Posts Tagged ‘breaking’


It’s a slippery

world with slippery

ways and the treads on our soles

only keep us from slipping

until they don’t—

slippery words and slipping red shoulds

and slippery thoughts and slippery roads—

and each time we slip, we bruise,

then we rise, ’til we slip again

with our slippery steps

and our slippery lives,

it’s a slip of a wish,

this slippery hope

that we and the world

remain unbroke


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The liars lie and the stealers
steal and the lovers love and
the takers take. The fighters
fight and the restless do not
rest. And also true, the liars
love and the fighters steal
and the restless take
and the lovers fight and all of us,
all of us want to be right.

May I be wrong. May I come
to you without my books,
without my rules, without
my shoulds. Let me always
arrive at your door with empty hands.

Let me meet you with my pockets
full of blank, not convinced
of anything except
the possibility of everything.

Let me be wrong. Let me not label anyone
a liar. Let me bottom out.

What is it in us that wants to be right?
I have seen it turn a whole month, a whole life
to ice. I have felt the chains of certainty,
I have worn the shackles of listen-to-me.

Let me be wrong. Let there be chinks
in my belief. Let there be splinters
in my conviction. Look how alone it is
in this hour when I am so perfectly right.

May my rules go begging. May my imperatives
learn to crawl. May my righteousness hold
an empty bowl. May my musts all redden to rust.
And may I be wrong as the wrongers are wrong.
And may I unknow. And unlearn.
And unselve. And love as the lovers love.

*with a first line taken from David J. Rothman, “And Remember to Be Kind to Yourself”

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Post Script




Fragile, said the stamp

in dark black ink imprinted

on the cardboard box.

The bottom of the F

was not quite dark enough

to read, but there was no mistaking

the message. Things break.


All day, I imagine

the word invisibly stamped

on everything I see. Fragile

on the aspen trees and Fragile

on the chopping board and Fragile

on my daughter and the woman

I sit next to in the pool.


The red-tailed hawk. The cantaloupe.

The plastic bag. The lawn.


In the mirror, I see the word

in all caps on my cheeks. I remember

that afternoon in the car when

I wept and told my friend that I was breaking.

Open, she said, not down.


There is no shame in breaking.

Still, this chance to treat the world

with tenderness, as if the day

itself relies on how we hold it.











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The Fall

All your wounds, I want
to kiss them, all the places
chafed, strafed, shattered,

clawed at or raw. Anywhere
you’ve bled, I will mingle my blood
with yours. Wherever you are sore,

let me knead you. Wherever you ache,
I offer balm. Let me cradle you,
hold you, hum to you, know you.

I cannot heal you, can’t whole you,
can’t help. But I can love you
in your brokenness. Now is the time

for love. No one can love without
breaking, dear. Come. The flowers
are fading. We’re all we have.

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