{22 April 2021}

I wrote a poem every day of April for National Poetry Month, encouraged by a friend who is braver than I and posts their poems each day as they write them. I, however, love to hold a poem for months before I post it. So, here they are. Well, a few. I wish I could hug the me from April.


A poem for today would be
about love and rage and,
like the Lama said,
how the space between
what I will say aloud and
what I won’t
is colored with shame.

{13 April 2021}

I wrote a poem every day of April for National Poetry Month, encouraged by a friend who is braver than I and posts their poems each day as they write them. I, however, love to hold a poem for months before I post it. So, here they are. Well, a few. I wish I could hug the me from April.


I’m remembering another poem,
            another April,
When I believed I didn’t have words for the day.
            It hurts to remember.
I can still see their faces, their hands,
            their bodies bent over a piano,
            backs narrow and sharp and warm.
Today, too, I feel that I don’t have words
            but there are sweet ones in my life still,
            different and yet,
            backs narrow and sharp and warm.
The sun was bright today, too, though not
            reflecting on train tracks,
            but in stained glass.
Today, too, I ate food made by another,
            and I’m sure that those years back
I must have laughed like I did today.

{23 September 2021}

On this the second day of autumn
We wake in the same bed, warm with sweet cool air
Coming in the window

We both have texts from your mother
            Please take care of my sweet child today
            Please call me
Your grandmother has passed and your mom cries on the phone
While you try to eat a bowl of cereal

Like clockwork, this is the first day since March that
You’ve worn long sleeves underneath your short sleeves
And we walk to the park underneath bright sun and blue sky

You find a few humans who are also watching
The birds and I watch you
You are a birdwatcher and I am a human watcher

I am fascinated by us — humans, that is
But also you and me

You seem, improbably, to be fascinated by me and
You tell me that you love me and that seems
An impossible gift
Seeing as you mostly love cats and birds and fish and other things
That don’t speak with human tongues and aren’t entrapped
In human pattern

I accepted your love, finally, in June and
The approaching October makes your bones quake
With excitement for the coming cold but
I think we were made for every season

Even the ones that make us curl
into one another

Sun shining outside
Cereal forgotten

{Meanwhile, the Lotion}

“Do you want to know the story
of the lotion?” I ask.


This is a story I’ve
only ever told myself.


“The story begins with a tube of
lotion,” I say.


I wonder as I speak
how the telling will
change the meaning.


“I take it back — the story
begins with a breakup.”


I promised
myself I would
never do this
and yet.


I told my friend tonight:
“It’s not worth it to be in pain
for things that are easily fixable,
you know?”


Anyways.


I had been in airplanes
and airports and otherwise
in transit for more than 48
hours — arms burning.


This is a story
about neglect.


If I thought hard enough, I
could feel water leave my
skin and seeping out my eyes.


Why do we brag
about how little
we need?


I bought the tube of lotion,
from right next to the magazines,
just down the rack from the candy.


I would’ve been proud
to make it home without
the unnecessary purchase.


It felt like I could
breathe again, somehow,
but quickly,
the rest of my body
started burning, too.


I tell myself stories about
efficiency and perceived importance
and also if I’m worth it.


After the purchase,
I rushed to
my gate
unnecessarily.


Are we worth it?


In the first airport, I
stared with swollen eyes
at the sunrise while
steam from earl grey
tea rose to my face,
arms burning.


Oliver wrote,
Tell me of your despair,
yours, and


Now, the lotion lives in a
little pouch that goes
with me wherever
I go and


I will tell you mine.


The burning is always
temporary, now.


Meanwhile, the world goes on.

{8 April 2021}

I wrote a poem every day of April for National Poetry Month, encouraged by a friend who is braver than I and posts their poems each day as they write them. I, however, love to hold a poem for months before I post it. So, here they are. Well, a few. I wish I could hug the me from April.


you called me today, two minutes before my
            third video call of the day
for the fifth time or so in the last two weeks:
            you are persistent if nothing else.
you’ve broken your wrist and it is encased
            in hot pink hardened gauze and I’m remembering
when you too lived by Mary Oliver.
            I’m remembering
your calloused hands, your bloody cuticles,
            holding a pen to paper — your own
and often my journal.
            we wonder often about what pulled us together
and I know now that whatever it was knew
            what was in store for us — how we’ve grown
into this friendship and each other over the years and not
            Away.
I’m remembering that night we spent on the roof of a bus
            talking, I’m sure, of G-d + stars + boys
and probably poetry and probably the feelings
            that told us things we didn’t believe were true.
I’m being vague.
            We loved each other when we didn’t know
                        how to love ourselves, before I
                        knew I didn’t love myself.
            I love us both now.
            You + me — God, it’s good.

— for Sarah

{4 April 2021}

I wrote a poem every day of April for National Poetry Month, encouraged by a friend who is braver than I and posts their poems each day as they write them. I, however, love to hold a poem for months before I post it. So, here they are. Well, a few. I wish I could hug the me from April.


This morning, I wanted
to be someone I’m not;
I wanted to return to another
            blue wet April;
I wanted to see the sun
            from the top of a mountain;
I wanted to be held;
I wanted to be seen;
I parked my car where the
            view was good and opened
            the door and —
I swore many years ago
            to never use the word
            “tears” in my poems —
I opened my door and cried.
I wanted — something.
I opened my eyes and
I came back to my body,
            my sun-warmed body,
the same body that was me
one, two, and three Aprils ago.

{3 April 2021}

I wrote a poem every day of April for National Poetry Month, encouraged by a friend who is braver than I and posts their poems each day as they write them. I, however, love to hold a poem for months before I post it. So, here they are. Well, a few. I wish I could hug the me from April.


One moment from today? Only
one? Okay —

“How are you?”
            “I’m drunk.”
and
            “It just feels weird!”
and
            “How do you know how to do this?”
and
            “Pass the wine?”
and —

Sorry, this is more than one moment, but
I’m trying to describe how it feels to be
connected and also — not?

My metaphors are off today
but I think maybe I’m
a balloon – with a pull to
the sky but nothing underfoot.

How do I leave every hug
still alone in my body?

I promise I’m not sad —
just confused.

A year ago today I was still
so sad I didn’t remember
what it felt like to be me —
how am I the same body
and why haven’t we merged?

{2 April 2021}

I wrote a poem every day of April for National Poetry Month, encouraged by a friend who is braver than I and posts their poems each day as they write them. I, however, love to hold a poem for months before I post it. So, here they are. Well, a few. I wish I could hug the me from April.


If ever I knock my shoulder into yours,
I hope you look at me like I’m studying
The groceries in the aisle in which we stand.

If ever I roll my eyes at you,
I hope you hold yourself with the kind of care
            with which I would hold you
If you knocked on my door
With tears in your eyes.

If ever I buy something at the dollar tree
Just for the sheer joy of placing it in your hands,
I hope you, too, give a little where
It’s needed.

From the Archives: {27 May 2020}

I’ve had a few poems lingering in my Google Drive for the last couple years, so I’m clearing out the backlog and sharing some of them. My tendency is to hold them close to my chest because they feel far from perfect and even far from good. I think, though, that they are where they need to be and in posting them, I’m pushing myself to let them exist as they are, and move on from them. 


May 2020

I’m drinking red wine out of a red solo cup on my grandparents porch,
A fountain noisy behind me, a warm drowse in my stomach.

Last night, sitting around a folding table, through the window,
I watched them in the kitchen tie congratulatory balloons to a tray of cupcakes,
Looked away, and smiled as they walked out the front door humming.

I read something the other day about how our grandkids will be quizzed about
This time sometime.

What year was it?
How far apart did you have to be?
How many people died?
Did anything change after we came awake?

From the Archives: {15 May 2020}

May 2020

It’s been more than two months since I cut my hair and wrote
            about it and it is long enough now that it doesn’t stand up even
            wet out of the shower where I stand staring into the mirror
            holding my toothbrush in my mouth with my hand as on a violin bow.
I’ve been counting time in increments of prescribed medications and
            loaves of bread and inches of bean plant growth.
Time doesn’t stop and maybe doesn’t exist — surely, at least,
            it cannot be spent like white monopoly bills.
An empty sleeve of pills rests on the desk on which I write and the shadows
            play in the yard and my hair dries behind my ears.