Small Town Living

March 19, 2013

I live on top of a hill where I can be alone.  My new plastic vacuum cleaner leaves tidy plush lines and the stove has never been turned on.  My bedroom is as hot as I like and go to bed early and sweat through the night.  It feels like something bad will happen any minute and I’ll lose it all.


Cemetery Visit

November 23, 2012

I haven’t been back to your grave.  Long shiny cars, older but well-kept, meander what looks more like a walkway than a road.  I’m not sure if/how you are supposed to drive through it.

You are buried in the same cemetery where my grandmother’s remains are.  That chill grey day of her funeral I went out in the muck with my fancy shoes as though I would find your grave easily.

Today I’m not sure if the little building at the entrance contains a directory.  I don’t go inside.  I drive, then walk around looking for the hill from my memory of that day.

That memory is out-of-proportion,.  We are gathered on top of a green hill.  There is no memory of any other graves, just yours, your grey and white casket on a hill and under a sky like a Microsoft ad from that era.  Today in November the low hills are nothing like my memory.  I see your teacher arrive (and this is nearly funny, the way I see this) he rises over the hill like a pilgrim, or a Wise Man from the East, I almost see the air waver in front of him as though from the heat of the desert.  I see him with walking stick and robes, his real gear connected in my mind, I guess, with the tools and garments needed to survive in an uninhabitable place.  His presence thrills me.

I sit with our friend, for a minute, holding hands.  The two of us cross legged in front of that hole in the earth and the box containing the garbled, desecrated remains of you.

The memory of my resolve, glossy-eyed and far-sighted, seems shameful now in light of the grief that followed.  The worst wasn’t over.  But I knew that too.

I don’t find your grave today, I don’t stumble on it.  It seems like everyone here is so long dead.  I still haven’t been back, not in ten years.


March 9, 2012

No matter how much of it, it won’t console me.  Presents and acts of service, the words, though he was more generous with those in the beginning.  His body in his moonlit room, where we sleep together, where I cling to his back when I wake with too few hours until I must get up again.  Never alone in years, I’ve let them in.  I’ve slammed doors, smashed glass, cried at night when I didn’t get it back. And they never give it back.

Your birthday

November 9, 2011

I know it’s sneaking up and for months it pulses in the background, but at the same time I wrongly expect it will not touch me, that at most I will be safe in that near silent coherence we all have, we who love you, for one more year.  But every year something happens.

There is the cool hard stone inside, that still and water-worn thing I am.  And there is another me that didn’t ask for this.  To have this matter arranged in the form of me.  To suffer.  The way you suffered in spite of your good fortune, your beauty, your youth.

I don’t wish you were here.


September 12, 2011

When I am home, I will be better. I’ll eat less, drink less. Make things. Laugh with friends and visit my grandmother. Plant a garden. Read, sew, knit. Get a cat. Hang my pictures and make tea. Paint. Breathe deeply… I won’t feel it any more, that suffocating pressure.

The ugly crunch in my belly will be gone. The sullen lines between my eyebrows will smooth out. I’ll stop touching my face. I will be where I belong at last.

But how will I ever, ever leave him?


August 10, 2011

I want you.

RenFaire Psychic

July 20, 2011

“You don’t know if you love this man.”

It wasn’t what I had expected to hear.


April 24, 2011

It’s just that my heart breaks when I come home to him this way. Home is where I want to be.


April 21, 2011

Do you throw that away, for what? For the last awkward Red Rose tea Sunday with your grandmother, for your poor brother?

Those eyes and that cool pebble. The more I think about it.


April 18, 2011

Whispering in the dark, the white sheets, his body warm but skin cool to the touch. An insolent rain flung against the window.

In the morning the sorrow drawn out, his hand, over my heart.

If he could just put me in his pocket and carry me around. If I could just stop keeping it together, let the fibers pull apart and fit in the space in between, feel only that, only him, he whose hand over my heart, drawing it out of me.