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New Years resolution:

Say “always” and “never” less
promise absolutes only
to those you can follow through for:

The dying,
the dead,
and people you’ve made up.

I am tired of
dying on altars
crafted of words
no one meant.

“I love you”
is not a thing you say,
it is a thing you do.

And “always” and “never”
never are
not really.

Waves Kullabygden Sound Water Mountain Coast

January 20, 2017

I spent my day today surrounded
everyone around me ebbing and flowing
and me, a jetty, stoic and unmoved.

That’s how it is for me, PTSD
pushes me from one extreme to the other
so emotional I cannot be touched then
so far removed nothing can touch me.

Today I let the salt run down me
and I stood in the midst of it
eyes dry and heart still
trying to find a way to reach
out from the haze surrounding me
to touch each and every one of you.

All I want to do is enfold you
take each trembling drop of you
and press you into stillness in
each of my cracks and crevices
build a home within where you can
rest your weary bones.

You have been breaking for so long
I don’t remember a time when I
didn’t hear you, didn’t register
your cries in the night, cold fingers
of your hands grasping at me only to
slide back into the sea and recommence
your crashing melody.

Today I spent my day surrounded
wanting to reach out, to do more
but unable to shake myself from my
foundation.

All I can do at times like these is
stand. And hope my stillness gives you
something you can safely break against.

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Kintsugi

I am sure that my definition of friendship is different from most peoples’.
There is, of course, the laughter. Laughter is a big part of it.
I cannot make jokes and have a person sit still and stare and blink.
Because I’m fucking hilarious. Just ask anyone. They’ll tell you.

The laughter is a big part of it. There is, also, the understanding.
The person who holds on to me in the darkness and who lets me see them.
Letting me see them is important. And, though it is difficult, having them see me.
The seeing and the being seen is paramount. Bigger than laughter.

Then there is the hard part. The part where the world sometimes tips.
The part where I sit vigil over a telephone or a hospital bed and worry.
The part where you answer the phone and I am weeping. That part.
The part where one of us cracks open and the other fills the cracks with gold.

Standing by with precious metals is the hard part. Having metals melted.
Having tongs to hold the dangerous, hot things away from yourself.
Finding a way to fill in the cracks without getting burned. Without hurting.
Without hurting more than you have to, anyway. Without adding trauma.

I am sure that my definition of friendship is different from most peoples’.
I am so grateful that some people have written the same dictionary as me.
Some people, when they look for that word in their private libraries
find melted gold. Find laughter. And a telephone they always answer.

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1.1

i am not sure
this
will be the year i look back on
and say
               “that was the year everything
               changed.”
but it feels like it is
i can almost hear the narrator
feel
the         shift
great plates
               aching
               against each other
grinding out a world
beneath the surface
their movement so potent
i can already see evidence
in the set of my shoulders
and the planes of my face

lxzwzy0

entrances and exits

if a person is a continent
their borders delineated on a map so that
one can traverse a boundary and
find oneself in
some strange country, a
traveller, the tongue foreign
the food and customs strange
excited feet drawing the traveller inward
enticing them to explore
to learn
to grow

if a person is a continent,
my love, you were immense
your borders manned by
soldiers, their eyes hard,
their judgment final

i found my way in on a short term visa
and stayed long after it expired
wandering labyrinthine streets
i made a home in the artists corridor
it was small, but warm

i strove to make a life
within your borders

i tried to love the people,
with their hungry eyes and hearts
i even joined the protests
cursing daily the despot who
set such cruelties on them at so young an age
who placed the watchers on the walls
brought attack dogs from
far afield and,
when they were starved
and neglected
released them
without mercy
on the innocent

i visited your museums,
empty as they were,
the war had cost you so much
i tried, during my stay,
to fill them, to make up the difference
instructing the curators
from my own country
to lend you all they could
but the halls were vast
and even my curators
could only do so much
with our limited means

every day i set out
feet carrying me along
streets without names
no map could help me sort
the nature of the cities

try as i might
i could not find the center
nor a post box, to register my concerns
and eventually, i fell in
with the other citizenry
in their grey drudgery
dragging my feet
through days
and weeks
and seasons
my protests growing weaker
my determination subsiding
with my strength

i left by a different route than i had
entered, picking my way through the barbed wire
along a stretch of unmanned wall

reluctant, i watched
your soldiers patch it
from afar

clutching momentos
to my chest
thumb on the stamp
left in my passport
years ago
no exit marked
and entrance no longer possible

black-and-white-person-woman-girl

A hundred words on the smell of you.

I close my eyes every time as I inhale the soft skin of your neck. The atmosphere of your pores rushing through me softens the inside of my mouth and shivers the deepest part of my stomach. You smell, my love, quite simply like the deepest, hottest summers of my childhood. Like ice cream melting across my hands and the rising heat of asphalt too scorched to press my naked feet against. You smell, my dearest, like endless afternoons spent lying on the couch, wrapped in each other against the winter cold outside our small apartment. You smell like home.

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The Gates of Sarnath

They found themselves within our path
these liars, standing at the gates of Sarnath.
All the truth in them, beliefs, desires,
cloaked and battle scarred and burnt on pyres
their ashes soaked up in the aftermath.

The bloodbath ended, you stood ever higher.
Face somber, body bent, but eyes much brighter
than these fiends could see from their quagmire
buried in the flotsam of your wrath.

They built themselves a road into Sarnath
these toads disguised as friends, these fiendish liars.
But our residents are clever things and set the pyres
burning long before they sought our shores.
And you, my darling, brought them to all fours
their embers glowing in the aftermath.


Header image from here.


 

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The War Room

the war room
the bomb was dropped
at dinner
feta lingering between my teeth and tongue
never learned to love it
expanding in my chest
this hot presence
somehow managing to remove myself from me
leaving her a shell

        simple statistics
        they tell you one in three will have it
        and you barely believe
        until your mothers turn inside out
        or your sisters
        and you know

remember being seven
maybe younger…
watching it on the tv
sneak-peeked it
foreign and familiar
something lascivious and lingering
black pleather and podiums
spreading warmth and something
aching

the bomb sat between us on the table
my mother’s bomb
words turned into something palpable
larger than that wooden expanse
star space spread and separating
twisting her away

back to that mushroom cloud
the heat of a nuclear reaction
near my nucleus

i am cowardly of truth
so i washed the feta from my teeth
and smiled

Milky_Way_IR_Spitzer

a galaxy that’s full of dust and light

a galaxy that’s full of dust and light
whole worlds concocted from another’s detritus
and man, so small, eyes closed against the night

a collapsing star, a chasm built in space
bodies far bigger than the mind can hold
a galaxy that’s full of dust and light

the solemn edge of routine morning coffee
an afternoon commute, traffics frustration
and man, so small, eyes closed against the night

the footprints of ancient giants, gods almighty,
crafting universal causeways with a gesture
a galaxy that’s full of dust and light.

the incessant, tender buzz of summer insects,
the long awaited smile of a friend,
and man, so small, eyes closed against the night.

the pure attraction of a sheltering sky
its depth, an inescapable allure
a galaxy that’s full of dust and light
and man, so small, eyes closed against the night

winter-moon

Winter Moon

She mounts the heavens nightly in the cold.
In her curving orbit stately, ancient grace.
She eradicates the day, brings forth the night.

I never feel so loved as in the night.
Surrounded by her light, her gaze so cold,
the stars surrounding her with twinkling grace.

No lovers could compare to her in grace,
the way she carves out pathways in the night
and bathes me in her nimbent light, so cold.

Cold and full of grace, the moon appears
and guides me gently through each winter night.


Featured image found here.