Ghosts walk back and forth
reflected in the waiting room windows
like ruby slippers dancing over yellow bricks
while we sit in chairs built sturdy
for those who are no longer
Downstairs, radiation leaks
through cracks in my heart,
blurring lines between memories,
like sun through clapboards into dusty dark,
kisses blown across the room
in the morning after coffee is drunk
and my face is glazed with warpaint –
face the day –
say goodbye –
walk out the door.
I can’t remember
the last thing I said to you
let me pour you one last
in this cheap paisano glass
in the morning we will sit
drinking juice in silence
but tonight let me sing songs
let me play loud music
let me dance close so you can
Did you cry yourself to sleep
when the rain was a comet
making rivers through the back yard
that lit up like ice
trailing celestial missiles.
We should have held hands and laughed
on the deck, even in our winter coats.
We should have brought the speakers outside,
turned them up loud enough
for the neighbors to hear.
If I danced by myself, it is only because
the cold makes your knees ache.
He picks me up in his parents’ green Volvo,
torn leather seats already hot from the sun.
He drives barefoot, one on the gas, one on the dash,
a beer between his legs that he sips sideways
like he looks at me riding shotgun.
In the morning, before it gets hot and the mosquitoes arrive, I visit my garden, wondering what I will find – who has died and who has grown tall. This is a new house to me. I struggle calling it my house, my home. […]
We went to Tennessee, leaving our Ohio River Valley. I took a picture from on top of the Norris Dam where you could see far down the valley and across far hilltops. He held my hand as we walked over the dam, even though he does not like to walk on bridges. What is this great expanse? Have I forgotten the flow and eb and flow of the rivers? Forgotten the oceans? Tides rise and fall, but have I forgotten the moon that pushes and pulls the tide inside of me. […]
Tides move back and forth
seven miles above the Mariana Trench
where fish with luminescent spines
and giant red worms sip sulfur through volcanic vents.
Ice cubes clink
under paper umbrellas
while the ocean swallows my regrets,
popping them into her mouth
one after another like bar nuts.
You look like your brother.
You always resented him,
The first born, the favorite,