There is no end to pleasure. Our flesh, how its tastes change.
You barely pause to wonder how we end up in the garden. Crepe-skinned crones in sun hats, we busy ourselves with one of the few benign industries left to us in our diminished worlds. We cannot captain the ships, you reason. Cannot write the laws. We must see life backward now as our children and their children take the keys and set the route.
In your haste to cover the stretch of highway still spooling out ahead, you don’t waste attention on what occupies the roadside. We bend there, indistinguishable from scarecrows. From garden gnomes. It stands to reason (if anyone were to ask) that we surrender to these tiny corners of the world. Our puttering a last gasp at creation. Bygone artists, barren makers. Do you see us deflating into bodies long past their use-by date? Do you see us at all?
Invisibility is a curse for certain, though one we have a hand in casting.
Continue reading “The Digger’s Mirth”
Popham Beach, Maine
These feet mapped in silver. My weight displacing stars.
We are chasing the tide even before we begin, trying to outrun the sea. The sun follows us, staying at our backs for five miles across moonscape and dune. Wind has carved ridges like Atlantis exposed.
Here is where my friend comes now. Every week, a pilgrimage of sorts. She has recast herself a collector of sand dollars, displaying them in gleaming mason jars around her house. She’s brought me along this time and I don’t have questions at first. Now, the stretch of land and water before us is framed by a giant question mark. “Where is it we are going?” It must be the third time I’ve asked, and we’re barely out of the parking lot. She gestures vaguely forward. At the end of a dark ridge, the shore curves then disappears around black tip of land. It is forever away.
She’s checked the tidal charts. She sets a brisk pace.
Continue reading “Water Born”
The instructions said
to lay it deep
six weeks at least
before last frost.
You followed the steps
more or less.
Continue reading “It’s a Game of Give and Take”
The line between. A light spilling through. The friend dressed in flowers gazes up at a ceiling of filigreed wood. She describes her new love of colored pencils, writing one word across a page over and on top until the word is laced into a web of color. The expression carries her to tears. She folds her sorrow into a page stitched with threads of graphite and pigment and calling.
She can hold the prayer on the tips of her fingers. A weight anchoring her to the dark place breaks free. She lifts toward light. Continue reading “Fishing for Plenty”
That’s the only thing. Do anything else at all.
But don’t call.
Eat too much peanut butter. Water the plants. Walk the dog in the pouring rain.
Empty the suitcase. Start the laundry. Place the new pottery dish in its place.
Think about him again.
Don’t call. Continue reading “Listen Instead”
Silence a welcome respite
as the world’s tragedies carry on
It does not last, of course, this quiet as thin as the skin
of a drum.
You consider desertion
on its plastic hanger, how quick the fix.
But you ache for the succor of absolution
in its supple cloak, to have it fold around you,
ceding the demands of atonement.
Continue reading “Holding Pattern”
This is what the ugly thoughts do. This is how the lies start to seem true. My son’s diagnosis weaves into my own, our wounds pull each other into a dark and intimate tango.
On my son’s first birthday, a stomach virus knocked him flat. For the next few days, he couldn’t keep anything down. Even though he begged for the comfort of nursing, I had to ration his time on the breast. We fed him Pedialyte from a dropper. He screamed in protest until thirst overcame his resistance.
After a few days, he rallied. Small portions of pureed food stayed down. Great quantities of breast milk too. He resumed scooting all over the house and tormenting the dog. The doctor had said he’d get over it, and this seemed to hold true.
Except that he kept losing weight.
Continue reading “The Parent He Needs”