Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Kindness of Strangers

What happens next?

The amber of my optimism is limber,
I am powerful and my hair is beautiful and long.
I run my fingers through
the discarded math
Of miscalculated risks, soundlessly,

Sitting at a table, watching the scene.

I look down and away.

The men nearby are all wearing incredible shoes,
It almost makes everything alright.
But you, you were never smitten. Not with me,
Not on this side of our season. It wasn't me.
I have never been unbelievable.

I'm quite ordinary, actually.
It used to bother me.

Once upon a stranger's brief delight,
The deliberate half smile of a man just released,
A treasure I carry with me like a shiny stone,
A compliment accidentally left behind for the taking.
A pet to love, and someday lay to rest.

The bitter cold takes your hands,
They feel old, I think of oak trees.
The dogs of Winter attack and tear at the hem
Of my dress, I thought it was just the bad weather.
I thought, maybe if I waited it out. Well,
I didn't think it through. It wasn't me.

The women nearby are wearing their holiday best,
Was the glitter of my laughter never enough?

Once upon a stranger's brief interruption,
The deliberate imprint of a half smile,
An exchange. My hair is beautiful and long,
I am wearing my holiday best.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Patience, Traveler

Trace me. Follow each strand
of my hair,
Take your time, u
se your hands.

My cooling is without deliberate intent.
Private and small, and also pale in color.

I find myself too diaphanous to contain anything
Resembling the flannel of body heat. Patience.
Something I can hold slips.

Life loves you.

Paralyzed by perfection,
I had broken my heart in a hundred different ways. Stupid.
Now I'm traveling to you. I have a map, a pencil and a flashlight.

Life loves you.

How long until every last detail has been misplaced?
How long until the exact shade of this, this...
What I'm trying to say is, this is what I want, how do I make this
Between you and me? Then, how long until the shape of you
No longer contains the things you used to say? How long
Until it is no longer familiar?

Trace me, use your mouth, use both hands,
Say my name, follow each strand, each curve,
Make a circle on my back for each year
That I've been alive. Add a few more for good luck.
I can't reach you,
I can't reach any of the lights that blow out.

I don't know how hard it is to try not to fall in love.
Loneliness has nothing to do but wait,
And nothing has ever been enough. Be my river,
Intimate and quiet as skin.

Trace me by the starlight of a few drinks,
Trace me with the sleeve of my favorite sweater,
Follow each strand of my hair, sit in from the cold,
I am a girl from a nearby town. Come, stay.