Living on the B side

In a sweater that doesn’t really fit
with skin begging to be scratched,
feet tapping as the computer glitches.
The sun is shining but feels artificial
and the air tastes a little burned
like hot plastic or leftover electricity
after a storm.

The in-love part of me is buried
like tulip bulbs sleeping in winter
so today is like the B-side of a record,
sort of nice but not the music you want.

Today is stale doughnuts, spotty windows,
taunting mirrors, a twisted ankle,
a reach too short, fuzzy edges,
a vacation we’ll never take, heartburn,
and a silent scream, slightly out of tune.

Myth of innocence

He felt invisible in the museum,
as if he melted into the landscapes,
one of the faceless
in an Impressionist frame.
For a few hours, he would float,
lighter inside the thick walls
and careful lighting
than when navigating the real world.
In the museum, he saw rooms in cities
he had never been, stoic flowers,
and faces of women he felt he knew.
He felt innocence creep back in,
from someplace he once knew
and would rediscover every time
he walked into the museum,
where there was no judgement or worry,
just color and light and history.

Barely contained

My basket holds items of escape
like lip balm and books.
I like rifling through the pens,
cords, and hair ties remembering
my mother’s junk drawer and all its magic.

Every time you’d open that drawer,
it was like a different tableau:
green stamps, scissors, scotch tape, pens,
hairbrush, matches, pennies, notepads,
sandwich bag ties, tea bags, rubber bands,
recipes, and postcards all vying for place
in the chaos of the drawer.

I have that basket by my chair that seems
to fill my need to contain a little chaos.
But I also have a work bag that I overstuff
in case of, I don’t know, the apocalypse.
I carry it most days, like a hobo.

At any moment, I can come up with
band aids, lip balm, paper, pen, granola,
mints, antacids, headache medicine, tea,
hair ties, lotion, chargers, paper clips,
tissues, lint remover, nail clippers, masks.
I am sort of known as everyone’s mom,
always prepared. Except I’m rarely ready
for anything. But I like the planning.
The packing. Sorting chaos.

I can barely contain myself.

By firelight

Layers disappear.
Years fade.
We could be Victorian or prehistoric.
There are no titles or expectations.

Light is warmth and definition.
The only guides are hip and hand.
Perfect words are left unspoken.

There is a moment of alignment.
We are enlightenment.

Today’s oasis is a fireplace.
Tomorrow’s could be Antarctica.
We are time with no need of place.

Dreams come to us fully formed.
We are explorers.
There is no need for worry here.
We are all that we need.

Beyond the next wave

The wave of hallelujahs
crash thicker and rougher
some days, stripping away
things that do not matter

overcoming a tender spirit
that persists in reaching
for what is beyond the storm.