Safe enough


By 43, I think, in addition to knowing the right brassiere for any occasion, I should know how to say goodbye. I should be able to say goodbye with conviction, without looking back. At least, I feel like I should be able to do this. But I am always looking back, hoping for one last glimpse, one more wave. No wonder my neck and spine hurt all the time. I ache with goodbyes.

Not love (a sestina)

Yes, I would rather sleep alone than fight

and this is why I sleep alone. A drunk?

Not too late, my first last career. I write

already, my prerequisite word sea

dotted by empty green bottles. But sex.

You were saying? I liked it with you. Love--

The second-best shower

He loved me when he was drunk. There was a simple equation at work, not hard to follow: the drunker he was, the more he loved me. He grinned red-faced on that June night in his corner of the backseat of the cab. The red-faced grin: the closest thing to love I'd come to know on his face.

Sea shell, snowshoe, circumstance

In last night's dream I could run pretty fast:
tenth place in the 5k that involved climbing
wobbly circus ladders through plastic sheeting.
I did not stop for water. When I got home,
Lady Gaga received me well in my bed.

Then I drove five hours north to see you in
Montreal, a place in which neither of us has
ever lived. 

I'm mad because I don't know how to ask you for lasagna

It doesn't take much for me to decide, at long stupid last, that there is no God.

A dog skull does the trick, this afternoon. I'm cured. 

The dog no bigger than a large cat leaps onto the couch into the same space and at the same moment I am reaching for--what? Who knows now. The puppy's small dense skull collides with my left eye socket. She is unscathed (the whole fucking world, even a dog, knows how to shake itself off and walk away untouched--pain is remarkably optional for many) but I reel from the impact.

The pain is a fresh pain, at least, something new. That triggers the tears I've been holding at bay for days. I press the heel of my hand to my brow, sobbing furiously and instantly. The pain as an isolated moment is not the issue. It's a dogpile of pain that won't let up, accompanied by self-commentary so vicious, I would drive a knife into the eye of anyone who spoke to my daughters in the same way. 

How to write your tween at camp

First, grumble fuck a duck under your breath when you realize you have to spend another $19.95 for the right to correspond for two weeks with the creature you were in labor with for 40 hours straight, the baby who rendered your vagina a Level 5 Haz Mat situation, the daughter you have kept alive for 12 years despite poor culinary skills, the confounding little broad who stares at your left eyebrow with her mouth slightly agape when you try to explain that hygiene is really a very exciting thing.  Yes. Fork over $19.95 to Bunk Notes for a third year in a row. Bunk Notes: the Official Hostage Converter for Summer Campers.

The stories with nowhere to go

Time took care of most stories.
It was a massacre, I could not watch, you're
lucky to live so ever-far. I envy you that, I covet your stoic silence
and hate you for it and when I say hate you I mean love you with 
the very last thread of what I have and what I am

Senseless? Fine. I am weary of short words posing as sense.

To think I might have touched your face.
I still don't know what bravery means to you.