There is no place to hide from the exploitation of life.
Pretty illusions and tarnish-rimmed struggles
have ruined us.
The taste of metallic on our tongues,
aging of our organs,
we deteriorate in our sleep.
While we’re making love,
while we’re on our way to work, we share our dying bodies
with the world.
Losing a lapse with memories,
our strained eyes give up on us,
We dilute the present to forget we have to die
but it doesn’t forget us.
It watches from a distance,
whispering to us in our lack-lustered days.
Death is our mother’s warning
and our Daddy’s silence,
it awaits us
holding no grudges,
for our disregard.
How you know who are here is when God closes a door and in rage, creatures begin to dig holes with their fingertips into the ground, burrowing themselves into another mistaken Heaven. The creatures here are vile men with hearts of gold, heavy spirits who were once at your door offering you salvation with their weary love.
These men who would follow you to the water’s edge, out to sea, even in the currents of your dreams. That man who would move slow like honey; that could make sweet of his own name. He is here along with the one who smelled of Jameson and cigarettes, who as a child would sneakily touch on your thigh when your mother was in the kitchen. Each and every enchanting man with their wicked incantations and uncommitted nature are stuck here to be those nothing in particulars.
You see a home where there is no bread but ‘lots of wine.
Invisible wives connected to disincarnated entities of kitchen appliances.
Every wife, wherever she may be, comes here after death. They are all a nucleus of radiating submissiveness, vibrating hues that are Clorox-bleach white or freshly squeezed, and sugary lemonade yellow.
This is one of three realms that Earth science cannot yet understand, a shadowy zone for those who have been forgotten in the homes of men who’ve exploited, stood over, and hated.
These are the women who the world turned a deaf ear to. How their marital duties became chains they so horribly dragged behind them.
These are the women who knew reticence, knowing what can be said and what can’t,
fearing the word ‘respect’ and accompanied unkept feelings with ‘upkept’ homes.
Here cleans the forgetful women who long to begin again,
making nice of their homely imprisonment.
My mother once told me to be sure
my coming was a sharp offense.
To drink and live what have destroyed some men.
She says, “We died a hundred times,
ate thunder and tasted the rain,
drawn down the moon
and called the sun by name.”
I kneeled at her waist as she anointed me.
She sang for the trees to awake,
to let them follow me to you and
let their branches sway like my hips
and chase your coloured phantom on the air.
She had said, once I found you
to be all woman
I. The oak trees are therapists,
surely knowing my affliction
as sure as they know the wind blows east.
The old dangling branches resembles neurons
twisting and reaching for the open sky.
II. An ancient whisper speaks in the breeze
from leaf to leaf,
a forgotten language of love.
Even the strongest tree has a taste for vulnerability,
like hummingbirds buzzing in place
attacking the wounds in the bark that oozes sap.
I place my hand on the stubborn flesh
caressing as a chiropractor does the spine
III. I wish I could grow like an idle tree,
into the soil where dark things are grown to be loved,
near a cemetery,
or somewhere high up
in between the shadows
or the burning sun.
I will grow here
and grow forever,
singing my own healing song
I have lived by the misty lake
with the grumpy mudfish,
and the stubborn algae
that stick to my knees for some time.
Seek me out in the cattails along the bank.
There you will see me, bare
in all my stupidity
for loving a man who cannot see the beauty of the tranquil water
taking up space so beautifully,
like my body in his embrace,
a water lily
floating with no direction,
in the reflected watery sky.
I remembered I would take refuge by the lake
that is glassy in the noontime,
to purify my tears,
calcified tears that
made it hard to see.
I would tred the uncertain lake
with uneasy feet,
my unleveled arms in front of me.
There I was,
with tired eyes and no direction.
Who was I to be then?
I yield to my temple,
placing mental maps of the places you liked visiting.
From my neck to my abdomen
en route to my tiny earth
a delicate place,
I stretched my legs across like a bridge
accompanying your trek.
A cool November wind rolled
off your back
and my leg hairs,
like grass blades tickled your chin.
Some days you decided to take the high road,
causing a head on collision
with our fumbling tongues
and your hands, aimlessly
riding up my thighs
on the freeway to vastness.
Each night I would lie in wait for a new excursion,
thinking of the next place you would take me next.
a quaint garden in Perugia,
where an old woman delicately picks strawberries
from a wild bush.
Maybe to Aruba, where I would reach my peak.
With no luggage and no trinkets
from a gift shop of previous places
instead we inherited a summery glow,
as if we spent the week in Kauai,
or a peculiar accent as if our love-making
wasn’t misunderstood enough.
The terrible baggage of reality is
gone with the high noon tide.
We traveled for our salvation.
Here and there,
with our love in mind.