I’m standing in a foot of water,
Trying to be deep-
But all I can do is drown.
And if I say-
Thank you for inspiring me to breathe,
You take that as an invitation to save me and I find myself filling the pool a little bit more so that I can hold you under and watch you save yourself-
I don’t understand the question.
My head cannot swim around it and my thoughts cannot nail it down in place long enough to swim around the answer-
It offends me.
Perhaps I have lived poorly.
Or was poorly lived.
Is that even a life? Is there a better question?
The answer is, you’re right. I’m lonely and nothing feeds and nourishes this intellectual-
I am standing in a foot of water, and I’m trying to be deep-
But all I can do is toss pebbles that sink like rippleless stones.
Nothing I do seems to go out-
It just drowns within.
How two souls meet
Without ever meeting bodies-
How two hearts dance to music in rooms
Occupied by each-
How miles can spread between them,
But distance cannot occur
And words cannot falter when one is in silent thought about the other.
So many things are-
But more should have been-
Except, they say,
It is all as it should be,
Though they know together,
That it isn’t.
Things are things.
Waiting to change.
Growing within change.
No matter how subtle the change.
Silence. But never quiet.
Even when gone.
And always waiting for
That which has always been-
Ever since that moment when souls met without their bodies along to ruin anything-
As bodies often do.
And the music of hearts.
Like hotel bar soap-
Used to get me clean when I need to feel pretty-
Not because it’s good soap,
But because it isn’t mine.
Because I took it-
Not because it was I who took it, but because it was worth taking, to me.
Like stealing your mother’s perfume and wearing her favorite anything without permission-
Because you can only steal from your mother-
Not because she thinks you a thief-
But because you are.
Not to her-
To her it’s just soap.
Like hotel bar soap.
Except it’s not really stealing
When they expect you to take it
And use it,
Or give it away,
Or store it on the back of your toilet in the guest bathroom-
Reserved especially for them-
All of them.
Any of them.
To be taken.
Like someone else’s words-
Used once to scrub us clean.
Leaving us smelling new.
Like hotel bar soap.
Free to take
What my children need to understand about being a parent-When I was young, my parents would say,
“When you have children, you will understand.”
Now, there are a lot of things that I don’t understand about my parents, but what I know is that they weren’t lying when they said this.
If anything, they waited, in their grief, their frustrations and disappointments, their absolute terror, fears, with held breaths and clenched- sometimes grasping hands. They waited in their joys and moments of awe. In the moments we rendered them inconsolable, in the moments when we were as such. They waited in dark living rooms. Dimly lit kitchens next to phones. Lonely beds while they pondered where they went wrong in their own lives that somehow lead to the wrongness we were acting out in ours. They waited in cars that drove through neighborhoods, looking. Caught somewhere between wringing our necks and hugging us until our lungs collapsed. They waited in a state of love, so close to fear and pride and self doubt at their own abilities…They waited for understanding. The kind that, until you have held that tiny little being- the one that suddenly wants nothing to do with you…you cannot understand.
That’s what we do. We wait.
We know our voices drone on and all you want is someone to listen, but we just want to help. To save you the trouble. The pain.
We walked that road so you wouldn’t have to. Just like all parents do. Or should, I suppose.
The point is, it’s true. We know. We understand. We’ve been there. We have shortcuts and pain free ways of doing things…and we love you. We live you. We live you in a way you will never understand until you do.
And we wait. Just like you will. And you know what? We will wait then too- except with you.
All I did was ask a question!
And I say, yes. If indeed the answer is an accusation. A justification lost in a defense that you can’t make because in all honesty-
I ask the better fucking questions around here
And at best, you don’t even begin to question the question begged-
You’re just a distracted version of a bigger distraction that can’t sit down long enough to see the mirrors you walk in front of and around-
Day after day –
while clearly never seeing that its areflection of the reality that you deny in order to live in the fantasy that you call life-
Unexamined they have said is not worth living-
And examining, stepping into the void, bearing the cross, seeking who you are underneath all that you aren’t-
They say, it feels like death.
So either way you die-
But why not choose which way you go?
I fell in love when snow fell-
The winter solstice defined by a stolen kiss-
like when winter steals a spring day
and we aren’t ready, but there’s nowhere to run…
No urgency to run there.
We know what’s coming, but the best we can do is hope.
But it wasn’t spring.
It was, quite literally, the Winter Solstice.
The day when light lives less in the sky,
but suddenly more in my heart.
And darkness brought a fresh longing for stars
and long, lovely, conversations
that lead to even longer and more lovely prose-
letters kept now in a box.
In my heart.
And kept now in a life between two people
who share solstices
and the seasons that are born beneath it’s cold.
All things homeless make me sad.
Old Veterans on shopping center benches with their mate-
an old girl named Baby, left in a backyard to starve, but surviving anyways on God knows what
and other things that I can’t say,
And he says,
I just couldn’t have that, you know?
I know, I think.
Like how it kills me to leave you here on the bench, and her on the cold concrete under her three blankets.
I ask, do you need anything?
What in the holy hell am I asking that for?
Of course he needs.
But I’m not sure that either of us knows what that could be.
How big is the need?
What could possibly fill it?
I buy him shoes.
I buy the old girl some dog food.
I offer to feed them both on Christmas.
I’m going broke on both of our needs.
All things homeless make me sad.
Define more than a location. A locale. A bench. A car.
Defined as a house.
Defined as a space claimed,
or as a space welcoming you into it.
In general, defined as good. So without home, we are less than home.
Defined by what we lack. Somehow missing something, or something missing a place.
A place to rest.
A someone to belong to.
A pair. A match.
A container in which we feel belonged to.
Lonely things make me sad.
Stray people. Alone and in packs.
I don’t actually know if any of them are lonely.
But then again,
I am sure they are.
And like my old Veteran and his old girl,
Loneliness is what they know. How they live. How they like it best because somewhere along the way it may have been too crowded-
Or maybe they got lost.
On the street,
or in their head.
or in their heart.
And now lonely is life.
Maybe now lonely is home
And no less lonely than where I am sitting in mine.