November 19, 2006

(Something Old) Something Blue


I perceive nothing tangible now...
detail in perfection:
clear, crystal

far off minutiae of tree limbed emptiness.

A flannel shirt, soft in the sun;
smooth bone buttons, cream against
textured plaid.

I hear the birds,
the constant chatter of squirrels

there is the scent of dirt, wet in the cold
reassuring under the blanket
of gold and red leaves
precise against
the green.

Light filters down
amongst branches reaching, naked prayers
to the impossible still of sky

somewhere a conversation
a laugh
a ring of cigarette smoke;

if I turn, to the right
your car, my books
with sketches of
katydids captured in plastic cups,

my orange peels
laying on the dash
releasing hunger into the air;

a single
stray red hair abandoned on the seat;
found later, a shot of color in
gray starvation.

I know that if I turn to my left
I will see the russet of pine needles
scattered on stone
and the sound of footsteps
rattling echoes
against the log cabin.

I could sleep now;

I would,
in the pale yellow
rumple of bed sheets, butter
soft from skin

my fingers trapping moths
stupid against the night
coming back to candlelight;
the moon is too far

(can you feel me now?)


for the sun to drift
to afternoon.

Seasons Change ...

This is the time of year to remember. Not just the dead, but the living. A time to listen to those old songs, to let the wine drift you into the gold and iridescent memories we keep for days like today.

Do you? Do you remember me? Or is it only me that thinks of you. I can feel that night. The thin trees out the kitchen window, the way the pear’s skin comes away in my hand.. the juice on my wrist. The katydids are silent. There is no wind. The moon rains down, cool in the dinner hour sky. We are five miles from the main road. On the way, there are two grave yards and a deep dip that marks the homestead of a famous confederate soldier. We are two hours from Tennessee. We are 4,152 miles away from my home. My sleeping babies with soft cheeks nestled into their beds. My soon to be ex husband pacing downstairs.

It’s not like I remember hard. I have a gift for these memories. The retelling of them. I can conjure you in a breath. The twisting fall of a leaf from a high branch. Slowly. Elegantly. The story twists around to fall, told and abandoned again. There is no bruising.

We both survived. Barely. You beat the shit out of your car, the bones you broke clean enough to heal without a scar. You are one of the few who survived circumstances as this. You are one of the lucky ones. We are. Both.

It took me a long time to feel lucky. To feel blessed. Did you struggle with the hang-over of perfume and moonlight? Did you remember things that cut you to the bone, the learning to love, the learning to live in the reality that we built? How many nights passed, breathing in and out… knowing it was what had to be done? That the pain would dissipate. That I would walk out on the other side, whole. Dammit. Yes I would. That love would not break me down.

But was it love? Was it? Come now, don’t bullshit me. We are old friends. Was it really love or was it some other phenomena? Stubbornness? An excuse to run?

I don’t even know how long it has been.

Peaches still do not taste as sweet as those held in my palm, the Missouri air holding it together, the Mississippi River a dirty road to be followed and explored.

I don’t love you, but I remember what it tastes like. And although my love now is something less green, more savory and robust… I know that it is not the same. Nothing can sustain itself with that kind of passion for long.

I don’t love you anymore. Instead, I am thankful. I survived. I walked out on the other side, wiser. Whole. Me.

This is the time of year we visit the graves we hide, the buried things we secreted away. This is the time of year we remember how good it feels to be alive. Awake. Real.

If not unscathed, we are healed in this new light.


November 07, 2006

The Littlest Birds Sing the Sweetest Songs

The rain has begun with a temper tantrum passion. All out. No holds barred.

I would not normally mind the cold rain or the whipping wind, I enjoy the way it knocks the leaves off their branches. But as of Halloween, I have no hair. Yes… you heard that correct. NO HAIR.

I managed to raise a little over $2000 to assist families with children fighting cancer. I auctioned off my red locks in a show of support. It was not easy… the first swipe of the razor (in public none the less) was quite shocking. Tears welled up in my eyes but there was a cheer of support and the subsequent shaving was a breeze.

What is interesting though is the reaction of people who do not know about this charity or the exercise… the reaction to a bald woman moving through our world. I knew that there is value placed in beauty, hair being part of it. (I would not have done this while still in the dating realm.) Admittedly, there are places where I can’t bring myself to remove my hat… where I hide my secret…

I walked into an Indian sweet shop the other day and the men stared at me… white girl that I am, this is not unusual. Bald girl that I am, makes me more so. I smiled and rubbed the top of my head commenting how we had the same hair cut. (The handsome man at the counter has a receding hair line and short hair.) We all laughed and I learned something valuable, people just want to be put at ease.

How do people who have no choice go through this everyday, putting everyone at ease? And this is why women who survive radiation therapy wear wigs. Sadly, I don’t know if I was someone to stare or look away. Surely, I would have smiled… surely…..

I have resisted writing day to day flotsam in here for you… but with this one I am going to keep you updated. Call it the adventures of taking it all off…

(Next update: How certain clothing MAKES you look like a butch. And here I always thought it was the woman…. )