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Posts Tagged ‘communication’

 

 

 

And after the boy

hugs his sister

and tells her

she did a great job,

 

after he wipes

her tears and holds

her and wraps her

in his awkward arms,

 

after she leans

into him, their

sapling trunks

sloping toward

 

each other,

I want to tell him

how proud I am

of the ways

 

he is growing,

want to affirm

how much depends

on love, want

 

to say I see his tenderness,

but the soil beneath

them is unstable,

precious, and my voice

 

is full of heavy clouds,

so I wait until

they sway apart,

then I walk closer

 

and manage to say

through invisible rain,

It’s time.

Let’s go home.

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tossing my gloves

to pull carrots with naked hands—

this, how I long to speak with you

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Just as the sun enters the room

and changes the feel, the warmth,

and the power to perceive,

 

the right word, too,

can be a beam, can shine

into an evening, bring

 

glimmer, tidings of light,

make even the darkest corners

shine. Yes even one word

 

can become a prayer,

a gate we pass through

to find ourselves luminous.

 

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Inside

the

wall

between

us

there’s

a

very

thin

room—

let’s

take

two

chairs

and

sit

in

there—

not

on

my

side

nor

yours,

but

wholly

in

the

place

that

divides

us.

I

wonder

how

much

more

clearly

we

will

hear

each

other

without

that

wall

between

us

?

 

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We are entering turbulence, says the captain.

This plane does not do well with turbulence.

 

His voice crackles over the loudspeaker

just after the plane has begun to jostle in the sky.

 

I am not particularly worried about the plane.

The young engineer next to me in 14E has already

 

assured me that when considering safety factors,

the designers will double what is actually needed.

 

I am more worried about the captain’s choice of words.

It matters what we say to each other and how.

 

The ride will be turbulent, that would have sufficed.

Or perhaps, The ride will be turbulent,

 

it’s nothing to be concerned about.

The toddler in row 11 is screaming.

 

She would not feel better, regardless what

the captain said. Perhaps it is the mother in me

 

that longs to disregard the safety belt sign and go comfort her—

not so much for the child’s sake, but for her mother’s,

 

she looks so careworn and tired. I want to tell her,

It’s okay. This is just a short chapter.

 

I settle for a nod and a smile.

The truth is the world is full of turbulence.

 

The truth is it’s hard to hear anyone cry.

The truth is our work in the world

 

begins with comforting the people next to us,

strangers only until we take the first step.

 

 

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What if

we spoke

about how

we can’t

speak to

each other,

and by

other, I

mean other

versions of

our selves,

and what

if, as

the words

crashed on

our lips

like ocean

tides that

won’t be

held back,

what if

we realized

that our

speaking about

not speaking

is a

starting shore,

sea water

collecting on

our cheeks.

 

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Moonless, the night,

and aimless, our paddling,

my son and I glide on the lake

and stare into the sky,

drawing invisible lines

for constellations—

the diamond, the maggot.

the spilt milk.

Our laughter ricochets

across the water.

 

Though I can’t see them,

I know we are surrounded

by lily pads. The flowers

will be closed by now—

something about the reversible

expansion and contraction of cells

by changes in water balance

and differential growth of cells

due to temperature—

 

but here we are,

my son and I, nocturnals,

lingering in the two-note hymn of crickets,

opening in the dark.

 

 

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One Conversation

 

 

said with tenderness

even the most alarming words

contain sweetness—

clear drops of rain

on the thistle

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what I say and what I want

to say, a thousand

thousand lilies grow and throw

their perfume everywhere—

oh they could give a shit

about propriety

or rules

or scores

or lists of tiptoed shoulds.

 

And they don’t give a damn

about some petty pleasantries

around the weather.

 

Sometimes I fancy

you can smell

their warm and honeyed

fragrance,

bright and lively,

fancy you might

visit all these petals

arching through our awkward spaces

oh so pinkly,

 

fancy you might find delight

in how

with unguarded exuberance

they thrive

(can you smell them?

I do)

 

in these miles and miles

of provocative

untouched sweetness

so bountiful

between us.

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midflight

the doves in my voice

become ravens

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