Tag Archives: relationships

mother is a snake

eggcage

[https://www.artmajeur.com/en/artist/arvydas-butautas/collection/selected-artworks/1503886/artwork/egg/7916323]

and I am flailing for cover

done up Easter egg bright

she can find me by barely

trying, I am just too passionate

 

and yet she goes.

 

someone else can do it

snakes always say

no time to talk about feelings.

 

my bones crack and

suddenly there is sky

 

I crane my neck

for a better look

call

 

mother, mother

 

but only the clouds roll in.

 

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Rosemary

what if she disappeared
quick and clean as a rainstorm

would you still love her when
she is little more than earth?

perfume stale on a necktie
rosemary and basil fat in the kitchen

these things aren’t tangible
like her hands on your mouth

wheeling through the seasons
with the windows rolled up
isn’t really living, she told you

four arms, four legs
two hearts, one home
these are the roots of us

waste the days on fleeting laughter
on the way she looks at the end of the night

put on your best suit and
go puddle jumping

it won’t matter like
the way she smiles in the rain

if she wants snow in July
disembowel the Egyptian cotton pillowcases

tear down the silk curtains and
she’s queen for a day

bask in the way she ties a
perfect knot around the
neck you kiss when you’re sorry

the way she glides across the
living room and calls on the help

because when she’s gone
when she’s really, truly a memory

you won’t ache for things,
for money well spent, for her rosemary

instead you’ll keep her best in the
all of the jeweled spontaneity

in the way her body felt
so light in its blissful carelessness

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sightlines

you watch me fading

sweetly from the

cliff side of our bed like

I always do when the rain

knocks gently on our door

and washes my bones so that I

can fold as small as every

love note you leave on my pillow,

praying words will be enough

to lift me from my grave,

water my hollow insides,

maybe glance outside and catch

my sunken face in the window

 

but I am spending ages trying

to remember how your mouth

feels as I am struggling

to open mine long enough to

wet my tongue and remind you

that even from here I have the best

view of just how lovely you are

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Unremembered (Part 3)

If you haven’t read the other installments, click here for part one and here for part two. (This story comes in small increments!)

 

Days, weeks, months later we were still intertwined; her toothbrush stood stoically in the holder on my bathroom sink, remnants of her hairspray textured the mirror, soft threads of her hair stuck quietly to my pillowcase. No cigarettes. That afternoon on the corner by the bar, when she’d searched my face and struggled to remember, had faded to the black smoke of a dying fire, dreamlike.
When Lily moved in the cardboard boxes that held her belongings sat like an Egyptian pyramid for days in the front hall. She’d move from one to another when she needed something, like a hair brush or a t-shirt.
“Why don’t you get to unpacking those?” I mentioned one morning, pouring coffee into my favorite chipped mug while she sat cross-legged in one of my work shirts. “I’ll help, you know that.”
She flipped her hair to one side of her perfect moon face and peeked at me from behind a curtain of brunette. She said nothing, only smirked in some wicked, confident way, and went on leaving coffee rings on the kitchen counter. Ever smitten with her abruptness I peeled opened the refrigerator, grabbed the carton of eggs, and cracked open my uneasiness in a mixing bowl.
Lily loved me, I could feel it. I felt it in the warmth she left behind in every room of our home, in the steadiness of her breath at night, when there was nothing left but us, darkness; I inhaled it in fresh pots of coffee and the sweet, familiar perfume she seemed to wear permanently. So when she came to me, months after she’d moved in, and told me she needed to leave for a few days – she mentioned the ocean, vastness, something about meditation – I focused on the way she cupped my hand in hers instead of the idea that she was leaving me. My smile and nod had proven as heavy as the signing of my own signature, and from there our life continued in that perfectly stitched, undulating way that unspoken secrets between lovers allowed it to do.
Lily with her weekly leaving, me with my faulty, stubborn unknowingness.

***

Click here to start reading this series from the beginning.

Click here to jump to Part 4!

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Always Leave the Air On

stormy-winter-landscapeIt’s like those mornings you wake up feeling bare as midwinter. Everything smells like cold and there’s nothing to make you think of warmth. Your toes freeze even through those fleece socks, your nose shines cranberry red and the hairs on your arms stand like soldiers in the hallway. Don’t crack the front door, only fragments of last night’s storm will tumble in and quietly melt into the welcome mat. The twisting branches will remind you of his arms and you’ll feel guilty for not having the strength to shovel the invisible driveway. Keep away from the living room; the couch cushions are taut like a doctor’s office, not sunken from another long night of wine and airy conversation. There are still crumbs from a morning danish on the kitchen table. You lick a finger and pluck each one up, bringing them to your lips, pausing, wiping them on your pajama pants. That coffee ring is his, you know it. You stare but you don’t scrub it from the counter. You leave the left side of the bed slightly un-tucked. That pillowcase has not been washed, that single ornery thread still snakes out from a tiny corner. Don’t open the pantry, his red umbrella will jump out like child’s play. Crank the air conditioner in December. Kill off the last of his cologne scent in the bathroom. Still don’t wash the pillowcase. He always liked the warmth. Cook supper for one with herbs from the garden he planted you. Leave the air on when you’re gone. Wear an extra pair of socks at night. Leave the front door open, let the storm come in. Start a fire in the garden. Hang lights on the bare trees. Sleep on the couch and wash the pillowcase. Leave the thread. Put a lock on the pantry and buy a dozen danishes for breakfast. Leave the air on. Always leave the air on.

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Don’t Look Up

face-in-trees-illusion

Bristles of green put cracks in my eggshell heart.

“Do you see it?” you ask, sipping on foam

and heat in midsummer.

I twist blades in my palm and

don’t look up.

“Too bright,” I say.

You swat at the air,

put weight on your elbows.

You’re long, eyes shut towards the sun,

spread out like a praying mantis on its back.

“Mmm,” you say.

Did you see me as I went under?

Fingertips first, forearms, freckles.

My breasts were gone before you

asked if I wanted to get lunch in the city.

I tried to reach you but I was

too tangled in roots and the dark damp of us.

I think you called my name when my

ears were being packed with dirt.

“Mmm.” I said, maybe to myself.

“Maybe I’ll see it tomorrow.”

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