My Homage to T
after Patricia L. Goodman
You are a test of existence, T
All challenges and hopes fused together in a tight torsion.
Your presence in time didn’t tell me when to trek those mountains
or wander those twisted trails.
You are part of what I teach – tall tales about what the world
was and could be. Tattered promises and gentle lies
stirred together in a tasty soup.
For some reason you don’t keep my tires intact for too long.
Tell me it’s to keep me on my toes, to keep me
from letting everything wear down until it’s too tempestuous
to keep moving or growing into the hot, twisted mess I need to be.
T, you are the largest molecules that make tears.
Tumultuously, you are the cross I wear proudly in tantalizing storms.
Happy National Woman’s Day
“Girls are not machines
that you put kindness coins into
And sex falls out” — Sylvia Plath
We’re more like the crane games
on a Jersey Shore boardwalk
Hands maneuver our hands
towards visible prizes
and treasures hidden in plastic shells.
If what we have for grabs is too heavy
the plushness slips through fingers,
weakened and rigged by the deceit of others.
Still, these hands keep rolling quarters of promises
into our waiting gaps,
the lights and sounds fill the quiet, dark
corners where we like to hide, waiting to see
how hard this one and that one will try
to catch our IPod hearts with irascible playlists –
to win our unicorns stuffed with everything
nobody else wants to know.
Believing the voices of others
is like a fatal a accident on the side
of the interstate.
You promise yourself you won’t
pause and look, but you do it anyway.
Feeling the stare of others on your skin
is an afternoon when you’re body is done with the ocean-
when you’re not sure whether you feel soft, salted,
and cleansed – or weighted, wrinkled, and burned.
Tasting the deception of others
is like that one deceiving berry,
the one on the bottom that looks as brilliant as all the others,
but when you bite into it, the blandness fails
to satisfy your violent need for sweet half-truths.
touching the hand of another can be the last thing
you want to do if you don’t want to chance
remembering a name – and the only thing
you want to do, if you want to forget your own for a while.
Being human, according to Hinduism, means we have energy wheels, chakras that start at our asses and end in our hopefully enlightened minds, light bursting through our skulls. All of these wheels need to turn with synchronicity in order for us to feel balanced or connected. But humans have been box-centered for so long. Everything is box-shaped – our technology, our desks and tables, the gifts we give and receive. Ladies, even our female parts are called boxes. So maybe our cores look more like long locomotives with square-shaped wheels, just like the train on the Island of Misfit Toys. There’s strength and purpose, we can push ourselves forward, and there will always be at least one person who will love us. But we’re round pegs trying to squeeze into square holes