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Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

 

 

 

Easier to keep open the doors of the heart

when a feathery breeze comes through, or

the scent of lavender, or slant of sun. Harder

 

when a wounded tiger comes in. Of course,

the impulse then is to run it out and close

the doors. Lock them. Barricade and block them.

 

But now is the time to take those locks

to the second hand store and to pull the chairs

away from the door and place them at the table,

 

then pour two cups of water. Say grace.

Let the tiger pace. And always, I pace, too.

Of course, I’m afraid it will hurt me.

 

That’s what wounded tigers do. And when

the inevitable happens, it’s hard to not wish

it were some other way. And it’s tempting

 

to lock those doors. But when I do, I quickly

note the lack of light in here, I want

for lavender, I rue how very stale the air.

 

Rather to die by tiger claw than live cut off from love.

Even now the wounds are raw, but oh, the breeze,

it touches them, and how soft it licks at my chest, my cheek.

 

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Because we are traveling,

I say, We’re on the plane.

I say, Just landed. I say, See you soon.

 

As always, my heart leans beyond

the transactional. Longs to say,

Tell me about the pain. Longs

 

to say, I feel lonely. Longs to ask,

What do I most need to know?

But it’s not easy to hear. And

 

there isn’t much time. Is that

just the same old excuse?

And so I say, I love you,

 

because it is true. Say,

Can’t wait to see you.

Say, Gotta go. All through

 

the flight, the heart keeps leaning,

rehearses the five

most important words:

 

tell me all about it.

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I return to find the basil dead,

wilted and browned, dull limp flags.

 

And the cosmos, bent and spent

and dead. And the beans, dead.

 

And the marigolds, still brilliant,

but the forked tongues of their leaves

 

say they are dead. What a difference

one night of cold can make, how

 

no matter how warm the season has been,

it irrevocably changes things.

 

It doesn’t matter I knew it would happen

eventually. The petunias fall all over themselves

 

in profuse bloom as if to say, it’s okay,

not all is lost, but it’s enough to make a woman

 

decide to pay attention, to be warm

in every garden she enters.

 

Some blooms defy the seasons.

There’s so much beauty at stake.

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I fling open my arms
to greet the whole world
and you duck and run
right beneath
my wide embrace—

it seems
holding you means
letting go
of everything
everything
else

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She said it to me in her kitchen, she said it,
the water rushing from the tap into the pot
for tea, she said, You know what people do,
she said, we hurt each other. She said it
with no snarl on her tongue, her face lit
by the sun spilling in through her window.
Her shoulders were soft, though her eyes
were ablaze. She said it as if she were saying,
It’s Tuesday. Or, The salt shaker’s empty.
Or any other careless fact that has no ability
to shatter a world. I did not want to believe
her, but as she spoke the words, I knew them
as glass, and I swallowed them whole and they
cut every surface they touched. I tasted in my throat
not just my own blood, but yours.

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I cannot make
the flowers bloom

any faster
than they are,

but I can
right now

bend
my knees

beside the barren
lilac bush

and notice
how it, too,

is beautiful,
all spindle and gnarl,

its branches not
too small, too big,

can choose
to praise

those tight,
gray fists of buds

for being so tight,
so gray.

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The first things to break
are made of glass—
tumblers, vases,
window panes—

then the wood,
how it snaps,
the floors, the counters,
the entire frame,

and even the metal—
the stainless, the iron,
the rings,
it all shatters, collapses,

everything,
and it takes a long time
for the shards and dust,
for the wreckage and the whole ruined lot

to become what it is,
just a heap of stuff,
not what we are made of,
not at all what we are made of.

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