Doomed

I’m doomed to live in only cold places on account of how many sweaters I have— Been given mostly. As I clean out my room or pack it I move windows of clothes open to reveal old or new or nice sweaters of varying wear and cleanliness. Three white sweaters, clean, have stayed in a row in this closet. At least I was self-aware enough not to wear them. Mom always said that clothes should never limit a day’s activities and that’s why she’s a good mom.

She’s also a good mom because she got me on coffee. That’s the one thing she’ll always pay for— Probably because it’s the one thing we’ll always have in common. Walking down cold Boston streets in some sweater or another, I’ll text her Mom. It’s urgent. and she’ll respond with an email from Starbucks, or Peet’s more recently, addressed to Princess or My needy daughter. She loves that stuff—Talking like I’m horribly spoiled. Not that I’m far from it. Not that I’d acknowledge it if I was. But to my defense: It’s the right kind of spoiled to have enough clothes to get everything dirty. Thank goodness I never had the little sister I asked for; the kid would look homeless with the tatters of hand-me-downs she’d get. Especially if I got them first from my older brother. Dad’s still sweetly under the impression that I’ll figure out how to be delicate soon enough— he sends me things with thin chains, recommended to him by a sales representative who looks around my age. The white sweaters were from him.

I unhook a bleached, fluffy Patagonia (an item clearly designed as a compromise to the all-outdoors-everything vibe sweated out by the Vermont natives in their magazines). It’s soft, and I’m an adult after all, so I fold it and place it on the sweater pile, placing it an inch now taller than the blue jeans/running leggings/sweatpants pile. The t-shirt pile has been consumed by the long-sleeved pile (which, to be honest, shares a fair amount of characteristics with the sweater pile).

They’re all starting to lean, anyways. I start to wonder why I even bother with these classifications: They’ll all be in a pile in Cambridge, just as they all were here. I’ll pretend to have a semblance of a system for the first week back at school, and then let everything stack into its native slouch on my desk chair. I’m wearing a new cowl-neck (a classic margin example of a warm fuzzy sweater that is too light for an under layer). The sleeves are too tight to roll up, and because the winter sun has brought my basement room to a boil, I decide to slip it off and place it on the sweater pile. The long-sleeved pile. The long-sleeved pile.

I like cold places, anyways. Places like Colorado and Massachusetts, where the weather is worth talking about and people learn about dressing in layers. That’s why that cowl-neck isn’t a sweater— you need layers to make it in to that puffy pile. But I’m thoroughly uninterested in packing, and a nice boy has put something or other in the microwave— or turned the microwave on, now that I think about it, because we forgot that there was pizza in there for breakfast.

I put on the fuzzy white sweater, knowing full well that it will be splattered with pizza sauce just yet, and leave the piles for later.

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Spinning Wheels

Bike, upside down.
One finger, wheel
Sent spinning

Bike, upside down.
Hand on rubber and it, too,
Spinning

One more
Sent spinning.

And here I stand, watching
As my tires spin
And the brakes do nothing
And the wheels go nowhere
But I like the whirr.

Then back and forth I pace
And as one wheel slows
I push it back into motion.
One hand one tire
Just for a moment

I like the whirr, I said it.
As the clicking starts
And accelerates
And sings to me
And the orchestra in my chest
Is dizzy enough to forget.

Without You to Hold Onto

To things you never thought you’d lose.

A continuation of True Life: I’m Turning Blueish-Green


We knew it would happen this way. You were uncomfortable—jittery, squirming, giggling— just the kind of night when things would go wrong. I was there, like I aways am, rolling around in the back of your mind, kissing the circumference of your third finger. On, off, on, off– You laughed and slipped me from one finger to the next. I was warm, the way you make me when your fingers start to blush and sweat. Crooked and familiar, I rode through the night with you.

You were chatting, not paying attention. You were fidgeting and I was sliding. You tugged me off your finger, and I kept flying.

At least you knew I was gone. At least you looked for me. If only you had been listening, you could have heard where I landed. You could have checked the back seat. You could have called to your friends, telling them to go ahead. You could have pulled the taxi apart, piece by piece, until my crooked copper rolled out onto the pavement. But you didn’t. You apologized to the driver, touched the spot where I used to be, and stepped away.

Today, I ride in circles around you. I hear unfamiliar voices as the chilling air makes me brittle and empty. I imagine your finger losing the green hue I used to leave on it. Your hand, naked, silently tapping without the percussion I provided.

Darling, don’t forget me: The ring that will always be shaped to hold you, living without you to hold onto.

So High

From Weed to Smoker


So High

When I first touched your lips
I knew, man, I knew
This whateveritis
It’s the good stuff.

Your deep breath
Pulling me in
Letting me dance in the air

As I learned what happened under your skin
And just the way your gentle breath feels
When it’s late at night and breath
Is all you can think of anyways

Let me live in that breath
Let me taste your lungs always
Let me let you let go

When I first touched your lips
And I first started burning
I was too high to notice

You’ve got the eyes I usually sink into
The jaw-dropped smile I usually seep under
The appetite

But yesterday I watched those eyes blink awake
And squint at windowed sunshine
And taste backpacks and day naps
And float out the door
To be with things I’d never seen before

Though being the light in your head
Is warmer, sweeter, softer than I’ve been
I don’t know
If I’ll ever tumble off your breath
And drift with you
Through loud, cold, uncomfortable day
 
Or if I’m just the high you want
At the end of the night
When your lips have been everywhere else
And your couch is your wonderland
And you want to let go of everything,
See what you find,
And leave that, too, behind.

Naked

Blue painter’s tape used to wrap around my bars. Someone stuck it there to protect me, I think. To make me a little less beautiful, a little less tempting, and a little more average in the eyes of potential thieves. It worked all year long, you know. The only one who ever touched my rubber arms was my girl– my partner in crime. She, and only she, was there through everything. Even as my brakes failed, my tires lost air, and my gears jumped, she came to me every day, jingling her keys from a ways off— ready to slip the lock out from around my legs. For her, I’d run forever.

But the blue tape is gone now. That extra layer of skin that stifled my shining red was peeled off by your fingernails this spring. I liked watching it go, you know. When I heard the keys coming my way, I never expected those big hands to be so gentle and so understanding. Within minutes, you had me running better than I had in years. I’d forgotten what it was like to truly fly, unimpeded by my old rusty frictions and misalignments. You spun me around and around and made everything right. You replaced my broken pieces.

And when you were finished, you grabbed the edge of the tape and peeled. One piece after the next, you revealed my glaring red nudity. I was hardly ashamed, happy to impress you with the paint job that lay underneath. I didn’t care that the thieving men looked twice at me now, that they saw how fresh and smooth I really was. I didn’t care, as long as you kept tinkering with me.

But then you left me in the basement. And three months later, she retrieved me with her jingling key and small, awkward hands. She felt my bare structure and knew that things had changed. She took me out to the sun, where everyone could see the nicks and scratches on my paint that had been covered up. I was naked, and she couldn’t understand why.

You walked by the other day. I heard your steps and wondered if maybe you’d come and fix me again. Of course, a bike like me has a lot to do— I never wanted to just wait around for you and your wrenches. But when I heard your step, I’ll admit I held my breath. But you walked by, leaving me in my vulnerable, flagrant, damaged nothingness. You didn’t even slow your step. You didn’t even recognize the machine you created.

I didn’t ask for you. I’m not even asking for you now. I’m happy with my girl, even if she’s slow to pump my tires and quick to bounce me over curbs.

All I’m saying is that I wish you’d look a little closer at the bike who lost everything just to feel what it was like to fly.

The Tragedy: To Rain, From Blossom

Rain,

I told you I needed you, and you seemed to understand. But the forecast said you’d be here yesterday, and I haven’t seen any dark on the horizon. I’m not sure where you are or what you’re doing, but I want you to know that I’m watching to sky for you. Every humid night, I breathe deep and hope that you’re at the end of the breeze, sailing the skies to fix everything. From way up there, maybe you can’t see that I’m parched. My petals are browning and the soil around my roots is blowing away. I want to keep spreading, creeping, growing, but I can’t keep living without thinking about you maybe on the way. I heard tell of floods in Beaverton last week. Was that you, then? Hasn’t anyone told you you’ve overstayed your welcome? Hasn’t anyone told you that I need you here now? I’m shrinking into nothing. Please send word.

Blossom


Rain,

I tasted you again last night. Just for a second. A freshest flash and, God, it filled me full. In that moment, I felt perfect again. Beautiful again. I had watched you flanking the horizon for hours, drifting in nonchalant meandering that made me feel sick. Just as I couldn’t watch any more, I closed my eyes and you kissed my cheek with gentlest reinvigoration. My roots and petal folds trembled with colorful animation, and the feeling put all hope in me that you really do care. You care about nothing at all but me and my leaves that have waited so long for you to restore their playful flexibility. But then you left. And even when I reached as deep as I could into the rocky earth, I couldn’t find traces of you anywhere. You evaporated away from me and I fear that I dispelled you. I had to feel, once again, the crispening of a parched life. It is not enough to caress me for this night and blow through. It only leaves me a memory of sweet satisfaction, the weight of which bends my stem.

Blossom


And back to thirsty biding. My eyes to the east, I see the ravenous heat coming that tears me apart. I remember how you dappled that light. How you carried its gleam. How you painted color in magnificent joyousness, just for me. And now, dry, I am losing reality. Give it back to me, would you?

Blossom


Rain,

Leftover drip down won’t you

Fresh and down down won’t you

Underdone the won’t you drip

So stop to be disinterested and

Maybe near me gently won’t you

Pour once more before winter.

daisy


Please.

One drop.

Fragile, I will break

Under weight of your heavensphere.

And gone the pain.

One drop.

Drop.

Drop.

Drop.

End it.


Poems Between My Dog and Thunder

I apologize for my weak dialog yesterday. Rereading it, I noticed that I could be a relatively mediocre and stereotypical children’s writer.

I leave in 20 minutes to ride a horse on a field with a ball and some friends, so I will have to be fast.


A Poem from My Dog to the Thunder

WHY MUST YOU TORMENT ME?

I’ve done nothing wrong.

In fact I have been on FANTASTIC behavior today.

I sat and watched SO MANY HUMANS eat bacon

And then YOU. There you are with your grumbling stomach.

Creeping up and whispering in my ears.

Pounding down upon ALL THAT IS RIGHT AND GOOD.

I’M HUNGRY TOO, you know.


A Poem from the Thunder to My Dog

I’m still here.

You thought you’d lost me,

But I’m still here.

You don’t have to run, you know.

I never wanted to scare you off.

You, man’s best friend,

Never to look into the face of the storm.

There have been some to dance in the rain

The few who made my existence

The littlest bit more than nuisance

But you remain,

Reminding me that everyone

Will always better love the sun.


A Poem from My Dog to the Thunder

I never knew.

You? I’ve hurt you?

If I could lick your face and make it better

But you’ve already cried the river streams full.

Here I am.

Play with me


A Poem from the Thunder to My Dog

BOOOOOOOOM, MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!!!!!!!


A Poem from My Dog to the Thunder

I KNEW YOU WERE A TRICKY BASTARD.


And Scene.