Archive for May, 2013

Naked and afraid

she curled into him



expecting him to leave

everyone else did

but he stayed

and showed her the beauty

she is

and always was

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Did the river know

the exact moment

it carried the sun in its currents

because all I am

was forever changed

when your light


the breath of my tides

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A pewter clock with Roman Numerals hung on the brick wall above the console TV.  A  dark  stained pine couch  and love seat faced each other both with thick navy plaid cushions  leaving  just enough room between them for four small bodies to lay on their stomachs on the braided rug to watch Saturday cartoons, each girl with their own red or tan corduroy pillow to prop their arms on while our parents sat in chairs on either side of the room faces hidden behind the morning and then the evening paper.

Above the love seat was a metal map of the world as if its surface had been peeled like an orange and flattened in segments showing the continents how they were centuries ago. Within the frame atop the map, an illustration of a solar eclipse and on the bottom a lunar eclipse.  I would spend hours, mostly when sick, sipping orange juice looking at the eclipses wondering if I would ever see one in the sky without risk of blindness.   The love seat was the perfect place to look out the large bay window behind the couch into the back yard especially on rainy days or to watch the first flurries of winter float down to melt on the still warm ground, dreaming of laughter summer held in the above ground pool.

The braided rug rich in colors of autumn was also where my mother would lay on her stomach, head resting sideways on a pillow, shirt pulled up, bra strap undone. I would sit on her butt and ever so gently scratch her back, not to relieve an itch, but to create goosebumps with cursive movements in small waves, taking great pride when she said I did it best. I didn’t earn allowance for my chores, but this calming ritual for both of us was a way to earn a trip to the ice rink or maybe even the movies and is one of the few memories I have of her where we were at peace with each other.

Separating the kitchen and the family room was a desk and hutch in the same soft dark pine of the other furniture. No one ever sat there that I can remember or not sure there was even  a chair to which to sit.  On the three rows of shelves, hardcover books written mostly by Edgar Cayce and Ruth Montgomery. Intrigued by the cover, I did take Anais Nin’s Delta of Venus up to my room one night when I was was 13, and was careful to replace it fully read the next  morning to its proper slot before she would notice it gone.  The desk drawer on the right, underneath faded pieces of construction paper in colors no one used, dried up markers and pens without caps was the wooden toy paddle that one of us begged be purchased at the check out line. The one where we competed to see how many consecutive times the red rubber ball could be hit without missing.  The one my mother beat me with leaving welts on my skin after touching an egg the color of the sky in a nest she told me to stay away from. While there are no physical scars where the thin wood repeatedly stung my skin, the emotional scars of  the abandoned eggs lingered years later along with the terror and dread that surfaced every time that drawer was pulled open in anger.

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I can still see her

my mother

rocking in the fetal position

on avocado shag

uncontrollably sobbing

the day Elvis died

I wonder

if she felt that kind of pain

when she killed me


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A collection of discards

piled high

in an aluminum boat

atop a trailer with one flat tire.


in a garage


for 15 years

along with a motorcycle

in parts

that hasn’t been ridden in  20

He holds on

to everything that doesn’t matter

while everything that does


in elements

of  neglect





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Steam rising in clouds above the pounding stream

she steps into the scalding shower

knowing her skin can never quite handle the temperature

to purify the mind

of  vulgarities

it commits on itself

with thoughts born of





so she breathes

and prays


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TV loud

flipping through channels

his lit cigarette burns in the ceramic ashtray

made by a six year old’s hands


he drinks cheap beer

blurring the sounds

and sights

after a hard day’s work

trying to forget..

the jobs he chose

instead of the career

the mortgage

on the perfect house


by the now detached

imperfect wife

who sits



with tear filled eyes

trying to remember


or if

she was ever truly









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In lieu of a gift

he ripped  out the Jasmine he planted on her birthday five years before

gnarled twisted limbs

shiny green leaves and star shaped blooms

in a heap awaiting trash pick up

the scented breeze

in her favorite afternoon reading spot

now just a memory

and the small shiny stones

left in its place

a reminder

of a heart


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She stared into the blue


if  the sky recognized her

as a grounded cloud


and ready to rain 

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Immersed in the pages

of my new favorite book

I trace the perfectly placed words

 and smile

thinking of

of all I want to share with you

between laughter and loud kisses

beneath crumpled sheets

with tired eyes

and in a perfect world

I would be reading each night

with you

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