Becoming

When I grow up, I want to be a morning person. I want to drink coffee at reasonable hours, and write when I can and not only when I feel like it. I want to be the kind of person who never pops pimples, because this person is kind, patient, dare I say courageous, and profound (deeply secure). I want to tend to a nursery of plants, my sapling children, and be the kind of mother who consigns old treasures to the trash (hoarding is whoredom). Most of all, I want to be the kind of person who holds where I am and where I want to be with a gentle grip: happy to be.

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thanksgiving +

Stuffed and vomitty,
regurgitating stuffing.

***

Abundantly blessed,
forever grateful,
shall I order things for next year
with these once-in-a-lifetime sales?

***

“Black Friday should be called
Gift Friday,” said my friend Grace.
We should listen to what she says,
though her voice is often softest.

THE 2ND TIME

The stench of sweaty pits
my stained black shirt in exchange
for your stained grey sheets.
Mixed fluids and liquid feelings
I left unsatisfied, a little bewildered,
and a little inspired by brief flashes
of pleasure –
born of your ardent devotion
to the impossible challenge.
Tit for tat, make up for the first time
when I wanted it to stop and he didn’t.
Your perfect teeth remind of the first
set that grazed my nipples.
You are a do-over of a night
of unresolved tensions,
uncannily familiar.
My body refuses what my heart confuses:
an entangled love with thrashing legs.
I could’ve taken the couch instead
but I wanted you to ask me to [stay]
come to bed.

WINTER ORANGES

Mother’s fingers are stained with orange peels.
She stands by the kitchen and offers me orbs;
She wants me to live a hundred years more.

Mirrors are painful, my face is too round.
In harsh winter, cheeks blossom
and soften into hers, whose face I love.

I carry her as she carried me
inside her belly, a little orange tree.
For as many years I’ll live,
I will brave through the winter
a quiet reminder
that I am
my mother’s daughter.

CANTABILE

mincing your thoughts and
garlic for mushrooms,
whistling in the evenings
some Schubertian tune,
there is no one that sounds
quite like you.

keys jangling,
one hand steering,
always carrying,
listening. listening.
the other hand holding
until we make it past
the chaotic street crossing.

your steps,
affretando
a little hard to follow.
in the evenings,
animando
breaking bread with aceto.

resting, eyes closed,
in the thick of strings,
maestoso
I wonder where you go
when the music begins.

in a thousand tongues
I tell you,
gracioso
I love you
Te Amo
我愛你
Je t’aime,
cantabile

HOPE

I will be in France, one arm out the widow of my car. Glinting light on the windshield.

I will whisper words in my sleep and wake up with a new song.

I will garnish the baked lasagna for my friends and set the table with candles. I will have them invite their friends, my neighbours too. Try these lemon lamingtons- I used to burn them in college.

I will tell them it’s going to be okay. Because I turned out fine.
By God’s grace, I turned out fine.