Tag Archives: else

86. i think she knew

through my paperround last year i met a wonderful man. he used to walk his dog as i’d deliver papers and we started talking around the time i started writing this blog. i think he’s 82: he must have mentioned it a while back. and i’m afraid there’s nothing literary about him: his existence is one of uncouth coutesy.

i quit the paperround a while back now but i still see him every sunday. nine o’clock in the morning, like church. he’s my little christian connection: even S is nowhere near taking his place. he gave me a bible with a picture of him in his youth stuck at the back, so that i remember him. secretly, i think, he believes that it will help me find him in heaven: he believes i will go there after all. 

to my friends, this man is “the old man”. to me, he is much more than that. it may be true that i meet him every sunday partly because i feel like it’s my obligation, but also because somewhere beneath my skin there’s a tendon that connects me to him.

his wife died last night. or the night before that. and there’s no more words because i’m hurting for him. because how can one even begin to describe his pain?

i had made them a card only this march: they celebrated their 60th wedding annivesary.

sometimes he told me he wondered if she ever loved him but i know that was only because he loved her more than anything else. ever.
and it’s a little late for him to tell her, but i hope she knew. i think she knew.

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this field

you can have the whole of me in this field:
i pressed my soul into its loins
and beads of sweat still glisten
on the body learning to tango
in the outpour of rain.

i will surrender only here
so take care not to move even a strand of hair
from beneath the tree where i will lay through my whole life,
as if dying prematurely,
for this is home and i forbid you.

a day will come when spring will open me enough
for sun to shine
into the roots of the old cambridge tree
and open up
the rest of me.

—————————————————————-

i’ve been writing this poem for a while now and it feels forever unfinished. maybe that’s just me, always a word out, a syllable in. and then i give up and start something else. at the end of the day, however, i always come back to this. and the oldest tree in cambridge.

85. cherry soda loves

there was a line in streetcar named desire that i remember. it said it’s touching to notice them making their first discovery of love! As if nobody had ever known it before.  it resonates, for now the time has come for the bud to be broken and flowers to bloom in the late-spring night air.

the risk is nothing. nothing, really. there are only the long sprawling afternoons this side of summer, when paper is scrunched up into tiny little balls and burnt with a magnifying glass or matches. whichever, the result is all that matters. words are nothing: this air requires action! 
and there are trees, so beautiful this time of year. they remind me of walking to school in the summer and inhaling the scent of apple tree blossom with T. those were the days, eh?

but now, no now, those buds will open and blossom will scatter into the hands of a handsome young man that we choose. for me, this sweltering summer, it’ll be you. and, god willing (an expression i borrowed from an altogether more believing friend of mine), next summer also. for T (if we were boys, she’d be a brother from another mother) it will be someone else. Her new beau (a rather lovely Tenessee expression!). her very first. amazing stength and will and beauty.

so here we are, and isn’t it queer to think we shall be here always? in the arms of another, in the throes of spring, the coming summer alighting hopes in every single one of us, as if petards were thrown at the pavement before us, at our feet, at our willing young hearts?

and we can’t help this feeling hopeful. and we can’t pretend we didn’t want this life.
so every year, like clockwork, we will be discoving those cherry soda loves and shedding blossom in each other’s arms.

84. that will be all

it’s time for answers. or questions. whichever. 
a fellow writer inspired me to think about a few. and they started the clock tick-tocking inside my mind: what did a girl like me want anyhow? what is the dream, the true ideal?

 

1. i’d like a picture of you on my windowsill by my bed: to keep, to hold, to treasure. it will be my reminder that you exist and when i wake up in the middle of the night, wondering if i dreamt up my whole life, i want it there to touch. it’ll be solid in my hands. a relic. and it’ll be in a mosaic picture-frame we’ve yet to buy. in barcelona or in paris (just because i like the way you say it) or in a magic place far away.

2. i’d like to have you on call, running to me whenever i need you there and sometimes just because. you know: for no reason, just because i want to be in your arms where it’s never lonely.  

3. and i want you to have eyes for nobody else but me, following me, stalking me, penetrating me anew with every gaze. i want them to ask me for affirmation of my love every morning and i want them to drown me whole, as if they were not eyes but lagoons of clear-blue water in devon, on hot summer afternoon, when all you want is to immerse yourself whole in water .

4. but more than anything, i’d like to know that this is where you want to be: here with me.

5. that will be all.

80. this once, its more than enough

bonne anniversaire!

i like the way it rings, reverbrating from the eardrums straight into the heart. it’s been a year.
only.
already.
and i don’t know how to feel, i just feel the need to thank you for the knowledge that someone in the world matters more than the world itself. je t’adore. and i’m not joking. sometimes, not too often, i catch myself pause in the middle of the sentence when i look at you because thoughts that flush into my head like tapwater into a blocked sink.

i’d say remember, but you do. every word i say. you’re magic, you hear me? maybe. telekenisis? unlikely. but know, if you do, that though you’re not here but somewhere else, my feeling never wanes. artificial flowers never wilt; real emotion never dies. sometimes it just recedes to the back of the mind. like magic.

you gave me the rosary beads from your first communion as a gift this morning. placed it along with your card on my porch. and i swear, i didn’t know what to do. it seemed like so much. a universe of you in my palm. 
and i couldn’t wait to ask you about the meaning, though i knew. and you knew that i do. it’s a game we play because neither of us likes losing.

it’s a symbol that i’m ready to learn about it with you. and i can’t be sure that’s exactly what you said, but that’s what i heard.

and i’m stuck for words, but i sit here clutching at metal and plastic made to look like glass in silence and i know wherever i go, you’ll follow.
sometimes emotion is enough to fill the silence. this once, its more than enough.

75. dear world, i’m writing to you tonight

dear world, i’m writing to you tonight. everyone else is either waiting for my call or doesn’t care at all and i’m tired of always turning up on time, of always taking no more than is mine, of feeling guilty for having the sheer components of this life.

i’m meant to be hopeful. imagine! i’m meant to dream, as if i haven’t dreamt all my life. i’m meant to be good, as if i’m not already on my best behaviour. i’m meant to burn without fire. is this what they call desire? surely not!

i’m told i have an addition to my caged harem. S. whipped into submission, you’d think. can you think, dear world?
another poor boy. never out of my sight, never in my bed. i should either lay him or let him go, no? no.

i will be crude tonight for i have an itch in my gut. the bile of the world is rising in my throat. and you can gloat. dear world, please gloat. because i will keep on living, so long dear god keeps forgiving all my wrongs and rights.

66. as we stand there

what moved me yesterday was not the explosion after explosion in the sky, nor the coldness enveloping us in a tightly huddled mass of warm bodies. it was the way you looked at me, as if seeing me for the first time. or the last time. and i don’t know how much truth there is in the world, but so long you keep looking at me like that, my heart will long for yours.

yesterday was an annivesary in ways. 7 months, but more than that. 
i was with X then, and with Y to an extent, but that night, a year ago, you held my hand in yours, warming it, holding me gently under the fireworks and the stars. a friend and no more, keeping me warm placidly yet wanting me wholly.
now i’m yours solely.
please burn for me still.

this was the poem i wrote for you a year ago. and now you know.

a drizzle of rain warms me up
like your hands on mine, polishing the silver
the ground not yet ready to settle, the sky – to erupt
and we are languishing in the middle
of the broken
reverie
I conceived with someone else

smiling in knowing
you’d carry my life on your shoulders if I let you
bequeathing me your last breath as a parting present
but how could I ever justify your love or lust
as we stand there under the unremitting gaze of stars
almost like an audience awaiting the typical finale
my heart so suddenly awake

wanting to take
all that you offer, grab it in handfuls
frigid hands clasping yours with the ferocity
that would make you bleed and leave crescent shapes
as a memory of my need
living signature of my greed
instead I leave you with a seed

of hope.