We could be in a kitchen,
She and I.
A kitchen in a suburban home
A Saturday afternoon,
for our little boy’s birthday party.
Wood grain cabinetry
and splatter sprayed dry wall.
Light blue balloons,
pink and yellow ones too,
taped to the walls, ceilings,
kitchen appliances, and doorways.
We could be there
the sunlight from windows
to warm us and turn our feelings
To know what it’s like to have
relaxed muscles and breath.
To feel cold iced tea move
over our tongues.
I saw them on a road
On a road in New Zealand
Pine trees rose up like toothpicks
Mountains browned and tired with
sand grains in the distance
She carried her velum curves
They had softened since her younger
Carried them up the slopes by the
He held out his hand asking her to
come back down
She clamored up the dry grass toward
There was a cut on his cheek from her
His cheeks felt like clay
So did his thoughts for his head was
She stayed like a child by the beef jerky
bark of a tree
And when he finally found her he asked
“Barbara why are you doing this?”
She answered him with blank stares
reflecting on her life
She was beginning to fear her old age
This is the alcoholic’s diet of unborn children
Yes, that’s right
Their parents aren’t perfect but wanted
Turning into walls
You didn’t say that sentence properly
Be quiet, you’re giving me a riot
There . . . ghosts!
They live everywhere, even in between the minutes
before watching television
I meant the alcoholic’s diet of unborn children
Not me, not my problem
I don’t have them
Oh just go kill yourself
You drinking again?
I don’t respect you
I had a dream.
It was [blank] and I.
We were walking on what seemed
a neverending 6-inch deep lake.
we suspected the water was really deep.
It was night and the darkness seemed
Just went on and on.
It was really muddy in areas.
We still had our shoes on.
They were soggy and waterlogged.
It felt as if dawn might start turning at
any moment, out on the periphery and
perimeter, though it still remained
blankly dark where we stood.
Maybe it felt like that cuz we had kept
walking and walking into the lake
and due to how much time had passed
it seemed like dawn must come soon.
[blank]’s wife and another woman,
definitely someone I knew but can’t recall
now, were walking out into the lake too,
off in the distance to our left.
It was as if [blank] and I had set off ahead
to see if we could find a path off or through
The women were carrying a really beautiful
blond haired toddler girl named Neal.
When they finally got close
and we were chatting about what to do
the little girl’s blond hair seemed as vibrant
as fresh flowers there in the darkness.
It was calming to have the little girl around
and I started carrying her in my arm like a dad
holds his own girl.
I kept telling her, “You’re adorable Baby Neal.”
She would giggle and ask,
“Why you say this?”, and all I’d say was,
“Just remember as you grow up, remember
what an adorable little girl you used to be.”
Occasionally, I would look out on the lake
and honestly feel a deep fear and uncertainty,
but something about all of us being together
and the little girl being there made me
hold myself together, to not show fear,
to remain calm and move forward into the lake.
I wondered why the women had been off
on their own, carrying Baby Neal earlier.
It was like we had left them on their own
to look after the child, as men often do.
I thought this dream was a lot about life.
As we move through it
we are uncertain at points, but we have
the reference of those around us to continue
goes down under water
the molecules continue
before proton shields
in outer space
to talk to them
the radio signal.
in the brush
of Deschutes Forest
under this sky
for us and everyone else.
in our flesh
that once touched
The bacteria kingdom come
the little nation
undergone a division
a landscape united
a remembrance of courage.
We last in the journey
up a mountain road
July in Oregon
I’m writing of
Oh, to be able to see you again in flesh
in the perfect whiteness of your face and curves
to bend the day
and tell the sun the parable of forgotten ellipses
to see the person who is both
the most real and most unbelievable to me
I have been the most real for you too
but you are scared of that now
scared of my dark eyes that always
received the blue of yours
like space receives the fire of stars
in this fear the sun’s journey has not returned
the winter of my heart
. . . in your vanished wake
So I sit in a hermitage on Earth
or it could be any lone planet in the cosmos
with a fire of low embers burning
my cold frozen toes
and a cough that reveals the taste of metallic
This is the land of my home
you are not at the ancient hearth
The embers burn, slowly, slowly away
and soon will go the existence of all the Universe
that follows in the death of the sun
you will not remember me
changed and aged
of what you have become
ages of past
looking at the chalky desert
what we’ll have become
an empty room
“who was this?”
you will answer
“Sweetheart, I do not know”
were in the
in the morning
after a shower
to look into
chestnut brown hair
and watch it
curl down your breasts
with your watery blue eyes there
flashing the lights
your potent curves
and the overall
of your face
a son or daughter
I used to
look into the mirror
I used to
look into the mirror
I don’t look in the mirror anymore
That bathroom only
exists in outer space
floating quickly away
into the Universe
to a place no one will ever know