Monthly Archives: March 2010

“the stars are beautiful, because of a flower that cannot be seen”

tearing out with a few measures of Kuhlau,
she smiles and can’t stop smiling when it’s her being asked,
not the grown-up that
she’s sure she’ll never be. which side does she
get it from, they wonder, and she laughs in their faces because
she isn’t two halves and never has been, she’s a whole that is but will never quite be.
the sky is apple butter tonight,
spiced and smooth, warm and cool at the same time,
and the stars sprinkled through the darkness
are begging her, jump…

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theology under the night sky

can you remember the sense of falling?
in retrospect, you say your heart plummets,
but remembering a promise, my soul
soars
each time i slip beyond the polluted air to catch a glimpse of
the universe beyond.

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story of my life

I have perfect, brand-new, shiny, red heels, a nice pin striped black skirt, and my favorite silver bracelet.

But (unbelievably) I can’t find anything to wear on top, so time to dump the start of a nice classic outfit on my already filthy bedroom floor and find something else to wear, because I don’t think it’s generally accepted in modern American Baptist culture to go to church shirtless, especially not if you’re a teenage girl.

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one of a few perfect days in arizona

i love arizona all year round. it’s home, even on days where it’s 120 degrees on a windy day and even hotter if you sit on the pavement, and the skin on your back is bright red and feels like it’s being stretched across your shoulder blades, but days like today are just gorgeousness. 65 degrees, a cool breeze, i look out my window and thousands of tiny yellow leaves cascade down from tall sprawling trees, lighting down to rest on thick green grass and nestle down to the damp ground, waiting for little toes to uproot them again… in the garden, tomato plants and marigolds strain up towards the sun and blue sky, trying to exchange their leaves for wings. everything looks upward, and everyone walks with an air of weightlessness, as if hoping for the wind to pick them up and carry them away, trailing their toes through freshly churned soil as if it was water before floating off. happy because i have the right to say yes or no, even if i am only saying no because i want to be difficult. i love emphasizing the word, tongue pressed lightly on the roof of my mouth, lips open and then purse. no. i will not cave simply because everyone else is doing it, just because you asked me to. i will not make every free decision a yes, i am tired of saying yes, i am done not having the energy to resist. haven’t i given in enough? is it ever going to be enough? do i keep trying to get to your image of perfection and fail, or halt all progress for the sake of control and my image of joy? i’ll take the achievable.

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untitled

i said taste
never seemed so alive
as the smell of the ocean,
or the feeling of a tiny, warm hand
on my face.

it could never be as vibrant
as each crystal note that i breathed in
and tried my best to exhale
into joyful noise,
never as beautiful as the sight of a bright gold sky
trickling over trees and through the cracks
of the roof.

but today,
i can’t remember what anything looked like,
all of the words have started to die away,
and i’m beginning to forget
even what it felt like.

as even the smell is fading, only
one thing remains intact- I can still
taste
the many flavors
twisting
throughout my day, and my lips at least
can still remember the sun
(which is all that really matters-
it’s risen again every morning)
warming them around the edges.

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temporary miracle

she tucks a flower in her hair
on the first day of spring,
seventy five degrees of sunshine
flushing her skin oh-so-slightly,
summer colors in the form of
soft cloth
playing
against her knees.

she’s still not used to the coolness being all right-
she’s spent so long in tight jeans and
sweatshirts
that block out
all weather
(good and bad alike)
that really feeling the sun and
tasting air as fresh as a watermelon
(red frost is her favorite color,
all of a sudden)
feels like nothing short of a
mistake.

just for today,
her job is to look through tinted glasses
to save herself from the burning sky,
lose herself in someone else’s words
and forget their scent,
choosing instead the smell of damp, sweet
soil
and life.

her story is a quickly deflating balloon
and her job is, not to rescue it,
but to keep it from sinking completely
for another few
seconds.

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there’s a reason

you’ve scared me out of my
mind.
or have you scared me into it?

(accidental shot, but then, those always did seem to hit the mark better.)

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