When you think of us, think of rams suspended on a vertical wall, horns tangled, knees locked. You push each other back, then forward. You sweat against the rock. You dislocate your shoulders, tear yourselves raw, crack bone, bend flesh. You cannot accept that the mountain will not be moved, that you are falling.
Sometimes, you call this love.
This is marriage. Every organ becomes a drum, the solid pieces of you become fluid, and the force of your surging cracks the walls of your skin.
This is love, a bleeding out as your body empties, exposes its delicates, festers in the sun and allows the wind to move you.
This is loss, finding pieces of you in the concrete, buried in the sand and the dirt and the grass.
This is motherhood, a body filled with the grass and dirt you couldn’t clean off, you couldn’t leave behind.
This is forgetting – you will never run out of reasons to write, stories to tell, scars to re-open.
These are the chasms, the endings that become beginnings – there we build bridges, dare ourselves across.
Keep the pictures. Keep the clock, the coffee mug, a single chair.
Keep the dress hidden in the closet, wear it at noon while drinking black coffee.
Dream in your belly; leave the hunger there, let it grow. Name it Adelia after Paris.
Dream of Paris in the rain.
Keep your fictions, let them be real at noon.
Don’t choose. Yet. Make every possibility yours.
See doors. Write swing sets, humid porches and soaked suns, Christmas lights, boys with guitars, and white sedans.
See beer. Drink coffee. Dream of wine.
Write your hands, your back, your shoulders, your thighs, all the rounded pieces of you.
Careful words, careless
Careful men, careless
Like some painted sky
The almost perfect are never careless
Pointed tongues, sharpened toes
Share your poetry
Deny every round thing
Be framed, always
Be wrapped in motel fans
Stay to write everything impossible.
In the trash
Piece by piece
Pick one, begin
Continue you have
Miles of asphalt and grazing lands
Barb wires and spontaneous trees
persistent in the dashboard
Minute by minute
Pick one, stop
Reflect – you have
Narrow rooms and dirty dishes
Chewed pillows and cloudy windows
Create space, the world is
Too small and you
Too large to fit
You begged to be a man
You cried when nothing grew out
You only grew in,
For real men
The rain in the window
The rain in the walls
Everything you keep
Imagine sand paper
Let him leave.
Let Adelia kick, give her a nickname.
Dream of her, instead.