I often speak
not often enough
when it’s practical and lends itself lyrically
So, here I will weaken myself by revealing
a palpable fear
This dread haunts me in most aspects of thought
still I know its talents in matters of temptation
She tries to bend my whim to her words
He employs brute strength to muscle my conscience
They slide plug nickels, never bright pennies
I don’t understand much of what I do
What if we’re not supposed to
There remains a prideful integrity in placating my own selfish spirit
I grip this fiercely
The dismay of losing my voice pales my heart
There are glimpses of things I’ve seen
Wisps of smoke on horizons blazing far above my dark corner
Questions I ask my patient angels on loan and my personal demons on demand
Am I not at their measure
Am I not reaching enough
And my humanness does stall
And my heart does break
She, He, and They come at me in these moments
bending, prodding, soliciting me to fabricate with their designer colors
In weak moments, I fall to my knees in thanks, that I was born a willful child-listening to no one’s voice
but my own
A time to cleanse the white winter dust from our bones
See beyond the eyes we’ve settled into since birth
There will be bursts of newness now
Duplication is not possible in nature–
yet, we humans often manage repeating ourselves
There is a comfort in settled experiences–
solace in our familiar numbers
One’s own purpose lingers beyond the grassroots of life
As foundations burrow in, and the sun effortlessly alters shadows
there are tiny moments
The slightest current can lift a seed passed the tempting border of sameness
Convince, prod, cajole, plea, praise the mind
Allow your heart and body no choice–
but to follow
I’m worn out this evening
Not sure if it’s the life around me
or in me
It’s exhausting trying to guess all the people someone might be
The person, I can’t become
All this circular mystery
I get dizzy going in circles
Question marks hover around my soul-
fishhooks trying to bait the truth
That I can’t tell you
Not because I’m deceitful
Certainly, because I’m dishonest
Here, a thin sliver of me–
a fish scale on a dead seashell
I can’t stop thinking
This is not a flaw
Not a fact
It just is what it is
My mind wanders
Disconnects from other parts
I go places I shouldn’t
with people I shouldn’t go with
We do things, I’d never do
Except I would
if I were anyone else
Shuffling on the dry balls of your padded paws.
Impermanence, your affliction.
Hard exacting breaths from decades of sauntering.
Protesting each movement to fling earth’s weight from your mind.
The weight must land elsewhere.
No more burning up the open plains.
Alive with dullness.
You, a bitter lioness.
Working bones unasked for fractional effort.
Heart wanting recompense from both moon and sun.
Roaring from miles away at injustices served.
Laying waste to shared land.
Sour notes break into others’ dreams.
The bitter lioness will disappear.
Upon the shrinking sands, an old lion slaughters its cubs.
And all other reminders of its imminent death.
Upstairs, in the furthest corner of the house–in a bedroom larger than it has the right to be–the walls are slathered in lullaby-warm, dusky peach.
The winter blanket I sleep beneath matches this room perfectly.
On the far side of the room, an antique reading lamp casts a mellow ochre light beneath its hat of threadbare tassels.
Late at night, in the silence of a tired soul, I tuck below awaiting the fantasy of summer warmth.
My body slides from twitching toes to sweating skull cap, then I melt into the walls.
I am lullaby-warm, dusky peach.
It is here I unabashedly linger between chalk sheetrock and stunted two-by-fours.
I know well the reason I place my heart within this breathless structure.
The awareness of my soul painted into the latex is my acknowledgement of one simple truth:
Living in these walls is the only way I will ever provide shelter for my children.