cognitive dissonance

how is it that my wild, wily
heart can hold so many
conflicting feelings
at the same time,
and contradict itself
with every beat? riddle me
this:

I think of you and feel such a
fond tenderness for our
newness, the excitement of
life reborn, the elemental power
of green plants growing,
plants pollinating, trees bursting
with sap. but all this rapid,
rampant growth comes at a price.
old, dead plants and thoughts
and habits must be ripped up
by the roots, to make way for their
successors. that pain of
an old wound inadvertantly
reopened, one that I thought
fully healed, but now I see that
I only understood that time
in my parents’ life from
the outside looking in.

Continue reading cognitive dissonance

a shower of gold

I can’t be sorry
for living. you’d like me
to be a hermit, an anchorite,
to wall myself up
in a cell and wait for death,
or deliverance via resurrection,
whichever comes first. I recall
the legend of Danaë, how Zeus
disguised as a shower of gold
came in the skylight window
of her living tomb and sent life
straight into her womb. a
likely story, that. at least
I’m better off than she was,
poor thing.

I’m really no nun
at heart, certain poems
notwithstanding. you
wouldn’t like me half
as much as you say you do
if I were. you reminded my body
how very much it likes
to be touched, and it just
doesn’t want to let me
forget again.

Penelope

I may have been
put aside, but I’m not
alone. I have suitors
knocking at my door,
leaning in my window,
telling me their tall tales,
and sometimes I accept
their gifts. every day I weave
my never ending funeral shroud
of strange dreams and
shattered sunlight,
and every night I
unweave it, dissolving
myself slowly back
into lazy curls of smoke,
held together with poetry
and longing. if the wily Odysseus
decides one day
to return, he’d better be ready
to take a number.

a little privacy

in that restaurant, we
found a good corner, a booth
and three empty tables
in a cul-de-sac, where
no one was looking and
no one cared. the hot waiter –
who was probably gay – helpfully
stayed away as I slowly showed you
a little more skin
than I had been when I
walked in the joint. you
were crazy for me, and I
was blushing. today I learned
that sometimes
a little privacy
can go a long way.

flies

they’re suddenly
everywhere. little
harbingers, little flying
omens. they appear
out of nowhere and
zoom around like tiny, drunken,
disgusting bees.
my friend B. says
that they are here
to remind me to be
in this body, to be present
in this time. he says
I can make them vanish
with the power of my will. I think
I should take out the trash,
clean the litterbox,
and buy more flypaper.
let’s see which way
works.

Nautilus

you were the one who taught me
how to answer a question
with silence
when the answer
on the tip of your tongue
would be too cruel
or too personally revealing,
and how to make that silence
speak volumes. yours
always did. at first
I didn’t understand them.
it took days
or weeks
or sometimes even months
of intense overthinking
to fully understand
what they meant.

Continue reading Nautilus