On Coming Alive

Every single aspect of summer lifts my heart several inches in my chest. And although it is only April these last few days have unfolded me. I forget sometimes, through the winter, how very much of ME I lose; it’s nice to be reminded.

Summer air is completely different. It wraps around me, through my legs, my hair – underneath my body as I fall asleep. I am lifted. Summer air gives me the space I need to stretch. Winter air always feels combative toward me. I move a limb and it rushes in to fill the spot. It steals from me, takes my breath, my heat, my freedom; summer air only gives.

I am three times more myself during the warmer months than I am in the cold. That’s not an exaggeration or an arbitrary number; I’ve put thought into this. So much of what I am is taken by the gnarled fingers of the cold. So much of me is pressed, condensed, limited by winter’s confinement. The sun hits my skin and everything in me awakens. My soul softens, my creativity comes alive, my patience grows, my smile returns.

I am living in the wrong place for such drastic needs. But I’ll probably be here forever – or at least until retirement, as my family and everyone I love is here. They’ll simply have to put up with only one-third of me for half the year. Just as I do.

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I am a different woman
with him
than I am with you /
I’ve always had trouble
choosing
just one character,
changing, instead,
page by page /

With him I am sexy,
easy,
careless and sunshine
and words thrown about
without meaning /
With him
naked means nothing
and his body means nothing
to me:
Just limbs to grasp,
skin to slip against
when I am feeling
just so,
a tongue
to press my most shallow
thoughts into /
With you I am weighted,
my chest heavier,
pinned down
by a million little thoughts /
With you I am longer,
slower, thorough /
I am star-lit
and moon-thrust
upon your shores /
He is at the mercy
of my rain showers /
I am tossed and broken,
salt-crusted and besotted
by your sea

In his sheets
I am a conquerer,
a temptress, a flame /
In yours
I am an archeologist,
only just begun
to piece together
your name

5.23.16 tm

Fear of Falling

What is it like, she asked,
to be afraid of falling?
I’ve never really known;
The heights have always called to me
and I,
windy-haired and feet unsteady,
answer every time.
The fear that’s often brought me to my knees
is missing the flight.

5.20.16 tm

I told him.
I let the birds go.
The ones who’ve been nesting,
singing in my throat for weeks.
Love is not a secret
we should keep.

5.20.16 tm

Wine Study

Perfect bowl,
cradled, long-stemmed,
bitter fruit exchange
Deep, mocking,
tasting of
lessons never learned
Burgundy staining
my teeth,
bodies
giving life
to these sheets
Tongue to tip
to finger to mouth
to bone on bone and
something else
Empty places
asking to be
spilled into
Empty glasses
begging to be
filled anew

5.20.16 tm

My chest is full of ocean,
I suspect —

This is where the salt settles —
This is where the sky reaches lower
like the arms of a mother
steadying a toddling child —
This is where the sun mixes its oils
and where the moon is born anew each night —
This is where the waves
come to crack open —
Lapping, battering, licking —
Tirelessly obeying the storm
and the look in its eye
when it wakes

My chest is full of ocean
Or so I’m told —

This is where the driftwood
gnarls itself like arthritic bones
beneath the gull’s sneering laugh
Always, always —
This is where the ones who ache
go to empty their lungs,
To put one foot over the edge of the earth
and see if whatever’s out there
will take them in —

My chest is full of ocean,
I am sure now —

This is where the sea glass
comes to soften
and the turtles, to lay their eggs —
This is where the world
can’t choose just one color
so it paints itself again every morning
and rinses the brushes at night
in the tide pools left behind —
Where seaweed makes its home
and foghorns bellow
and everything that breaks
only becomes something new

This is the place where the day
celebrates both ends

4.26.16 tm

If I Am Not

Is it possible
that I was only always
lips, legs,
something wet and new
to bury your hands in?
Perhaps
you are too coiled
to lose yourself,
too molded
to melt,
too many squares
when what I need
is soft —

Is Love
a straight line for you
or boxes checked?
I don’t want to win
that contest,
I don’t want
to be a tick
or fingers counted —
I long to be the place
your heart flies to
in the moment
just before sleep,
the paper-thin
wall you fall through
when alcohol or exhaustion
keep you from standing up,
the moth that won’t
leave your ceiling —

For that’s what Love
should sound like:
Wings beating frantically,
melting snow,
the swish-swish
of a heart clearing space
for this new
surprise seedling,
shot of green
against the sky,
mystery bloom —

If I am not
what makes you bubble and fizz
GO FIND WHAT IS

4.25.16 tm

The Smile that Broke the Boat

One more
       crooked smile
   from those lips
                       and I will
                                         tip;
I’m already
      an unsteady canoe
                half-filled with you.

4.24.16 tm

He knows the things he does –
He knows the words he says
climb up inside me
and nestle beside
this bloody pulp
He does it anyway –
He sees me falling
and he only gives me
more rope
to hang myself

4.23.16 tm

Ignorance Is Loud

Outside my window
a dog says aloud
what I say silently inside,
asking to be let free from his yard,
to be taken in out of the night

The moon hears us both and only
turns his back and hums louder
above the cries

4.23.16 tm