the rich soil of my indignation; the reticence of the new world spinning forward – the force of electricity through my skin – back through underground tunnels from my heart to yours — the burrowing promises / hide in the soil / friendship lingering around the sound of a couple of decades; over the Long island sound ; over the sunset peeking over the top of the horizon ; the waves lap against the side of this promise House // two intertwined in the promised Land. And now the flash of my everything – purple flower days unraveling like so much September light getting light at the edges ;; fringes turning foggy , Gray good morning dew hustling back the old season and clamoring towards the coldness we all await // the colors receding like so many promises let go
we barrel down the little avenue we live on ;; across the old stoney bridge ; across the canal ; the walk is just two blocks but today it feels like an eternity // the golden 8 a.m. morning light splashes through the still-summer trees // we trip along together at a clip ; being positive ; being brave, the both of us ;; I turn my face every time it scrunches up into tears and try to hollow my voice anytime it sounds shaky or gravely ;; I tell him he’s going to have so much fun. You lurch when I let go of your hand to take a picture; holding it out desperately; like a prayer for me to clasp back on. Suddenly, the big yellow cat of a bus pounces next to us on the sidewalk ;; the moment is brisk : the line is filing : the older children are ready. You are the last one on;; your eyes filled with a mixture of awe, excitement, sheer terror and absolute love. You hold on to my index finger until the last possible moment ;; until you’re almost ascending the second bus step; you climb; hurdle; tumble over yourself with the weight of your backpack // you walk halfway down the rows of bus seats until the red-haired mop of a fellow kindergartener in the front calls at you to ask you to sit with him ;; i watch you turn around and hurry towards the front ;; the bus lurches forward like a monster and peels away into the golden morning light; instantaneously; [it happens in about 45 seconds] and my heart is broken at the fault line / I can’t stand the feeling of without you. I pedal around the house / I feel the absence of you everywhere // I have loved all the endless arrays of 45 seconds laid on top of one another that I have gotten to share with you // I have loved the moments that have brought us to this day // I have loved the last 5 years / I try not to cry in front of the other parents / I try not to cry all day / I know you will be okay. I am so grateful that I get to be your mom.
The summer escaped through my fingertips like honey-ed sunflower-seed wine // your little hair gets filled with light — gets filled with knots — and all the afternoons I got to roll dice with you and move trolls across board game boards are worth more to me than anything else I could ever accomplish. I need nothing else. Nothing else makes as much sense as spending time with you. Thanks for the last 5 years.
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
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
The pastoral past passes through me like a passage of pressed flowers beating like a heart ; like wire ; like strings frayed ; like the unafraid rings of a tree expounding outwards ; like a drop on a pool, on a lake, on a bed of watered flowers spilling over the edge like a nourishment / like a nuisance / like a novelty read for the first time
August hands, and love // i cannot speak of how vast the love, how deep the chasm spills into all the empty spaces; how full you become when you begin to breathe // How all the pockets between your bones and all the chinks in your armor fill with oxygen when you let the carbon dioxide go ;; how all the spaces fill like capsized balloons floating in reverse / how gravity will lift you when you let it no longer be a grave; How August cloudscape will wipe across the shallow frame of your seeing eyes / how unearthed light will fall backwards away from gravity towards the upended trunk of the atmosphere exposing the earth’s rings ; like rings ; like trees ; like water droplets ; like angel breath on clouds // like circles within circles // upside down the light comes spilling through the center of the Earth ; the magma of your heart like a beacon
let words come like a fortune of grass stains ; i am a cupped heart still trying to catch light, still trying to photosynthesize;; always failing in patience, always working towards the right words to fill the right moment with the right grace, but sometimes i am just a little human and my boots are filled with rain and my courage is hollowing through my brain and the only response i have is a messy tumble of emotions that come seeping out between my teeth, and sometimes i try to breathe;; but breath is shallow when you don’t have a belly-full of trust in yourself and lungs are tiny when you feel like you don’t have the time to let them expand // but the illusion of nightmare dreamwork is just frame-work, is just a faded etch around the edges — the door is new, the door is chestnut, you can open it, you have hands. scratches, dings and whistles line the edges like a parade of decadent molding; brain frosting (things still frozen in the ice) still comes on top of every jerked-fear-rattle-response — but your trauma is not your structure, your house is more than wood, your parts are more than math;; you do not need to keep apologizing. you do not need to keep apologizing. you do not need to keep apologizing.
To let the August air waft around me like a thousand brittle eyes:: seeing; everything and nothing all at once ;; to let the windmill of flower scent come petaling towards me like a destination / to say I am here / I am here again // to feel the chips on your shoulders, to let them become grooves, shallow graves for any sense of judgment your ego ever wanted to hold on to ; to release, to always release, to work on learning how to know how to learn how to release ;; Something is always trying to hold on ; something is always trying to let go, to lift the latch up, to ratchet against the gear valve, the jammed wheel screw wrench socket; you have to lift it up before you can release ; you have to push it yourself ; you have to use your neurons to push against the hard iron weight of gravity in your brain ;; The little latch on the gate : you will nudge it, it will budge;, your brain will not want to but you can release it, with a tissue clock force of your mental elbow grease, you can knock it, with the right little left little neuron hiccup ;; little teacup full of fistful full of willpower; full of sunflower ; full of reaching ; full of sunlight, full of brain reaching towards the rain, towards the sunlight;; plants grow against gravity too; you can pull towards the sun like a bulb, like a flash of elegant effot; you can try;, You can try to try ; you can convince yourself you are trying and that is it — that is the simple trick on the latch : all you have to do is try to try to convince yourself that you are trying ; to release yourself ; a sunflower ;; you can breathe yourself there, to a place where you can believe in beginning; you can release yourself there; the valve is a gauge, your heart is an animal, your strength is in the surrender, your power is the willingness to watch the day around you like a masterpiece of air and grass sentience and the sentences in between the trees ; in the breath between your ego and your will, in the life burning in your stomach, and the unrest you wrestle out from inside your soft tissue of a brain puddle ;; and from (fuck the brain) the inside of your chest;; the lacework of your ribcage ; the motor of your lungs ;; you can release, you can release, you’re ok ;; you’ve got it, the air has got you; your lungs have got you
Your brain is just a little thing, you see – and you,, you are a wild thing growing towards the sun
I will be honest. I will not shame myself. I will not be afraid to admit that I am afraid. I will not let my own fear capsize me, hold me down; but i will let it inform me and move me and lit a fire under myself. i will approach the ever changing future with an open mind and an open heart and i will not presume to know that i know anything or that i should know anything or that i need know anything. i will be humble, i will try to be humble. i will be brave in the face of a strange world and a strange life. i am ravaging my own heart like a vulture and i am being a brave band of cells marching towards the summer horizon. july is tipping around me like a ferris wheel and all i know is the air conditioned peace of laughter inside trenton social and the love i have for creating and creators. i know not the haze of chlorine in my hair or the din of 7 o’clock woods drenched in fading light. i have not met the summer by her name yet, i am still twirling around this thing i love to do. and i am grateful for it. i am grateful to be able to do what i love to do. and to meet fellow strange people that have love in their hearts for strange things. let me keep twirling, just a little longer — i have more love than i know what to do with, and more spins to spin out of, and more worlds to build with my ears. let me build this life for myself, maybe this is what i should follow.
my first boyfriend got engaged yesterday. and Bekah got married. and life rolls on. and youth dissipates. but does not scamper. peels. twists. contorts. and some of the faces are gone. and some of the faces are still there. and the things that endure – the people that endure – there is something wonderful there. about the things that get stuck in the wash. and the things that wash out in the river. that keep floating downstream. the faces of people gone by.
the hum of insect reverie slips through me. i am an opal of heat still rising into september. i am a ball of cotton sopping up humid dreams. i am still summer, i am still green. i am still wild – i still churn onwards.
and the best air is yet to come. and vultures can’t feed on my carcass yet – i am still flooded with fire.
swirl hands/river heart/dig me out of the sea/see me not willing to see myself
we flew through the landscape, fields fragrant and flying by, cities popping out of the hillsides like hungry, electric beasts. dayton swirled around us in a puddle of newness, fake plaster walls and flat, pastured fields. my grandpa sat like a king in his recliner. eyes piercing blue and stories tumbling out of his mouth like a last reprieve. he seemed wild for life, ready for release, longing to stay all at the same time. medicine churning through his blood like fire. i tried to hold his eyes, to stay his hands, to rest inside his brow, release the tension in his forehead. he seemed mountainous, rubied, wise-eyed and well-lived. i was grateful for the moment.
we sailed on, prowling towards pittsburgh. dancing in the grass in the suburbs – hurling around with cousin sprites and backyard bubbling stream. the sandbox and my feet met like wonder-strangers. the city pulls steel out of its spine, hacks at the hillsides for fertile land and pulls every spare root from the crumble of mines gone by. the city curls around the water/the water spins around the iron/the metals hide themselves away – tucked into the earth – prayed into a hiding spot – sucked like miner’s teeth into the open air. they gutter, they sprawl – the hillsides house a thousand lives still marching. warm, working people filled with stories in their own tongues. full of white teeth, shined gleaming by the modern age. the city too, breathes simpler now, shined gleaming by the modern age. the teeth of the hillsides still rattle, though/ ragged breath from mines still dirge-ing in the dirt.
home now and the world twirls about me in a canopy above my head – river road snakes and i funnel down the delaware, light bright in my hair and black coffee singing out of the speakers. i feel lucky to live where i live; to be happy to be home; i have not had a home that i feel that way about…hardly ever. i always had a hard time coming home to kingston. but the trees sing around me with their lush heads and the canal barrels on with thick, clay soil and little streams of water trickle through my toes. the world keeps opening, and the winds keep changing. the chill comes to walk with me in the morning again – but i am not afraid this year. i am huddling with my boy in a nest made of open air and leafy greens and i am afloat. i am a boundless wind, and i change too. i am willing to change. and i am not afraid of fucking anything.
rolling body, my body is a forged steelsmith from the plains of america. my heart is a wheel, i am a firetruck. you cannot always beat the monster, sometimes the monster beats you. and jamie curled himself into the fetal position in the middle of the airport and screamed over and over for me to help him breathe again. it felt like a panic attack. he was overwhelmed and overtired and hungry and jacked up and scared about traveling from here to there to there to there. and i lay on the ground with him in the chicago airport and tried to teach him how to breathe. he looked up at me, eyes all a river and tried to breathe with me. and tried and kept trying and kept looking at me for help. kept telling me verbally that he needed me to help him breathe. and he found his breath, and i held him and rocked him on the ground in the middle of the walkway until he came back up for air. until he found his breath again. and i think this is the only important thing i do with my life. and i think everything else is selfish nonsense, in the end – and this is the only important thing i can do. hold another being until they can find their breath again. teach my son about the waves and how to ride them. how to breathe through them. how its okay to feel. and hold him until he can find his breath again.
i am trying to be patient with myself, with my own journey towards finding patience with myself. i am trying to be kind to myself, to my body. i am trying to stay present and i am remembering, finally, what it is to take it all in. to breathe in the moment through your cells. to feel the moment on your whole body. to feel the rush and power of the ocean pummeling you. to feel a vista sweeping around you. to bow your head to the sunset. to take the five minutes to walk through the tree-lined path. to bramble through the roots. i am happy to be back home, to reconnect with my own rituals, my own processes that ground me and keep me sane. i am grateful for the summer night, for the buzz of the insect choir in the darkness. for the warm fluid air that fills and peels.