Watching for Embers

 

Watching for Embers

Starting again.
Over.
Old to new.
Broken to patched.
Curled around
to upright.
Blowing out a candle
and transitioning from
wicks and fire
to electric light.

Letting eyes blink in awe
of a power
before unknown
but here
now
blinding and stark and
driving out shadows.

No going back.
Don’t want to go back.
That way is darkness.
That way is dripped wax
and blistered fingers
and the risk that
any strong gust
can turn illumination
to devastation
flicker
to uncontrolled flames.

Going back is
peeling skin
back on the corpse,
sliding and slickness,
evading re-animation.

Too alive to go back.

But looking back,
can’t be stopped,
headstone keep the body buried,
the body unable to rise
but the head can still turn.

Left alone, that ember,
that red memory
can spring to life.
A careful bellow
and guided hollow
and the ash and orange
return to dance.
What the pyre didn’t consume before
it now takes to sate
midnight hunger.

Done on purpose.
With purpose?
Having the courage
to plunge down the snifter
but not the will to seal it,
not able to strangle it
letting the smallest whisper
of air in
to encircle and
keep alive
what could be killed.

But can’t be killed.

The wisp of smoke
kisses life into the lungs.
A center of magic
if the new world
and its promises fail.

Undisturbed, it waits,
wills,
wants
the chance to
consume.

The ember watches.

Lost Feminist


I don’t think I’m a bed feminist.

But I’m definitely a lost one. 

I’ve gotten so entwined in the idea of being equal that I’ve lost sight of being me. 

Every man I bring close into my life, I find myself eventually treating as a competitor. 

And I won’t even get started on how I massacre my self-worth when I share my world with a woman. 

I don’t want to wage this war. I don’t have a competitive code in my DNA. My heart can’t endure it. 

Until it comes to the person with whom I share my life. It’s not that I want to win. I simply need to be seen as a cohort and colleague, not a student. 

You starting a blog? So will I. 

You learning to cook? Me too 

Becoming fluent in Spanish? Lo mismo. 

And you know what? 

It’s exhausting. I’m barely crawling out of bed with the weight and heft of it. 

Worst? I bring every second of it on myself. 

That’s not feminism. That’s self-defeating bullshit. 

Feminism does not mean being the same. That’s being a middle-school girl. 

I don’t have to play guitar to be equal to my partner. I don’t have to be as strong of a writer. I don’t have to have as much money in the bank. 

What I do have to be is better. 

Better me. Not another version of them. 

Not fitting in and re-informing every heinous stereotype of the the nightmare over-sensitive woman. 

Asking for help, coming for instruction from someone who has had the luxury of education and experience is not weakness. It feels vulnerable but in that is the potential for growth. That’s empowerment. 

Treating a person as their own and not holding them accountable for reparations for every mid-deed I’ve encountered before we met. 

Let them make their own mistakes. I’ll be making mine, to be sure. That’s equality and respect. 

I know there’s peace on the other side. I can see it. The warmth of the light peaking is warming my fingers. 

I have words to give. And love. And compassion. And curiosity. And listening. And a willingness to work. That’s what I have. 

I don’t have to be the same. 

I don’t have to be better than. 

I can be a little lost. 

In the end, I know where I am. 

Bare

 

Money where your mouth is.

 

Bare

In the seats, she sits
tight,
muscles close,
curled,
covered with
layers against the fright
of exposure.

She can’t do what
they …
spread
aware
available
dare.

Where do they hide
the view inside
clear
from the back of the room?

The seams are all
she has
for protection
behind her seams
she seems
unstoppable
un-top-able.

She holds the words
and directs the steps.

She says when they
all
stop.

And she pulls her knees
in,
as the other she arches
away
from her
and they both
wish they had the words

to take away every word

she’s piled on
layer
on top of
thin on top of
thick
that isn’t deep enough.

Not enough to hide.
Not enough to…
Don’t take that off,
don’t take that away.

She moves like that
in her mind.
Unattached.
Unrestricted.
Ungartered
she gathers
the tokens,
the flattery,
the anxious
unctuous
words
for the brass
she knows them to be.

She’s cold.
Her mind
reminds.
She stops moving like them.
Starts not moving
like her.

She binds herself
again,
constricting love,
breath, belief, trust;
where those dig in her ribs,
but al least she’s the one
pulling at the stays.
And that won’t hurt
as much as
a vacant chest.

Waiting,
for another dance,
another chance,
to care enough
to let even one
see her.

Barely.
Truly.
Bare.

My new novel about vulnerability, exposure and regaining ownership of ourselves Drowning Above Water is available now through Amazon.