future

I wish I had a job,

just for the sheer joy of motoring back

through twilight, as the streets lighten

windows down? volume up?

maybe going home to pieces of me

little toes, shoes as long as my palm

I will love you as my own, for

you are mine and I will be yours.

(you will make me home)

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lithotine

arms draw out

in black, which soaks up light safely

and leaves bright contrast in limestone

I rock, smoothing the surfaces across each other until

perfect.

A touch of acid and gum, the image fizzles

washed away carborundum

resin dust could give you cancer. So could asphaltum.

but etched in stone is family.

someone’s great-grandmother

so I, gleaming in wedding blue,

say, “you look beautiful today!”

to lace on sky-cloth, hair like clouds

behind round-rimmed glass, her cerulean eyes glitter with tears

and she tells me that it can’t be true

her sister was always prettier, even when they were kids

so she just accepted it and kept living

 translucent skin quivering around cracked lipstick

and now she (thinks)knows she can’t be beautiful because she is 92 years old.

she loves my voice and hair, though. Heavens yes.

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(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.)

dear anna X

what are you like?

I am too close to see,

your fluid mosaic washes over my memory

 I cannot distinguish between failing and strength

you are so beautiful. All of you is beautiful.

Still delightfully marvelous as in childhood, red-blue

rich in yellow

only growing more lovely with time

I remember you in crayon, water, and glass

my rage always the Frog

to your wise, calm Toad.

gator ride through the orchard (easter)

the tractor growled, and we flew down the hill,

twisting, turning through the trees

steering handle spinning as we snuck past the fence

“This is illegal, by the way”

the grandkids are screaming, half fear, half delight

that grandpa would do something so reckless.

mentally, I am careening back across that Arcade highway

the snowplow shatters us again! I snap back to reality

jolting, the grass is high and the road is rubble

the steep hill we are climbing, fast

like the road to Kidepo, soaring over the stony hills

swerving, sliding around in the loose shale

even the dirt matches, it is orange dust

and I am 12 years old again, home and free

after burning season, the grass comes back this green

and the ash leaves charcoal traces all over your white skin.

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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.

dear anna VII

you with your piles of blond hair all wild,

evergreen eyes, you’re the one I wanted to find

when you woke me up, for my heart

falls just where your chest is.

You would have laughed to see me

stumbling, trying to dance today,

standing on the wrong feet

you’d make time for me, I know you would

because we read the same books

and you love Lana as much as she deserves

and you don’t get surprised when

I am covered in paint and crying.