Posts Tagged ‘unknown’

General Admission

Today I walk through the house
as if it is the museum of my life,
a temporary exhibit.
I notice the flower bouquet made of Legos,
the upright studio black lacquer piano,
a life-size cardboard cutout of Queen Elizabeth
wearing a fetching amethyst dress,
a matching hat and short white gloves.
At least a dozen paintings and sculptures of nudes.
So many skeins of unknit yarn.
A bottle of oud perfume.
And so many books. The imaginary docent
suggests not all the titles have been read,
but all the books are fiercely loved.
I notice there’s not an interpretive panel
explaining the candles on the counter,
but I know they are there to be lit
each time someone shares
the wounds of their heart.
It’s strange to see my existence
as a collection of artifacts
displayed amongst the artifacts
of my husband, daughter and son.
How interconnected they are.
I notice all the stories they don’t tell,
notice all the secrets they don’t share,
notice what objects can never convey.
I wander the rooms, growing more
and more curious about what can’t be known.
I vow to keep living into that.

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I step into the boat.
You offer me an oar.
Thank you, but sweetheart,
what I really want
is to be in the boat
with no oars
and you.

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Why would she go to the beach
when she could vacation on Mars?
Plenty of sand there, well, dust, really,
but it’s almost the same.
Wild Rose wants an adventure,
not just a week of sitting on a towel.
Relax? She wants to make history.
She craves things she’s never done before.
Minus eighty degrees Fahrenheit?
She’ll pack down and polypro.
And hasn’t she learned by now to live with cold?
She brings her own heat wherever she goes.
She gives her notice to whatever she’s known,
becomes citizen of her own wild heart
sets her telescope for the distant shore,
so curious, so red, so new.

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So In I Go

And if I felt into that dark ache

in my gut, would it cover me

with its stench? Would it stick

to me like tar, like muck, like pitch?

Would it suck me in like quicksand

so that the more I tried to save myself,

the deeper in I would sink?

And if I waved from its depths,

who would save me?

And if I don’t meet it at all,

what if I don’t meet it at all?

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pulling the rug out

from under my own feet—

who knows where I’ll land next

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Over the Edge



hic sunt dracones

it says on the Hunt-Lennox globe,

its copper halves wired together.

The words mark

the eastern coat of Asia.

Here are dragons.


Half a century later,

we wonder still

did the maker mean

Komodo dragons?

Sea monsters?

The Dagroian people

whom Marco Polo reported

would eat the dead

and lick their bones?

Or was it simply a nod

to how frightening

it feels at the edge

of the known?


Tonight my son calls me

with an unbearable ache,

his map of the world



Though I am far away,

or perhaps because of that,

we are close.

Our voices say the words

we least want to say.

Our hearts are porous

and soft.


I want to tell him

that the dragons are not

at the edge of the map.

They are inside us.

And sometimes

they are more evil

than the most evil

we could imagine.

And sometimes,

though we’d rather

hate them, they are beautiful.


Instead I tell him

these are difficult times.


The globe, the third oldest

terrestrial globe in the world,

about the size of a grapefruit,

was bought by an architect

named Hunt. He told his friend

he had bought the object

in Paris for a song.

He let his children toy with it.

The friend begged

Hunt to keep the globe safe.


None of us are safe.

I fear I have let my dragons

escape, that they have flown

into my son.


Let him toy with them then,

the old ways of thinking

about the world—

let the unknown

become a place for play.


Here are dragons,

I think, as I redraw

the map, and write

the words on my face.

They sprout wings

and pick me up

with their terrible claws

and fly me to the cliffs

of my life

and drop me

over the edge.








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quickly now it ravels,
this garment of everything
I thought I knew

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