Friday, February 3, 2017

Memory on my iphone

(R. minus many months.)

My iphone memory is a time warp.
For example, it keeps remembering your name
even though I have deleted you
many times,
as if it knows
there is only one thing I can remember
to forget

So I will need to delete again tomorrow
the balcony, my lips, your lips,
Oakland's sunset burning
centimeters from your fingertips.


Teach me how to not despair

(for my children. for r and his.)

Teach me how to not despair.
Remind me again
that life is a series of mathematical
and all I have to do is find y.

I already have paper and pen.
I can
turn numbers into stories
stories into actions
actions into hope
hope to love
and live

Sit with me,
in the high noon glare,
our bodies warm from sun heated rocks
beneath, watch me unravel the mystery of an equation,
with child-sized amazement duplicating,
quadruplicating, octuplicating, doubling
into the distances of my imagination.

And when I cannot find my way,
teach me to trust
that inside each problem
already is the answer
I need.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Last Sunday I went to a funeral

Last Sunday I went to a funeral.
Q had died in her chair,
looking out her window.
Father Rob gave the eulogy.
He said, "I knew her for many years. She loved to sit
by that window, waiting
for the day to pass.
He paused, then said, "It is with amazing grace
that we may last the length of days.
For this we should give thanks."

Does he know
the insufferable ways in which days
go on and on?

I will give no thanks
to the length of days
I endured.

I will lay face down
deep in dirt and weep
for the 13 Sundays that have passed
without me.

There is a woman waiting.
There is a woman wanting.
She died with that waiting.

if you must be silent

Love, do not call to me.
Do not say to me the feelings that vex your heart at night
when you miss me most
half asleep and half drunk,
only when light breaks make silence your armor,
and sentiments harden like laid bricks baked in the sun.

If you must be silent, be silent
all the days.
Be more silent than night.
More than a muted cry.
Aimless wandering.
Hurt gone numb.

Love, if you must
be silent.

Monday, November 7, 2016

I imagine telling you

"The house was quiet and the world was calm."
The poem reads.
I read and think, it is.


Tonight I wear your bangles to bed.
I wanted to glue them on the wall, make roses or bubbles
and watch them float but instead
I put them on and stretch my arms, feel lightness in their soft tinkling, as if
sounds can conjure up love as it
fills up the space next to me.
I imagine you
tied my hands to your hands,
like the book I'd torn apart
then bound the pages again,
and put them all in a box

I imagine telling you about Luis Rivera.
I imagine saying, I went on a date with Luis Rivera,
we hung out in his apartment, ate tacos, and listened to death metal music.

I imagine telling you, days later, I went on another date with Luis Rivera. This time we drank
shots of tequila, I stuff my hands inside his back pockets while he slid his hands up my legs.
His hands were soft.

I imagine telling you, weeks later, that for such soft hands Luis Rivera could really play the guitar.

I imagine telling you, months later, that we went on walks through the woods, it's fall here
and the trees are
We sat in coffee shops on Sunday mornings.
I showed him how to roll his undershirts to save space
while he told me about his anxieties and the medications he's tried,
their side effects, why it takes him so long to cum, and his worries
about being fat.

I imagine telling you, I have not heard him sing until now. He's good.
I imagine telling you, Luis Rivera is good.
And if I am lucky, I imagine I would also tell you,
I have learned to love Luis Rivera.

I imagine telling Luis Rivera about you.
I imagine saying, I left him my heart--he doesn't want it
because he doesn't know what to do with it. I left it there for him
on the hills of Oakland,
under the brush of an unmarked bush.
I haven't been back to get it.

I haven't imagined what Luis Rivera would say.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Listen, remember

Listen, remember that night
we didn't fuck because
goodbye was too sad and we didn't know
how to fuck sadly. Instead
we sang lullabies off key
and giggled.

It was stupid.


Not for you

I miss you.
R, this
is not for you to read.
Neither is I love you.
These words are for me
and the morning,
to whisper in my bed where I refuse
to get up,
but the sun keeps on
sending heat up my legs
my belly
my breasts--
I feel it breathing
across my collar bones-
I open my eyes to scold the light.
I wont acquiesce.
I will not
let quiet bully me.
I miss you, I repeat,
not for you to read
but for me to whisper with morning
in my bed.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Goodbye 3 Love letter to the bougainvillea vine


In April I first saw you,
you've just begun to bloom
red blossoms.
I fell in love with that early Oakland morning
between the green doors and white garden gate
you waited, as if you have always been waiting
for me. My excitement grew
with you against the wall,
it began to take up space.
I pulled petals from the vine,
kept them hidden in my books,
pieces of you everywhere-
life is beautiful and gracious

And now I am gone.
I won't be back.
I won't caress you
in front of those green doors
behind that white garden gate.
I won't kiss your fiery flowers
or taken breathless under your tendril grip,
 stand for hours as you climb with the Oakland sun
stroking my back.
I am gone.
I did not say goodbye.
I'm sorry, beautiful tensile bougainvillea vine.

Goodbye 2 sadness is a sedative


Sadness is a sedative,
like the hot afternoon sun of your somnolent childhood-
remember that languorous  lullaby?
a sleep aid
for those restless thoughts that won't lie down,
it will help you sleep,
no need to answer
no need to speak
no need to open
no need to close
no need of words
no need for touch
even your own
just stuporous slumber
until it's done.
Doesn't that sound nice
then emptiness will cease to be
a word,
you, and, or, I.

Goodbye 1



When I don't have us to protect me
from myself
When you have taken your arms away
I feel on my chest the weight
of your absence
This is grief.