i made a point to shake 2016 off a full seven hours before the stroke of midnight with some deep meditation and a healthy dose of ugly crying. but i held tight to the tunes that carried me through the year, and two days into 2017, they still have me reaching for the volume dial. no baggage here, just feel good jams best served loud and spread round.
welcome me to the future, y’all. let’s make it bright.
p.s. notably missing rom the above: “Freedom” from Beyonce’s Lemonade (damn Spotify library)
when they took you
if they noticed your smell,
that comforting mix of cool metal, warm leather,
and the more elusive qualities of age.
did they have trouble with the downshift
into first, like i always did,
or note the gentle “put-put” scales
of your acceleration?
could they feel the familiar slump
to your driver’s seat,
the way the back grooved just so,
a perfect echo of another’s body?
was that intimacy enough to make even
their heart blush?
was there more than one of them?
and, if so,
did the second one feel
the satisfying heft of your door clanking shut?
were my toeprints still there,
on the dash, and the windshield,
gauzing their view of the getaway route?
did they attempt to unroll
your fickle passenger side window,
finding, finally, that
jingle-jangle rhythm of release?
did they slide, intuitively, into that place
you always held,
elbow slung out the window,
neck nestled against your seat,
hair tousled (illicitly) by the passing breeze?
and did they smile, in spite of themselves
and the cold sting of their departure?
i wouldn’t blame them.
life always felt better from that spot.
were their silhouettes
the same as ours, framed
by the gentle arc of your rear window,
and the ruby glow of your tail lights?
or did they read,
through the noir haze of late night,
like the fugitives they were?
did they feel the way the world looked at you
how you were a gateway
to so many unplanned conversations,
so many unorchestrated connections?
when they looked at you
if they saw only the price tags dangling
from your disembodied parts.
or did they also understand
the shared history they were dismantling,
the planned future they were tearing apart?
did they know
that just two blocks away
slept a man, a woman,
and one little boy,
who would miss you everyday
like a lost piece of their own hearts?
december 28, 2016
pictured: (1) jeff koons; (2) takashi murakami; (3) jean-michel basquiat; (4) roy lichtenstein; (5-6) cy twombley
a hundred bombs a day —
a thousand —
with the very core
of your being,
into the very synapses
of your soul
but then later,
the folding up small
into one another
inhabiting the same space
returning to the same
like sneaking past
the monster’s den
on the tippy toes
of your breath,
waiting for the tremble
in the earth
bracing for the roar
but then after,
the storm past,
light spilling from your smile
from your eyes
melting the memory
of colder hours.
like trying to
tame the lion
knowing that it can’t help the truth
of it’s own wildness,
that it will bite the hand
that feeds it
but then at night,
your voice in the darkness,
calling out for me.
that’s what i’ll tell you
when you ask
what it was like
when you were two.
december 13, 2016
everybody in this country was feeling some kind of way this morning. winners. losers. hims. hers. dark, light, rich, poor, red, blue, educated or not. we all had a stake in what happened last night, just as we all have a stake in what lies ahead. i’m not afraid to admit i was saddened by last night’s results. not so much because of who won or lost, but because of the principles that appear to be the prevailing voice of this country. what’s done is done, and yes, moving forward means coming to terms with the outcome presented to us. but i refuse to accept that a great America is one built on a foundation of fear, hate, exclusion and aggression. whatever our politics, whatever our individual needs, we cannot hope for betterment as people, and as a nation, if we can’t stay connected to our own shared humanity. so as we look ahead, let us do so with understanding in mind and compassion at heart. let the path forward be a bridge that unites us, not an endless valley filled with resentment, anger, and disappointment. yes, let’s be great, America, but let us also be full of grace. let us find the dignity in respectfulness, and the courage behind love. that’s a future i’m proud to stand behind; that’s a future that gives me hope for my son, for us all.
(as a mother)
when you realize what you have to do
let go of
doesn’t make it
to watch you grow up.
may 19, 2016
plastic shovel in my suitcase
miniature shoes by the front door
car seat framed in my rearview mirror
letter magnets in my underwear drawer
little handprints on the mirrors
yesterday’s lunch still on my shirt
puzzle pieces in my work bag
toy cars constantly underfoot
tiny toothbrush in the bathroom
sunday’s paper now torn apart
discarded pickle in dada’s shoe
refrains from books i know by heart
colored chalk dust in the driveway
collection of buckets on the stoop
floating letters in the bathtub
conversations we’ve got on loop
bright thread woven throughout my day,
bread crumbs leading me back to what’s true,
the signs and symbols of my child,
i’ve come to cherish
these pieces of you
february 3, 2016