Eve

And I sit alone on Christmas Eve, peering out the window at mountaintops I’ve climbed— at wilderness that discovered me when I couldn’t do it myself.

In the anticipation of good,
We celebrate the before.
The slowing down of the heart,
The loosening of the lungs,
The opening of the hands.

In gentle expectation,
We start to smile
We start to cringe, perhaps,
And we celebrate Eve.
Togethercoming
Merryfinding
Songringing
Homestaying.

We watch the horizon
For Christmas spirit,
Hoping that perhaps
Goodwilltowardmen
Will fill our minds
Whilst Christmas morning
Will fill our stockings.

Somber anticipation,
The knowledge that
Life might not change
It might not be okay
There may not be joy.

But maybe there might be
And maybe there’s good
And caroled hope
And a little bit of humor
To relieve one worry.

Can anyone truly know
The taste of
The Eve of a miracle?
Or if there’s a daybefore
Good is no miracle at all.

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What If There Aren’t Answers?

Growing up I was always sure
That when the sign came
That said “This way or that way”
I’d be able to smile and step
And prance toward and forward
Fork on fork on fork and running
Me, weaving into futures exact
Never having to glance at a map.

Now I’m holding my breath
And hoping that I don’t grow up
Because I still need time to get there
I’ll walk backwards, dammit
To delay those crossroads forever
Because that sign is scaring me
And there are a million exits off this highway
And a million of them look fine
And a million of them look wrong
And I can’t tell which.

What if there aren’t any answers?
What if this way is okay? And that way is easy?
What if what motivates me is changing?
Or maybe nothing…
Because I’m sliding forward toward
Bends in the road I can’t conceive of
Why run to it, then? Why run?

What if I have no proclivity?
What if nothing comes naturally?
And I don’t have the heart to jump in
And figure things out
Or fall in love with something—
Fall in love with someone?
Intelligently, gently, beautifully?

Writing Myself to Sleep

And as I lay in the half-light
I blame my wakefulness on mother,
Whose love of coffee turned its bitter
Into sweet on my tongue, too often now. 
I, half-dark, cradling my ragged bear, 
Plan and wonder in guilty fatigue
On the should of yesterday becoming
The should of tomorrow; what painful heart it is. 

And again, I find unrest in restful hours, 
Reaching, time and again, for some input.
Some scrolling story. Some refreshing page.
Pencil in my hand, now, I open these lines
And confront, though not comfort, tide pool thoughts.
 
I want to trace the eddy line
I want a splash and dive, but
In stiff strokes I stretch to the hole and stay
The one spot on the river where, within movement,
One can be completely stagnant.
 
And my red eyes try to shut slowly
While my hand rubs my softening stomach
And, though it might cause regret tomorrow,
I venture to keep writing.
 
My least favorite question now
Is “Where are you from?”
Because, in half-light, I’m half-gone
And with one foot always out of the covers,
I have no spot to lean upon.
 
My least favorite question is
“Where are you from?”
Because I am potted, not planted.
I hit the ground running, swirling, 
Cartwheeling across America.
 
“From”— a simple word with endless meaning.
I am from my mother, from my father,
From the back seat of a Suburban,
Next to the dog and the parakeet.
I am from summers on rocket beaches.
I am from horseback and the smell of pine.
From bonfires and rock walls and high school soccer. 
I came from easy living, and rash decisions,
And endless futures built in unraveled pasts.
 
“Where are you from?”
9712, 57006, 01770, 81211, 02138
I am the sum of these numbers,
Or perhaps the mean of them,
 
“Home, then? Where’s that?”
Under these feet, must be. 
Or maybe I’m always far from it.
Maybe I can make it. 
When my clothes are all together
And I have my stuffed animals
And I go back with little ones, and point out
“I did that.” “I had that.” “I was that.”
 
Seems to me
That homes, long residing, are only built
When memories
And identities
Mix with the paint
And blend into the carpet
And stay.

Here’s to Me on the High Road

It’s nice to know I can blog about frustration, because those who frustrate me don’t care enough to look at a blog called YOnTheEnd to figure out what I’m thinking about. Those who frustrate me would ignore these poems and these musings and confidently maintain a brief preconception of my blonde hair, so

Here’s to you.
Here’s to knowing that you won’t scratch beneath the surface.
Here’s to letting me blow my cool because you won’t see it.
Here’s to me and my phony smile and nodded head.
Here’s to us and whatever connection we’re not forming.
From the cursory condemnation of something I love.
To the unconsidered judgment of someone I like.
To the outreached hand under your tread.
To texted passive aggression.
To active aggression.
To carelessness.
To hatefulness.
To ignorance.
To mistrust.
To cold.

Here’s to me, Better One Behind Your Back.
Here’s to me, cradling insignificance.
Here’s to me on the High Road.
To wondering what I did
And giving you the blame.