The Sea Itself
The ocean was there but I missed it.
The distance to water was the average
of how long it takes to lose hope:
exactly the space held open,
alluring with promise
but really a numbers problem.
Don't tell me time heals everything.
From here the water is a blue carpet to sky,
a paler version of the sea itself,
quiet and still, going on and on.
Blue Ruby 3
The day ended
in red sky, blue earth
I walked across
a voice that wished
burning the glass
my father drank from
across the blue
a ruby feeling
printed on my brain—
Immunity, I lost you
as if my parents
did not lie
together and apart
my fire my prism
as if the searing healed
the sound my own
began its walk.
Published in Canadian Woman Studies: Women and Social and Environmental Justice
Breath grabs me from an airless peace,
my throat a cracked tomb
heaved from a makeshift bed
on the living room rug.
Did I swim the trench zone
only to rise from the dead?
Did some lifeguard drag me back?
Lungs know the hour they awaken.
I'm scrambling on all fours to the sink.
When I return, you’re there.
It’s 3 a.m. You’ve removed the drooping
roses from the coffee table.
I put them in the kitchen, you say,
in case you were asthmatic.
You stand before me, wounded eye
and face from last week’s fall.
I dreamed we had a giant
Christmas card with the whole family in it,
you say. I guess that won't happen this year.
The woman who always said she never dreamed
offers me a glass of water and
remembers nothing in the morning.
The Being Ground
Breath gathers firm the old pages
white spines, row of books in a foreign
language you try to love
the questions like locked rooms
windows framed blue
beyond irritable reaching.
A letter is mind but you return
bodily to the scarcity of love
tune to correction in the secret
hollows of fingers and toes
your mouth passing through
the wound, the flower
to the being ground
unharnessed from memory
where we hold each other
not collapsing into the future
but careful as an act of silence
allows itself to be read.