Posts Tagged ‘vulnerability’




tossing my gloves

to pull carrots with naked hands—

this, how I long to speak with you

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pulling on my mask

as my nom de plume

unbuttons her blouse again

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Standing beneath the pinion tree

I am almost dry, while all around me


the rain almost attacks the road.

I lean my head against its shagging bark


and watch the world transform from dust

to shine. Thunder rends the darkened sky.


I knew when I began the ride

the rain was impatient.


I knew it would be no gentle shower.

How odd to trick myself into being


caught in a storm. How often I choose the gale.

Small bits of bark tear off in the wind,


fall to the cactus, the dirt. Eventually,

I am no longer content to watch


and pull my bike into the rain. Wasn’t

this what I wanted somehow, to be


unguarded, exposed, out? Within a minute

my clothes stick to my skin, and I shiver,


in part from the chill, in part because

I, too, have become a shining thing.


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(title is a quote from Amy Irvine McHarg)



here kitty, kitty,

she says, crooking her finger,

her mouse heart leaping against her chest

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Hi friends,

Yesterday my good friend Kyra Kopestonsky came over to play cello … she has a grant application due so we were making videos of collaborative pieces we’ve performed together before. What a great way to spend a morning hour, reciting poems and making music. It’s a little echo-y, but here’s a playful version of “Post Script”. I love the way the cello underlines all the fragility–proof somehow that through resonance we can support each other in our most vulnerable places. Good luck, Kyra, getting that residency!

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She sports it

like a skimpy t-shirt,

but underneath

she wears a vest,

bullet proof.

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Too long I have dared to not dare,

love. Here, here is my whole heart,

and here is the fence I built

around it and here is the match

to burn the fence and while we are at it,

the doors, too, and the walls

and the weathervane.

I have no idea what comes next.


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Apricots on Tannin Road

anytime it might freeze—
still, they open wild inside me
apricot blossoms

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Mommy, she says, walking up
to me and my son as we gesture

and guess and giggle,
Mommy, she says, I feel

like I want to hurt someone
right now. And she lays down

between my son and me, and
offers me her eyes. I think how

brave she is to identify
a feeling and stare it straight on.

It’s not hard to uncover
she feels left out of the game

and wants to join in. Oh give
me such candor, such willingness

to say what I mean and lay myself
down to rest in the middle of things

with such (one word, five syllables,
fifth syllable sounds like plea)


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In less than a minute
the citadel
around the heart
is reduced to sand,
not by the wrecking ball,
not dynamite,
but with the softest voice
speaking the painful truth
of how sad, how broken we are.
In that unlocked moment,
even the air is naked.
It is impossible to imagine
that anything ever came between us,
or that anything ever will again.
But it does come back,
doesn’t it, that thick gray wall.
Sometimes thicker
or taller than before.
Birds come to roost there.
Ivy grows up the face.
Who knows who scrawls
all that graffiti on both sides.
And then, in an instant,
it’s gone again. Nothing but dust.
With the softest voice.
The painful gift. It’s
so messy, so beautiful,
how broken we are.

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