at my unconsciousness
until it wiggles
to the surface.
at my unconsciousness
until it wiggles
to the surface.
The paper was worn,
almost delicate as
its lines and groves
are defined by an age
you never discussed.
The writing on the paper
with a right-handed slant.
The curves are bold, indicating
The paper says your team won,
1st place in their baseball division.
I balled up the paper, feeling
the weight of its memory, and
threw it in the corner.
I begged you to take me out
to the ball game, and you were
always too busy or tired. Now I
stare at the paper feeling lost.
I pick up the paper and smooth
out its rough edges. I will frame
this memory and remember that
at one time, you were happy.
The sun was bright
and waves crashed against the beachhead
without thought to the moon. The smell of salt
permeated the air with a palpable thickness.
Your husband had been sick all winter
and the advent of spring brought hopes
of a cure. It did not happen.
You suggested a retreat to the sea.
He was standing at the edge of the pier
with your arms around his waist.
He was breathing in the salt air,
squinting at the sun with a smile on his face.
He suddenly fell in the water, as you told police.
A movement that starled you. You tried to grasp
his outreaching hands, but they were already cold
and you could not hang on.
All you could do was watch, as he drowned.
This is the story you told over and over to
anyone who would listen. Everyone believed
a distraught widow’s tears. Case closed.
We are standing at the pier where
He died. You stand there and
stare at the water and explain that a gentle
shove from behind ended his life.
You tell me, with tears in your eyes,
that doctors could cure his cancer
and his suffering was too much to bear.
Drowning, you cried, was the only way
to end his pain.
Or yours? You reveal the lie
the past becomes the present.
On the anniversary, you smile through the tears
and walk home triumphant to your new husband.
Author’s note: This poem was written after 9/11/2001 as I, like most, tried to make sense of that day. Remember 9/11.
Towers of Babel
Twin towers glistening
In the morning dew.
Abuzz with light—
speaking in tongues—
did not notice a black trail
of dust and jet fuel
headed for the grand prize
with a skull and crossbones
marked on the side.
Destruction and chaos
rained down below.
While burning bodies
in the cool of the day
on asphalt now painted red.
The towers fall
marked the rise of love.
As people remembered the lost
and rejoiced in the living.
The water roared to the left of Asha as she struggled to drag her pine log through the forest to the left of the riverbank. The first five logs had been difficult, but this log seemed to be heavier than the others, and Asha’s hands received little cuts that bled. It was no matter, she thought, moving toward the set of logs on the riverbank. It would all be over soon. Suicide, she thought as sweat poured down her white dress, was exhausting business. Asha finally reached the logs, and moved the last one into place. The pile of logs looked like a tee-pee, one that Asha had played in as a child, when pretending to be an Indian actually helped her get friends at her all white elementary school. Sadly, she thought, her classmates only seemed to enjoy killing her off since the cowboys always had to win, a pattern of humiliation that followed Asha her entire life. Her marriage was abusive; she failed at college, and the final humiliation was her inability to conceive, a failure that her husband taunted her with daily. Crawling into her wooden tee-pee, Asha breathed a sigh that relief was a single matchstick away. The match ignited immediately and Asha dropped it at her feet. She screamed as her toes burnt first, then experienced a deep euphoria as her clothes, skin, and then hair caught fire. As her lungs closed around the smoke, Asha could have sworn that she saw the face of God, burning brightly on his throne. Her remains were found six months later in a pile of white ash.
My cellulite mocks me!
With every dimple, like
the marking of a tree ring,
I grow older and wider
until I am forced to wear
burlap and sackcloth, like
bark protecting a tree
from the elements.
I have fond memories of days goneby,
when I didn’t use anti-cellulite firming lotion
or spanx to create the illusion of smooth thighs.
Now, I wear large sizes
to create the illusion
Author’s Note: After revamping my work and personal schedule, I plan to post every Tuesday and Thursday. I look forward to your comments!
His walking stick stood two feet higher than he. On a good day. A day when he was not slumped over from starvation. His self-imposed exile from the hatred surrounding him.
His walking stick balanced him. As he teetered from sea to sea to make salt, and blow it in the face of King. Poor King George IV, himself, teetering on the edges of his stutter as he struggled to keep his inheritance intact.
His walking stick corrected him. When he fought for women’s rights, while lying naked next to them to prove his character. His sexlessness made him a living saint even while his son was accused of raping a young girl.
His walking stick saved him. As assassin’s bullets took his life and as he sunk to his knees, crying the name of God, he held onto his stick. The stick that had carried him many miles until he came home.