A prayer to the midnight oil

I hope my friends are okay. I hope the midmorning light finds you in the presence of sweet breezes. I hope you find the moon light on the eyelashes of your skin and it reminds you that you’re whole. I hope you are not afraid of the dawning of the new light. I hope you know there are mornings to be met, in whatever new eyes you have to see. I hope you greet the side of the mountain, see it’s height, and know that you are capable. I pray for strength for my friends, for the paths they must walk far harder than mine. For the roads they walk, far more treacherous than mine. I pray for the fortitude, the resilience of the human spirit; the bravery. I pray for the health and safety of my friends.

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san diego, spun like thread

california, baked to the crust — filled with golden momentum and quarried secrets — captured in the every word, the sing-song bird, the querying lemon tree – the little reaching sky blazing in to a new day – the hills filled with their own wilderness, the ocean gulping down the haze of the world spun like thread — no one’s everything has ever wandered deeper into the sun / no stream of daylight has ever passed through my heart like this oxygen of motion /

bubble hills – you perch me a top the golden glow, the flippant hum of the ocean waves, the current of the current capture of the sky — the cloud fervor murmuring, the wash of pine and prickled leaves peeling towards absolute blue, the dots and dashes of brilliant purple and indigo flower eyes peering up from sandcastle sidewalks,, the tunnel of rainbow-colored bricks leading to spanish rooftops – red-blooded and brick raftered, taffy curled edges and magic-filled ledges, the popped blush of plantlife, the flash of magic, of bliss // of the everything looking back at you

always unfurled

the gripping light – the curvature of rain, always the sculptural feeling of being alive — always the pools of light you find to cup in your tender hands// your burned skin, your bruised thighs, the nationhood of your hair;; the failure of the summer light pooling at the sound of fireworks — the little black den of another theatre, another philadelphia street, a scattered, torn apart city tucked away by shadow and light — the copy of the copy;; the labyrinth– summer heat and the piles of july standing on top of one another – craning towards the sun;; perhaps a perhaps-hand, always a maybe-limb ;; and here another bundle of words wrapped tightly together with string, twine, and the curl of time away from your fingers — always a curl, always unfurling, always unfurled

how big and how small all at once

I gaze into this moment; preschool graduation; their little voices laughing, giggling ; all a-splendor in the june grass and the splay of sprinkler spray // the green leaves, the sunlight streaming through — the patches of rainbow flecks from the umbrella;; I am astonished and humbled and amazed that I have mothered my son to this moment — that my son has grown to this moment // he calls his classmates by their name raucously – he runs on strong galloping feet; he gasps as he dunks his head into the wild sprinkler; he signs his name on the sign-in board on the white concrete wall with the sturdy yellow pencil ;; he has come to know this place – perhaps the first time a place has meant something to him in this way;;  I recognize this as the first of many separations in his life — one so large for such a little life — I recognize the strange gasping at loss in his eyes ;; I wish that I could bear the brunt of it for him – I know that I must not — he carries so much in his little body, on this big day;; this last day of school, this first day of summer ;; this calling out to the cackling world — he splays his hands into a field of rocks ; chimes in to a cheer if he does not understand yet ; he holds his mouth towards mimicking the crowd that is just one year older than him (a huge difference) ;; he stores in his teacher a reverence only the first teacher can possibly have ; he gallops towards the table of unicorn-colored cupcakes  ;; he knows not how to peel the wax paper off of it – but he does know how to stuff it in his mouth and speak with a mouth full of sunshine ;; I praise the small victories in my head ; the ability to hold his backpack on his own two shoulders ; to gather his things ; to wish his friends goodbye ; I know not how we arrived at this place from the sunny morning on which he was born ; i sit astonished at this small milestones and shutter to understand how I will approach all the many more I must greet — I take myself in too — myself as a young mother ; I see myself from a bird’s eye view ; see the youth in my skin; the burnt color of the season starting to change ;; I try to hold the weight of Jamie in my arms and memorize it ; how much space he takes up ; how little his body is still , and how big at the same time ;; this is an endless game with which parents play, is it not? How big and how small all at once? both sides of the time spectrum meeting each other at all moments — you looking from the beginning and you looking from that ever-present end at the singular and ever-folding moment before you

and listen

rapture lights, and the firmament of the sky wheeling like a bowl of wishes being dandelion-tossed about;; like light ;; like visible sound perched on 20,000 shoulders — us, an us for a moment, for an evening together as the sun dips under the philly skyline — the waterfront pressing towards us like a dappled water-beast ;; the thunderous applause of a drumset on fire , the rage of racing the rain back under shelter, the bliss of feeling young and wild,, the courage of the music to keep playing amongst the clatter of the stars in the sky — the pull of community towards the longing for togetherness;; a happenstance community formed in a matter of hours towards the common stage we enrapture ourselves in — towards the rapture, towards the glow, towards the sound of the music cheering towards the night sky;; come summer, come light within;; come every blade of grass, smother yourself in rain — and listen

a shelter, a house, a river

i tried to peel a poem out of my skin this morning – a little effort, a little rusty on the wheels, but still rolling, somehow; slowly;; i purpose myself towards the day — the days seem to be rushing too quickly for any ray of sun to come perch itself on my shoulder – but still i fly towards the new day; towards the end of the month – towards the rage of summer about to crash into me // i still love my gentle feet for walking me forward, i still love my feeble eyes for working in the morning ; i still adore the patter of tiny feet on my ribcage as he curls his body into mine (a shelter, a house, a river)

the joke

the only thing i’ll ever need is the 6pm spring light and the smell of the earth baking up from the crust — the warm toffee caress of the glaze of light on the side of your skin — the only thing i’ll ever need is a little bit of freedom and the air wide enough to breathe —


i was struck last night by this lifelong friendship that barrels down the endless curving paths — these people that have become my family; the worlds and ways we’ve all stumbled down, the sorrows we’ve shared together. i am grateful for that. i am grateful for the endless stream of tears that poured out of me last night; the catharsis, the acknowledgment. i am grateful for the beautiful array of sights – for how meaningful the things he touched became / i am grateful for the irreverence and the reverence that his joyous friends showed // i was grateful to be grieving together, all in our own ways, but as a whole, finitely connected in this loss / i am grateful for loss, for the way it wakes you up and shakes you up and gives you perspective on what is important / i am grateful to be allowed to continue to be happy, to be allowed to still find the light / i am grateful for guitar licks and late night laughter and the ring of glasses on black tables – the curvature of light that splinters through the trenton window (which has already endured one shattering and replacement) / i am grateful for how humans find homes inside one another / i am grateful for you, and grateful for your laughter, and your silly ways, laughing at us while a priest tried to barrel his way through the Lord’s Prayer in the face of a bunch of wanderers that knew that the only thing Benny would want would be laughter, a joke, and more music / i am grateful to be trying to still find ways to laugh, and to be able to recognize the joke

acquiescence

I can’t believe how the sacred finds me. How the sacred colored hues of the earth and the sky peel towards me like an entire history written and rewritten without words. I can’t believe the stretch of ocean beneath my feet. The rattle claw lobster head of the cloud jetty that is seizing towards me on the horizon — the endless sacred unfolding that twirls around in a circle with the rotation of the earth, not forwards on some blind, human line. It goes around on an axis, the wheel of this life, you silly thing. Not a linear line. We need more strange shapes to our stories, words, conscious expressions. We need more of that place beyond the words. We need more of the indescribable color of the history of the world sitting on the horizon each night at sunset. Those answers. Those answerless answers which hug the mystery tight and see the words written right in front of our faces. We need more recognition that we created our language – arbitrary, pulling sounds out of the wind and the way our mouth shaped against the air that bounced off the rocks around us. We need more acquiescence to the rhythm of bottomless song.

tuned in

nothing i can say but a thousand metaphors for my aching heart; the riptide; my savaged insides — the ravaging; the raging /
nothing here but bad poetry; and the outline of your face against mine, just waiting endlessly for the other shoe to drop — and now the shoes – a pile in my front yard / my piercing dreams of you – more real than any collection of coins i’ve ever totaled together
// and ow, again, right through my heart; palpable 

funny how death can make spring feel cold and mute ;; the color is still there but not registering anything // the flowers still beautiful but only registering a melancholy of what he’s missing // the numb impossibility of grasping the present

At times thoughts are very far away from one another; you stare at the ground or out the window with no words coming at all — just blank;, you feel carved from the inside;, your interior spooned out like a melon;, scraped off the sides until there is only shell (and thin at that)

i in the magic gardens;; and the vocal sound coming through the telephone toppled me, careened my body into a fumbling pillar of ice, i trembled in every bone and could not stand for the weight of gravity. and yet somehow, every color turned on – turned alight – tuned in;, every gasping curvature of the creation around me seemed to all hum the same note – all everything, everywhere, creation is alight — all everything everywhere, there is nothing to fear but a lack of love. and where there is love, where there is creation, there is life. and i love you still, in memory and in creation. and love shines everywhere, in every corner, reflects back in the tiny pieces of mirror. creation is just the everything where we reside. in this form. and there you are — in the formless freedom of every light now.

what grief feels like

time slows, wheels back like an accordion, fumbles for the door keys. memories crystallize in the moment, no longer present but past, all changing colors and meaning now, now the only last strands to grasp, now an array in a timeline which has a finite point at the end, now a riddle of human love splayed backward out of order;; the brain is clogged by memory, by questions, by filling in the blanks;; the sounds screech, the colors blow out, the feeling of the wind on your cheek feels immense; tangible — then the crash;; the grappling numbness — a rapture firming inside your bones, dead-faced, stone-cold, energy at an all-time low. molasses feet, your flesh carrying so much weight. then the rippled laughter at some little memory. then the tears just rushing; oxygen, oceanic, somehow endless — how is there this much water in your face? how do your eyes have this many tears behind them? how is it so easy / how is it so hard to stop them // then the guttural sounds: ugly, ratcheded breathing, the ache in the chest, the stomach;; the flipping — the waking up feeling, the remembering again feeling;; then the nagging guilt, then the flashes of anger;; then the wheel repeats. then i feel you in the light, the breeze, the air, the chlorophyll, and i know you’re free. and i know you’re peaceful, joyous, rapturous. but still the endless unreality pierces through the circles and cycles, the unstoppable, unbeatable tears, the swells of emotion, the plateaus of nothingness, the firmness of gravity bearing down on your body. your body. your body. and the rip in our space-time hearts. the searing tear.

no more deaths to drugs. no more lost friends. no more tattoos to keep permanent what has danced in and out of view. no more, no more. friends, where does it begin and end?

and then time means nothing. accomplishment means nothing. the only thing that matters is the grace he gave, the love he gave, the light, the support, the inspiration. and all our ego climbs seem empty and worthless. the number of years means nothing, the endless strive towards the future. all that matters is the present, the love, the giving, the creating of community, the reaching out. and he did all of that. everyday. so there is nothing but success in his story. there is nothing but beauty in his memory. and now we begin the immense climb towards the light. towards the creation of something in his image, with his inspiration. to live like that, to build community like that, to be focused on others like that. let’s try, let’s try.

i love you forever. i’d like to be inside your arms one more time. love never dies. and love multiplies endlessly. you become everything now, you give everything now, everyone should be shaken open by love now. and your work goes on and on. love and community. we’ll remember. and we’ll give it around and around. let’s build. let’s love. forever.