today is all of it : a walk on chestnut street : shoe grooves abundant with silt : to write in the present tense requires listening : but at the same time : the grass is asking me to look : in this body, anger : there was : is : a tumult of bird sounds echoing on brick and eucalyptus : to be present is to let all background come undone : this is desert logic : or maybe pond logic : a creek : have yet to decide between sandy expanse and grapevine meadows : both douse solitude with stars : I stare up, parched and vocational : I yearn, feminine : do you hear it? : what others think is silence carries accidental sounds : slipping : present again : a rainstorm collision is also known as a kiss : look, here, the rock sand softens : I couldn’t have written this then or before : only now : you point out growth and systems, like this is made of that : harmony untouched by man : looking for my origin : for courage : to not be in rehearsal but in truth : to be in geologic time, instinctive and sentimental : superabundant being : wells up in my heart : I do not think I was a desert baby : I think that I was trees : and you : were lake
tea at the edge of something.
lately, the writing is all pretend.
I keep saying last year when what I mean
is long ago. three, maybe four.
the world is everything at once and I am
still afraid of your neighborhood.
to dream in apprehension.
to dream of violence, then
reconciliation. my condition
softened over diner eggs, pale yellow
the color of butter.
how to tell a body to relax.
my only claim to womanhood is fear.
this is how I know I still exist:
not parking on your street even
blocks down because I’ve
decided the name is haunted.
hungry months plead and plead.
they take and I give, and now
I am split by nostalgia, erasure,
and an ache for the future.
to wonder when or if.
it will feel smaller.
stretch each morning to show kindness
to my limbs. arriving
left foot then right, cool flat
soles on an indigo rug.
default coiled, rigid. it is hard to
occupy and tend. it is hard to open.
the new place doesn’t have a heater
but it has wood assembled
by my hands, purple lights
I cabled and hung, plants only I have
kept alive. consider it a record
of my mothering. a testament that
my body can make something
good. what could be,
what might be. what must.