Monthly Archives: June 2017

Garden Hose Water (Rough Draft)

Standard

water-815475_640

We were resourceful in the 90s; We  had to be

in the summertime, when we were letting

the cool air out,

the critters in

so neighborhood mothers seemed to scream

in unison “Don’t go in and out of this house! Either

go outside or stay inside.”

 

I was sentenced outside after ingesting

too many music videos, trash talk shows

–and other reasons mamma could inject

the word “garbage” into her conversations with me.

It was the same summer I was banned from sitting

in her room as she watched soap operas

because a blond actress considered abortion.

I was learning too much for a nine year old.

 

Life was better outside anyway, even as the sun

baked our coffee skin three shades darker; my age

group four houses down agreed. Behind our parents’

watch, we could balance on bikes with no hands

until we skinned our knees, poke holes in ant hills

to watch their scrambling anger, and explore houses

gutted and abandoned by foreclosure.

 

Still nothing compared to when we needed water

after chasing my friend’s many brothers through

backyards, exhausting our sweat glands, lungs,

neighbors screaming empty threats over trespassing.

Panting with hands on our knees, I barely had power

to follow them to their backyard, dodging their doberman

and two (illegal) chickens who were too scarred

by our rough definitions of play to approach us.

 

This was the first time I sipped from their garden

hose, holding the green tube at an angle then lowering

my head to the stream, just the way I watched them.

Sometimes little drops would leap and mix

with the sweat that beaded on my forehead.

Almost immediately, my insides caught a breeze.

 

It was well over 95 degrees; we were just starting

to care, but endured the fever until submitting to

the taste of finding salvation, guzzling silver

reflections until we cramped, later picking

fights and teammates until the streetlights.

And the next day, and after,

the routine began again until school ended recess.

 

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.

I grimaced:

“This tastes like a liquid rusty nail.”

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

many summers ago, too.

 

Off Script

Standard

people-400818_640

Single out and follow the clicks of my high heel boots,

a glimpse of androgynous chic among the crowd.

Catch me by the elbow, but I’m going to need

you to stand at the end of arm’s length, where the palm rests

on your shoulder to balance the surprise.

 

I don’t mind your company; just your interpretation.

Sure, walk with me, but hurry while I’m late.

 

“Get under my umbrella–don’t you feel the warning?”

~

Wrapping a silk scarf around my neck adds spice to a blank outfit;

that’s you when we chat and you smile under the shower until,

Well, this is my stop.  Parting words,

but imagine we match like the missing shoe I found this morning.

 

A tweed blazer attracts no one, even with a mini skirt–except

people watchers and you, because even you said

you’re kind of hard-headed. It explains the umpteenth time

you’ll conjure some sultry episode even if I say I’m not wired

for hook-ups or, honestly, any heavy rhythm against another.

 

I’m thinking, because I care, that you should

say good-bye. Just be gentle.

 

You’re still gonna call back and open doors for me tomorrow.

You don’t budge.

 

So, what to do with you when you decide to go off script?

 

 

 

Tornado Watch

Standard

tornado-541911_640

The season waits in the bathroom, clutching

pillows, a blanket,

 

the serious tone of the weatherman

waiting for the worst.

 

Afternoon clouds are night. Young willows give

up and bend, waiting to snap.

 

Listen for the freight train in the funnel. They say

it’ll be over before it can ponder the damage.

 

But the waiting room seems eternal.

 

 

Midnight Connection

Standard

read-2203678_640

I showed you naked fragments,

how years at a time without it

were overcast. This is why you

held my hands with pleading eyes

at the door, wrapped me in cologne

longer and tighter than usual in the dark.

 

I couldn’t stay, stray away from home,

even if you’re lonely. But thank you

for the teenage blush back in the days,

while still blooming on paper.

 

I’ll see you later.

Someday, when you’re absently

flipping through new pages,  you’ll

bump into a different woman and reminisce.