Elastic Limit

Elastic Limit

I’ve never heard you laugh like that
he said as we swung
from the end of our rope
tied up and together
working with one hand
for all of us

The ethereal dentist hears you smile
and will check
your teeth
for cavities
before you open your mouth
again

Pull your cheeks until
your lips crack
from neglect
as if you have time
when you keep losing
your balms
easy when you
carry so many bags

Stretch
and give
and ache
and will another inch
because they need it

It’s going to snap
and your skin will                                                                                                                                           bear the blister from the shear

Buy another chapstick
Stack another box
Load another worry

Pray the elastic holds

and the limits forgive

Immovable

 

I stopped moving

That pile in the corner
crepitus
became locked

base of oversensitive and
siding of overreacting
ten penny nails of
insecure
hoisting the whole thing
just shy of collapse

because that where the real fun is

the disaster

splinter and crack
that’s where you can ooze in
squeeze between every
fiber
so the rust can set in

looks bright and copper
at first
gleaming

when the very sacs of
air that brought back life
are twisting the oxygen
to bring ruin

The next morning
I put my shoulder to the works
and get pushed away
no headway
with the machine
must be because
I’m so fragile
levers frozen
joints clawed
into each other

immovable

A wonder
why I can’t move

on

 

If you would like to read more of my dark yarns, my new poetry collection The Gone Side of Leaving and my debut novel Drowning Above Water are now out on their own in the world.

The Gone Side of Leaving

Drowning Above Water

Hides

Hides, it does

Tucked in forgotten drawers

Cozy under the bed, warmed by dust and lint

Sometimes I wipe it clean and hold it in my hands

The hurt

Nostalgic remembering

When we were thick friends

On the pillow together

Faded Polaroid

From a mistaken photographer

The image was meant to mollify

It murdered

I dig up

Bones and flesh

Surprised by its

Incorruptible

Resilient

Buried

But

Not dead

But there is wine

For the cemetery picnic

And cake

To feed

The happy living

When they learn

So I plant it back

Among the webs

And smile

Knowing I’m now the keeper

Of the hidden rest

 

My words are meant for hidden reading. My poetry collection The Gone Side of Leaving and my debut novel Drowning Above Water are now available.

The Gone Side of Leaving

Drowning Above Water

Wishbone

There wasn’t a wishbone

Nothing to fight
Nothing to break
Nothing to lose

I didn’t think to notice

Everything I wanted was ahead of me
on the stairs

Only took climbing up
after falling down
to see

I’m afraid to look back

The sun is mauve and orange
and warm colors of gratitude

I don’t want to remember
the white and black
of loss

When today is so good
and things

not known                                                                                                                                                       not trusted                                                                                                                                                           not wished

are true

Choked

I walked to work

with a wet scarf

choked

taut

pulled

from both

side

dampness

in two directions

moisture

most of it rain

but

little

least of it

was tears

More of it was snot

I’m sure

That’s what parenting is

Some days

Rain

Tears

Snot

If you’re lucky

you also get

a shower

a different sort of wet

a smile

and a hug at

the end of the night

uncloaked

unchoked

dry

As It Should

It’s unnerving

The first time the nerves

Don’t fire pain and

Fire as they

Not that they should

Falling asleep myopic

But waking up and not reaching

For glasses because you find

you don’t need them

Not as it should

But is it

If it doesn’t hurt

How can you remember

If my brain fires

Synapse strikes

But I pull my hand back

Before it reaches out

Then another hand isn’t

Reaching from

The other side

Anymore

And that’s not

as lonely

Not as I should

As I am.

My new poetry collection The Gone Side of Leaving is now available.

The Gone Side of Leaving

Safety

Some parents use their kids as an excuse. Gets them out of work dinners, their own dental visits or unenthusiastic sex. The young creatures are marvelous scapegoats for these tasks. I know. I’ve done it all.

I’m afraid I’ve knit my child into my own safety net.

Didn’t chase the career I wanted?

It’s okay. I had a kid.

Tanked relationships?

It’s okay. I had a kid.

Another rejection letter for a writing piece?

It’s okay. I had a kid.

Except it’s not always okay.

My son is my life. And I don’t know if that’s always a good thing.

Some parents do incredible work with child raising as their primary focus. My mother was one of these parents. It’s still mind-boggling to me, remembering and watching to this day the sacrifice and giving she extending to caregiving.

I’m far more selfish.

Or maybe not.

There are many things about this life that aren’t enough for me. I want to swing and fly and walk the right rope. And I do it all with a net, just in case.

I don’t think that makes any more or less. Parents who strictly parent are awe-inspiring. Parents who run companies and are in love and volunteer to feed sick kittens are equally miraculous.

Me? I don’t fit in either box. I’m the one flat on her back, bouncing on a stretch of ropes and knots, still reeling from my most recent fall.

I hope there’s still time to get back up on the high wire again.