Thursday, January 29, 2015

i think of my mother every time i change the pillow cases,
i think of her rasped voice, her knobby knuckles- tan and
lined like a fingerprint- all over her
the wrinkles like a finger print, her voice calls from a
tiny place, "hold it under your chin". my mother has taken care of others since she was 13, "flip
the tags to the bottom". my hands instinctively move as hers did(do) and
slid it secure. the tags to the bottom, now nestled like fabric

my mother has taken care of others since she was 13
and taught me well, i flip the pillow case
so no one feels the tags
36 degrees and the snow is gray, 
the melting
drop from the fire escape sliding
my wrist like a single
tracing out the tendons 
the back of my hand 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

my mother always took us to this farm, on the west side, past the corn and 
down the road that is far too empty for 
speed limit signs or painted yellow 
no need, waste of time. 
in the country, things that do not bring immediate life are
a waste of time. there is a farm 
on Whittier Road
and five children pulling my mother's hands 
in all different directions-

my brothers let cows lick their miniature palms and giggled, leaned away with awe,
we had never seen an 
uninhibited tongue before. i stand away, uncomfortable; it is too close, too lifelike. 
50 cents for the machine- i liked to feed the chickens instead, 
throw the kernels far from my feet and watch, i could observe my contribution,
sustain them without sacrificing 
any of my space, my trust that i wouldn't be bitten 
or reimbursed.

i was left with empty fists in 3 minutes.
i couldn't stand to pace it out, couldn't wait 
to give my compassion away, couldn't throw 
my empathy fast enough.
me, i am the kindest, i keep my violence close to my chest, 
you will never have to see it, 
me, i am the kindest child. i deserve the kernels of your compassion 

i like to nurture,
like to feed.
my mother taught me to give kernels of myself 
two feet away or
i would be bitten by the absence of gratitude.
my mother gave me 
a messiah complex and 50 cents for the feed machine. 
i am learning to conserve my tenderness now,
learning to show an uninhibited tongue.

it is not a waste of time to paint yellow 
lines on yourself.

Monday, January 12, 2015

new year
new bed
bigger, longer, i feel like a 
in it, burrowing and
retreating to corners, sticking to one side of the room, conditioned 
to need that wall to my side, i am
wall to the side, whiskers to the ground 
new year
new bed

i have stained it with her
the instant i could

Friday, January 2, 2015

the feeling of flicking 2014 from your fingers like a 
that you haven't finished but feel satisfied with it's
partially guilty for feeding 
the sore ache of overburdened lungs, 
pressing yourself like a bruise.

the cigarette is gone,
the washing realization that
from this second on
you are brand new.
the world is an oyster 
but theres an entire menu 
you've yet to glance at