Posts Tagged ‘halloween’

On Halloween

I wake up as myself, but by 8:15 a.m.,
I am wearing a long black dress and long black gloves,
strings of pearls and my long brown hair piled high.
Once again, I am Holly Golightly, spontaneous and flirty,
eccentric and ambitious. How easily I slip into her world.
How quickly I start calling everyone darling.
How instantly I feel doe-eyed and feminine.
Though I am graying. Though I am no longer reed-like
or innocent. Though in real life I only wear yoga pants
and no one would call me glamorous.
How is it that forty years after I first met her
in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I still fall in love with her?
Confident, yet fragile. Elegant, yet humble.
I balance my long black cigarette holder in my hand
and take a long drag of the fake cigarette—
but it’s life I’m pulling deep into my lungs
getting buzzed on blue sky and white snow.
By noon, I have no idea who I am.
By midnight, though I am in yoga pants again,
the credits have yet to roll.

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That was the year you were Santa.
Your sister was a Christmas tree,
and your dad and I were reindeer.
I remember how much I loved you
that night with your big white beard
falling off your face, how I giggled
with your high-pitched ho ho ho
right before you’d say trick or treat.
I miss you. Every day accordions
with missing you. Every hour
comes to the door, sack in hand,
wondering what I have to offer it.
Sometimes I want to turn off the lights,
pretend I’m not home. But not tonight.
Tonight I hand out memories of you—
you dressed as blue crane, as red ninja,
as a giant cardboard skyscraper,
as a tall green firework made of felt,
and as Santa with a big black belt—
each memory sweeter than the other
until the hour is weighted with unbearable
sweetness, not the kind I can eat,
but the kind that consumes me.
This is the year I dress as myself
for Halloween—some version of me
who has lost all her masks—and you,
you are the one I keep wishing
could still knock on the door.

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My son builds a castle out of candy—
boxes of Nerds on the bottom, stacked with
boxes of Sugar Babies, Milk Duds and Dots.
Kit Kats and Double Bubbles balance on top.
We make a Twix moat and cannons out of
Tootsie Rolls, sentries made of Sugar Daddies
and a forest of lollipops. And then come
the bombs. First the sour gumballs, but
their damage is negligent. Next
the larger Tootsie Rolls, but the castle
still stands. Finally we bring in the Blow Pop
and threaten to drop it. The Sugar Babies
Sour Patch Kids cry for mercy, but it is too late.
The sugar bomb drops and the castle crashes
and we roll on the floor laughing, holding our bellies,
laugh because after all it is only candy
and we are about to build the castle again
and tonight the sky above us is quiet and clear.
Though he does not know it, I’m well aware
that these playful hours are already under siege
and all too soon will come crashing down.
How I hope in its rubble this laughter survives.

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That was the Halloween
when Superman decided
to dress up as me. He wore

a wig with long brown hair,
black yoga pants, black Dansko clogs,
a solid pink shirt and no makeup.

When he arrived at my door,
Trick or Treat, he said,
just like everyone else says,

and I had a hard time guessing
what he was. Um, a teacher?
He had ink stains on his fingers.

Nope, he said. A mom?
I was looking at the drool
stains on his shoulder

and the wrinkles under his eyes.
Kinda right, he said. Um, I give up,
I said. Who are you? He said, I’m the person

you most wish you could know.
Even after he told me,
I am still guessing.

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