Invocation

If it is a clean-shoe and giggling stroll through the park, on the crispest of days, you’ll always be yearning for fire, desperate for even a flicker. If it is wrapped in satin and bought at the mall, you’ll wonder what the cotton feels like that she made from pieces of her youth and drapes around her shoulders every full moon. If she sums it up with memes and words she never wrote, you’ll remember the maddening covet, propelling you from just a sentence once scribbled on your refrigerator. From the oval pattern of her steps leading to the passenger side of your car, to the song in her sighs, and sage oil in her hair, she is leaving you wishing to be able to explain the phenomenon, whether you are beside her, or watching her twirl under the water below you, 52 feet deep.

I hope that while you lick batter off of your fingers, you momentarily feel as though they are my own, and that the .02-second-moment leaves you mute for the entire day. When you are slipping on your smile-for-the-picture, teeth-baring grin, which you have practiced since the 1st grade, and you’re standing near the entrance of a cafe built in 1943, I hope that the melody to escape the splinter-ridden doors cradles itself onto your skin, and follows you home. You place it into the box of items you don’t have an answer to, a file cabinet, a category, a label for. And you continue to play it, long after you’ve forgotton all names.

She is entrancing you on your living room floor, adoring your heart by way of devotional movement. You wake up and wonder where your mind had to go in order to conjure such gestures. In your waking hours, in the layer of reality just under what can be seen, you spend your time looking out for anything as tantalizing as what you see in your dreams.

I hope she writes you poetry that scares your name out of you–yes. If she doesn’t invoke The Absolute Entirety of Your Heart, she isn’t the one. The Unravelling of The Fabric of All You Think You Know, waking up cooled beneathe branches of spider-webbed new, and dying-sinking trees, on earth men have not paved or trimmed for your ease or your liking, the truth swiftly moves to sit it’s page on your forehead: you have never fallen in love with The Woods, for how could you, if you’ve never set sail to meet her?

In all the tender reasons we fall for people, may The Ability to Fly be one of yours.

I know you like simple, straightforward and logical sequences that fit into an understanding militaristic, routined, and packaged. I know that a psychology textbook brings you momentary relief from the incessant plea for rationale–the ever-liquidating “Live, Laugh, Love” mug you hold in your hands. False Order giving you temporary satisfaction. This is not a homely or agreeable Tale of Good and Evil. Predictability will not  suffice. A torn page in your Book of Being is in tatters on the street, and you’ve tried in vain to make your story meaningful without it. Kept afloat by definitions, you peel away at life vests you’ve been prescribed for too long. You long to be brave, to gaze deeply into the faces you don’t want others to see.

 

 

 

 

Lemon Juice & Papaya

Lemon Juice & Papaya

<Published in Hawai’i Pacific University’s Wanderlust October 2009>

Tall sticky grass whipped away at our skin.
We kept running through thickets knowing,
not thinking about what we wanted.
People shook their heads,
Nah beb no be shame, fuck um.
Ok you pull them off and I’ll catch.
We still just took what we needed, taught each other how
the green fruit sat under the window
everyday, almost ready,
tie-dyed orange and yellow. Then
slicing through pudding,
the tiny slippery dark seeds were
nestled like fish eggs.
Mouth watering, we took in
the pungent sweet scent.
A subtle juicy tartness, but you
liked yours with a little more zing,
lemon juice.
Ho beb you gotta try um l’ dis.
So I did,
still do.

When was the last time you had anything like that?
Waves are knocking on walls of rocks I cannot see
under my feet, and your laugh
vibrates my head, as your own
sun brown gold cheeks lift
around a cloud-white smile. Then all
I taste in my eyes,
throat, heart, tongue,
is salt.