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January 26, 2016

the drift

The snow came exactly like the forecast said it would, and we waxed nostalgic
about the fireplaces and jigsaw puzzles and hot chocolate of our youth,
marshmallows still floating at the rims. Overnight, the neighborhood got buried under,
and it was perfect, like the heat of those mugs in our young hands, like the pieces
we gentled into place, like woodsmoke rising up a chimney in a storybook curl.

You know where I'm going, right? How these fantasies dispersed as the pileup swelled?
How the kids withdrew into their rooms, and we followed suit, and the puzzle box
turned sepia from neglect, and we reached for an early tumbler of bourbon for warmth?

Outside, the blanket thickened in the drift and the streets stayed empty, and somewhere
we couldn't see it, a moon was rising above us, full as ever.


January 19, 2016

tuning in

Yesterday, it was the call to make dessert for the ones you love, and the kitchen
became a theater of heavy cream and good intentions. Later, you needed
the deserted island of a blank page, and the next day, a run followed by the hottest shower
your body could stand. This morning, a litany of lists pulling at your sleeve,
you wandered through the quiet rooms of your house, waiting for the coffee to brew,
for something to take shape in the dark. You realize, often, how your movements look
a little on the shifty side, your path fashioned by a compass few can recognize or follow.
And yet here you are, covering ground nevertheless, leaning into the instrument of your heart,
building the map song by song, even when the notes toss you somewhere you never intended.
Especially when they do.


January 12, 2016

fold along dotted line

The letter that says "no thanks." The call that doesn't come. The roast
never admired for its long, slow braise. The floor, swept clean,
then marked too soon by an onslaught of boots. The argument that ripples
long after its conclusion. The art that never manages to make it on the page.
We tell ourselves to break our grip, move on, let go of the outcome we'd fashioned
in the warm cocoon of our best-case scenarios. We're told there are better fish to fry,
to climb back on the horse, keep tossing our hat into the ring, and other metaphors
which fall - let's say it - far too flat. Because here we are, rattled and heart-sore,
bent at the seams in strange and unkempt angles, feeling the sharpness of each crease,
hungrier for tenderness than release.  


January 5, 2016

an open letter to a new year

Who knows what your pages have to say, how the thickness of their stock
will take the beating of bad weather, which narratives will spill on and
which will come full stop, what characters will wave their arms for attention,
if the spine will hold for the long haul. And yet, I don't want to get too far ahead of you,
rush along the liminal fog banks where it looks like nothing much
is happening, or squeeze past the close quarters of the stuffier chapters, or fix
my sights only on the glossy extravagance of words when it's silence or touch
that will bring the surer understanding. So here we are, you and I, not quite
beginning so much as we are...extending. You, with your binding cracked free,
and I, like clockwork, sniffing for poetry.


December 29, 2015

where the warmth is

The floor is an obstacle course of spent wrapping. The couch, a tangle
of tired limbs. The coffee doesn't revive. Wine doesn't blur the edges.
We think we've tipped the limit of our offerings, and while the effort could have
rendered us pliant and soft-hearted, we are, instead, crafting an armature of separate,
quiet desires, imagining highways we might have traveled had we not spotted
this one, crucial detour. And yet when escape bats her long, dramatic eyelashes,
we do not follow. The window where she points her gaze opens only to a wall. 
So we fold our bodies further into this room, where the warmth is, say
"I'm not leaving you" in the various ways that animals talk to each other, 
as the wilderness spreads before us, its scatter of gifts right under our feet.