Saturday, June 29, 2013

New, heavy poems...

Untitled 1 - 6/2013
When I was little,
I developed a crush on the Illustrated Man.
My reasoning, such as it was,
centered on the fact that,
when we fell asleep together at night,
I would be surrounded by stories.
I was young enough to think that stories
were the most exciting nocturnal activities two people could get up.
Obviously, I know better now.

But it is also true that bedtime stories told on skin
are a wonder to behold.
Like how, when you wrap my sleep self in your arms,
a raven stares me in the face.
And the story of that raven
shows me you in new ways,
and knits into my skin, too.

Your stories are walking away soon
and some other person
will see ravens in their sleep
and wake to dandelion men.
I will try not to envy these invisible someones.
You came along when I needed a lifeline
and it will take time to absorb that,
your stories are signs
that point to the inevitability of bodies coming together
in a way that might last longer than tomorrow.
So thank you for that.

I think it is true that some people
leave a trail of broken hearts behind them.
But I think you are the opposite -
behind you is a trail of startled, awakened people,
grateful for your stories.

If you were anyone else,
embarking on a journey into the unknown,
I would tell you to be safe.
But you've got a skin filled with stories, son,
and an honest heart.
You're one of the lucky ones -
everywhere you go, you'll always have all that you need.

Your raven told me that before I fell asleep,
so you know it's true.

Untitled 2 - 6/2013
I don't know if you can see,
from where you are,
but my spine is a mountain range,
covered loosely with skin.
And every time I start missing you
so hard I lose my breath,
I stop
and breathe in mountains instead.
I think
"I am strong."
"I can endure."
"I am mountains."
"I am strong."
"I am mountains, mama."
"I will live."

And it helps.
Until it doesn't.
Until that day
where the range of my spine crumbles,
like yours did.
"I am weak, mama."
"My mountains are falling."
"I am weak, mama."
"I will die, mama.
Don't leave me alone."

Can you hear me from where you are?
Those angels have such noisy wings.
Human voices must seem like static
amongst all those hallelujahs.
So I will learn to climb
the crumbling mountains of my own spine
and create my own pulpit,
there where it all comes apart.
And I will speak truths I hope will reach you.
"I am weak, mama."
"I will live."
"I am mountains, mama."
"I will die."
"We all will die. You just got there first."
"I am mountains, mama."
"We are mountains, mama."

But you were mountains first.
You will still be mountains, mama,
long after my spine crumbles
and turns to dust.