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Posts Tagged ‘story’

Forgive me.
I was hurt
you did not
seem to care
about the story
of me. Ha.
The story of me.
It is not
so grand a thing.
This living, now
living is grand.
This living is
everything. But
the story? It
is just marketing.
Something I tell
myself and others
to believe
I am important.
Special. As if
it could be
any other way.
Every one of us
telling each other’s stories
every time
we open our mouths.
In the end,
which is to say now,
it does not matter
if you read
a single poem
I write. It does not
matter if you
never hear about
the silver wig
I ordered today
for the show
next week I
bought you a ticket for
so you might
be there with me.
Isn’t that funny,
after all these years,
I still long
for you to see me.
As if that act
of witness would fulfill
some mysterious
math in which
one and one
make something blissful
I dream is possible—
the way I try
sometimes (impossibly)
to be that mysterious
integer for you.
With this slight remove
of space and time,
I see it does
not matter if you
hear my story
or miss the show.
But it matters
if I can sit with you tonight
and know in my every breath
that I am enough.
That I have no lack
that you could ever fill.
I am empty for now
of once upon a times,
including the story that says
I need your forgiveness.
Here are two chairs.
They are side by side.
My darling. Here we are.

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There Was A

Tonight, the story
sits alone
in the car.
It is not
anyone’s fault.
No fingers to point.
It likes being alone
with no other narrators
interrupting,
no breaks for beer commercials,
no subplots pushing their way in.
Alone, the story hardens,
the way river water freezes.
Though one force says go, go, go!
Keep going, keep going!—
another force proves stronger,
renders it set.
To say once upon
is not necessary.
The air all around the story
is softened by wildfire smoke.
The scent of the world
turning to ash
touches everything,
but the fire itself
is far away. No,
says the story
finding its pen,
this is not
the end
not yet.

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I find you
crouched in the cold
lighting matches
one after another.
It is a long, long night
and it is not near over.
There is nowhere
you want to return.
You strike another.
And again.
We cup our palms
around your light.
What do you see in it?
I want to offer you
bread, a blanket, a room,
my hands, a different ending,
a kinder plot.
You want only
another match.

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When it’s dark,
we tell ourselves
any story we can
about the return
of the light. Say
there’s a mother
grieving her daughter
who’s lost
to an underground king.
Say there’s a sister
who hides in a cave
fearing her brother
the god of storms.
Say that through lures
or begging, the girls
are returned, they
bring light
in their wake.
Use history. Say
the light’s always
come back before.
Use science. Say
it has something
to do with the tilt
and the turn and the rate.
Get fierce. Say you’ve seen
enough of hate.
Get desperate. Say
it takes only a crack.
Start chanting. Start
dancing. Bake cakes
filled with cream.
Give your blood. Give
money. Give any offering.
Or taste the darkness.
Begin to know it as itself,
not as the lack of light.
Let it touch you everywhere.
Let it touch your everywhere else.
Feel how infinite it is.
Say nothing. Get quieter.
Be very curious.

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Five Undoings

wearing that story
for so long I forgot
I had slipped it on

*

bad hem day—
tripping on my own
once upon a time

*

rumors of my self
catch on morning sun, snag on
the wake of herons

*

with one hand, I stitch
the small tears, with the other,
I rip out the seams

*

naked
the scent
of hyacinth

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Chapter 43: The News

Chapter 43

Looking up
at the moon
is a woman.
On her cheek
there is a tear.
In the tear there is
a teacher.
In the teacher
is a story.
In the story
is the moon.
Looking up at that moon
is a woman.
On her cheek
there is a tear.
In the tear
there is a teacher.
In the teacher
is a story.
In the story
is the moon.

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I used to think
we were
our stories.
Now, I believe
in something
more spare,
stripped of
plot
and title
and character.
Still something
in you touches
something
in me. It’s more
in the silence,
though,
more in the way
the light
makes a nest
of your hand.

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He was tired, ah choo!
of the whole, predictable, ah choo,

tale. The way the princess, ah choo!
how she, sniff, how she, sniff,

how she always rode off
with the well-muscled man

on the, ah choo, horse. Often white.
He was, he decided,

allergic to ha-, ha-, ha-
happy endings. Ah choo!

Just whose happiness
were they considering,

not his, with his snot-nose name,
his raw nostrils, his perpetual sniffling

and blowing, wheezing and phlegm.
That day that the white-skinned one arrived,

no matter how lovely by some standards,
no matter how sweetly she patted him on the head,

no matter how innocent her intentions,
that was the day he wrote his resignation,

took Dopey by the stubby hand and said,
Man, it’s time to write a new kind of story.

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balanced on a twig—
two blue dragonflies and
all that space between them

*

the story, calloused
and gnarled, inside it
red leaping blood

*

picking up the moon
like a telephone to dial
your number, of course

*

contemplating
dessert for
the Armageddon

*

opening a can
of worms to find
rose petals

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That bald eagle
flies this canyon every day
today I saw him

*

all day I try
to scrape it off my skin
that bad dream

*

long after you leave
the chairs remain hushed so to
better hear you sing

*

every story
I’ve ever had
the end

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