Everywhere the poets are professing their love: for Joe, who held me;
for her, I promise to stay. Me, I’m twisting bitter curls
in tangled hair, squeezing lemon
on my middle finger paper cut,
daydreaming a silent movie - push him
on the tracks, bat my eyes, train roars by.
Preoccupied with bears excavating
the dump, zippered roads behind me,
searching wheat fields for crop circle codes.
Everyday I swim miles straight out
and back again.
Climbing the mountains in Utah, I plant
one foot on the red summit, the other
insists on dangling over lost love
canyon. I peer down, calculate
the chasm’s depth, miss
the nearby stars.
I used to stare into the bathroom mirror,
a teenager with wobbly hair and a blue striped t-shirt,
I knew that pain was my making, mine
to excavate. Agency, my therapist tells me,
equals survival. If you think it’s your fault,
you can act. Otherwise, pure terror.
The pink ceramic jar on bathroom counter held q tips,
the toilet paper never ran out, bodies looked after,
souls left to soak in pink tubs for hours, to kneel
before pink toilets barfing up
I counted beads on the abacus
tallying the loser I was, moving earth beads
to heaven beads, hoping to be saved. No one told me
heartache was in the air, took my hand,
showed me it lives everywhere
in our breath, dirt, worms.
I don’t want to hear love professed
today, my loser world is lurking, searching
for a cause. Just want to rub silk
between my fingers, find
some solace, articulate
get the words right.