Monthly Archives: March 2017

Podiatry (Work In Progress)

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I look at the scars that healed

on my legs and feet,

extremities that will one day

take the brunt of lectures from a podiatrist.

 

What abuse story will best explain their condition?

During elementary school recess,

lunch ladies used to like watching me

outrun boys in a jumper dress, knee socks

and navy blue ribbons at the end of my pigtails.

When I was pushed from behind in second grade,

I was sent skidding on gritty concrete

until it tore off all the top

layer of skin on my knees. And when mamma

saw me in the front office

with  band-aids and a zip-loc bag of ice,

all she told me was “You really need to be a lady.”

 

They also remember the warning: “You know, if you

get hurt, we can’t afford to take you

to the hospital!” This was after I twisted

my ankle on a friend’s trampoline when I was nine

and mamma didn’t even have to ask why

I limped between hiccuped sobs because, “I knew it.”

I still get spasms in my right foot

whenever it’s cold, or when I flashback

to the blackout pain (right now, for instance).

 

Note: More to follow (once it allows me to). This poem is going to get long. 

Garden Hose Water (Work in Progress)

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Today, after swallowing  yard work

sweat, I tried to find solace

in garden hose water again. Spoiled

by bottled water, I couldn’t find that old oasis. In fact,

I met my eight year old self when I grimaced:

“This tastes like a liquid rusty nail.”

I ain’t lying; This could’ve been the truth

many summers ago, too.

That Time We Got Hijacked by the Party Bus (Work in Progress)

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No one in New Orleans has to be told

to dance; street poets,

with the barefooted guitar players,

set aside their notepads to blend

instantly with a single ladies’ night out,

turn the quiet street into a dance floor,

singing, “pour some Crown in my cup,”

under the blast from a bounce song’s bass.

 

Tourists on the Riverwalk lean against

the railing across from Jackson Square

to watch us quizzically,

as one girl learns that you gotta

bend, lock your knees,

or let your hips find a song to rock to–

but it’s much harder than it looks.

 

Or, it’s much easier to laugh at your

lack of natural rhythm while still

getting caught up in the contagion anyway,

because even when we can’t dance,

we dance as if shaking off the last flames

of a bad break up or intoxicated by a new lover.

 

Note: Not done with this and interested (and frustrated) in where this will go. 

Also, based on a true story. 

 

 

Love on the Road

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Perhaps, if there is reincarnation,

it could have been 1975

the last time we were alive,

wandering the Arizona desert

ready to discover what’s bigger

and beyond the swamp jungle

I grow up in today.

 

We were young and learning, but

I explained that we must never try

to escape the era of “why”. You laughed

as I  grabbed handfuls of sand,

dry and untouched

by humidity, along the side of the road,

watching me high from just being

a stranger to a cactus.

 

So in the past,

we probably sat on the hood of our car

because I wanted to gaze at the sunset

peak at us behind an orange plateau

thinking aloud about how and when it emerged

and what took us so long to find the new world,

the life they pass by with a glance.

 

Finally, hopping off the car, we concluded

it’s nothing but God,

God who asked us to preserve it all

with our power and you watched

as I started to believe again

as we drove away.

 

Today, we never visited.

But I want to believe with you again so badly,

amid the bad news in human nature.

 

 

Problem Child

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Everyone knew about the girl

with the long braid down her back,

growing up alone

while her family lived constantly

on the edge of a train wreck.

 

 

But we turned our heads,

turned up the TV.

Quickly, she figured out

that no one really cares

except the girls with the booze,

the boyfriend with the herb,

the much older boyfriend

with the compliments about the body

she wasn’t yet sure about…

 

Finally, we listened.

The Conversation

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After you spoke,

crisis.

 

Elbow space between

us on the couch, you pulled me

into where you thought

when you really talked–

I mean, past the dirty jokes,

and stories about your eighties metalhead

days, scaring  small town church ladies

(while intriguing their daughters).

 

You’re older and life gave you more

answers than I had questions.

So once we edged closer and deeper:

there’s sex, our bodies, love for all

neighbors on a wide spectrum;

or finding God, then expanding

the image of where to find him. Your

masculine angle charged my

feminine energy in bloom; talks

of freedom, and what makes us connect

one vibe to another.

 

It was getting late. I must be going.

But the conversation came home with me.

 

See, I didn’t plan to come over

and hear you rearrange my settings,

but I’ve already started rerouting.

I could take the detour–

 

But am I ready?