not interested, they say I am melodramatic and over-the-top.

“I just don’t know what to say”

as if there is a right answer to this question – Help me?

silence is a no. thanks for that, by the way.

Last night, I am called upon

to wipe up blood, clean cuts

wrap one up in bandages and make a cup of tea

because no one will respond. This

hyper-individualization of self expression makes

introspection a dirty word. Your selfishness

is cowardice, but of course

what you have to say is most important, most relevant, most true.

Ridiculous. Sickening.

The point is, a semi-African girl will handle this

attempt at suicide willingly because

all we have is love and that is enough. God,

find us here and help me survive

these individuals.