our lifeline

let’s make something to hold us down to earth;
i’ll get a clothesline and you get the wooden pins.

while you paint them orange and yellow and blue, i’ll string it from the cacti all around,
and we’ll wind through the desert,
spinning around the bushes and clipping the things we love along as we go:

itty-bitty baby shoes, the ones made of soft leather with ears
and solemn eyes on their fronts,
tired and crumpled wedding dresses, caked in yellow lace,
long strands of seashells still smelling of salt and soaking skin.

maybe we can hang pockets stuffed with the kitten souls of deceased pets,
squirming in the sunshine as they press upwards towards the sky.

you can put up the shirt i won’t wear anymore,
the one that assaults my nose with the memories of wound fingers whenever i put it on,
but reminds me of days i thought were better.

i’ll pitch in my lovelies,
the three companions of my every long night, the ones who don’t have arms
but are all the better for holding. they like the heat, i think,
even though they will miss the caves they sleep in under my sheets.
they are better off out where there is wind
and they can be anointed with rain instead of a little girl’s tears.

last of all will come the pages,
miles and miles of journal entries hiking the mountains and valleys,
proclaiming joys and sorrows and foolish mistakes and love.

i always did like letters on a background of sky,
whether it be blue or striped or cloudy or black.
words burn
even in the dark.

what will you hang on our lifeline?


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