Poem Every Day in July 9: At the Shoreline


“Oh, I’ll just call a taxi; I gotta get up early tomorrow again.”

-Dodie Clark, “6/10”

To think that the ocean came all this way
for a chance to lap at your toes

is foolish, but you can’t help remembering
the puppy from your childhood home––

his drooping brown belly, his tail wagging
along the carpet, never happier

than when you came back from school
and he could ride the surf of your arrival.

Although it shot aches through his aging frame,
your tiny grandpa never failed

to greet you. These days,
the people you love are more apt

to push you away from their warmer pillow,
sending you a little closer to the carpet

than the ever-thinning blanket.
You wish nothing more than to feel

the sweet sea wind of your love’s breathing,
soft as the eyes of a puppy grown old,

and to know that the tide rises for you,
that at least the water is happy you’re home.

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Fireflies: A Poem


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I used to collect them at the park
and stuff them in the cone
of the horn on my bike, grabbed as many glowing bodies

as my tiny fists could hold, plugged up the holes.
Their little legs
tickled my hand as they struggled

and squirmed, their alien green illumination
a giddy feeling on my skin, but when mama called,
I got angry, whipped

my hand away, earthquaked
my bike, make them leave, flee,
fly into the night, blasted my horn

so that the last of them would go, until at last
I was a lone wolf, three foot eight, in a rage
against the coming moon, their batty distractions

cancelling the stars, becoming them.

Tether Me Down: A Poem


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Numb my ears and hold me still,

give me purpose to fulfill.

Shout a name out, shout a song–

you always seem to shout it wrong.

When I’m drowning, God forbid,

drowning now in things I did,

as the air escapes my lungs,

hold my body to the rungs.

Tether me, and whisper things,

whisper silence ’till it sings,

whisper with a shouting song,

say I did good all along.

Promise me you’ll never go.

(I know that you will go, though.

It’s only time before we break–

I break–do it for my sake.)

My ashes like snow on the town,

At least you had me tethered down.

 

(click image for credit)

You Can.


You can throw a party without me and talk about it every day at lunch.

You can plan another one while I’m siting right there, and

You can deliberately avoid inviting me.

You can tell me I’m a part of the group and then meet up together without telling me.

You can post the pictures online.

You can promise that I can go but never tell me when.

You can do this for a few weeks, until I give up.

You can tell jokes that everyone else gets but me,

You can create jokes about me while I’m away, and

You can act like I am a walking, talking joke.

You can make me feel unwanted.

You can remind me of the times when I sat by myself every day at recess, and

You can let me know that now is not so different from then.

You can.

And you have.

Supercell: A Poem


The clouds envelop the sky

like a gaping mouth seizing prey

and make the world a subtle shade of dinge

that looks like blue

but is grey,

the lightning cackles from

a place miles from here and

turns the darkness back to day for

a fraction of a second.

I drink in the thunder,

and it fills me down into my toes,

and other parts where the sun rarely touches down

even pouring some of its heavy honey

into my eyes and

bringing out the definition

of the shadows on the pavement and on the leaves.

The low winds whistle on

their journey through the awnings,

leaving a hollow noise

to balance out the ripples

of the raindrops splashing in their own puddles

and the glare of the moon

is blanketed by sheets and sheets of cloud

that fold over and around themselves

like a dance

performed by endless numbers.

This is where I feel at home,

with the rustling noises, and the smell

of things becoming damp then

soaked, with the vision of

quilts of clumsy lace and horizontal

pellets, the feeling

of not knowing, of being

alone and afraid and in a cage and other things that are mysteriously pleasant,

the rolls of rumbling

filling and satisfying

to the last drop.

I am not a torment,

I am a misunderstood wave of love and

in a storm I find

that I am not so lonely in

being the way I am

and so I follow it East

kept warm by comfort

until the light filters back in.

I Feel Sort of Lonely: A Poem


drowning

Today,

I feel

sort of

lonely.

I feel sort of like the world

is on

my shoulders,

or

in my head, trying to

burst

out. I feel

sort of depressed,

the temporary kind,

not that

it

doesn’t hurt.

I feel

sort of

lonely,

although I have people

all around;

I feel sort of

lost, like I’m drowning

in a big world

and no one

can see me,

no one can hear

my SOS messages,

not

because they

don’t care, but because they

aren’t

there.

I feel sort of lonely,

not because

I am alone,

but because

I am very

alone.