Birthmark

Being born with a tornado
on my forehead
is a secret I’ve carried
for too long,
but it’s hard to explain to those
only seeing a faint mark
what it feels like
to hold back storms in the face of
sunsets and soda commercials
dripping with the sincerity
that lord knows is missing
from my deep conversations
with the cashiers and bag boys
who care enough to stack the bread
on top of the bananas.

There is no true digital sepia
as good as the childhood memories
of days in the meadow before it all blew away,
but I may be imagining the whole thing.

Crutches

I feel like I forget what comes first
and which way is blue,
what time is touch,
where are the getting-lost woods?
I feel small in my heavy chair,
wondering about you,
how to make bridges of petals,
and if you miss my voice at all.
I feel yesterday is bigger
but these feet haven’t gone far enough,
sun is not overrated though it’s cocky,
and evenings are too sad alone, like now.

Leave It

Of wind grabbing my hair
through the car window,
begging me to look
outside–
I’ve been here before
and though the road has been repaved,
the break inside is still shaky,
like it could reopen
with a specific jolt
of the wheels.

1979, July, Thursday, 2pm

Walking up to the brown house,
smelling vanilla and sweat,
thumping bass,
combs in back pockets.
Chain link and clapboard siding.
Smoothing hair
then letting it fly.
Watching a turtle tread water
in a disco tank,
cupcakes awaiting frosting
on the counter.
House plants in macrame houses.
Wicker chairs and paper fans
pushing the heat around.
Plastic shoes and wooden masks,
clinging t-shirts with jelly-colored logos
rehearsing secret handshakes
with weeks left of summer.

Light in vain

Clarity is a soft wish
made by men with ties tied too tightly.

Where is the childlike faith
we had in flowering youth?

We’re painting ourselves
into a sterile corner,
with lay-Z boys and pop-top drinks
fizzing to drown out a din of inequity.

What about the miracle of touch
breaching pages of old rules?

Looking for light
is for gardeners and silly dreamers.