Previous Valentine’s Day Posts
The day it rained ladybugs
The houseplants quivered
And window sills became the stage
For the ladybugs acting out Shakespeare plays
–Only audience tiny figurines and miniature teapots
–Only applause from the frantic beating of wings on glass
As ladybugs dropped dead on the stage below.
i like to end things on a good note
but I don’t want to leave
in the middle of the symphony
and step on everyone’s toes
as I shuffle silently through aisles to indignant whispers
long before the curtain falls
—i don’t want to miss the ending to the show, the finale
but I can’t bear to hear the final note fade
or to see your final bow
One of those days when the rain clouds
Are so low I have to duck to keep my head out of them
And they cover the sun to make morning look like dusk,
Thousands of tiny liquid stars fall to quench the thirst
Of wilting July flowers and lost souls
I go outside, coatless, to be watered
Letting the screen door slam shut behind me
In a shower of mist and creaky hinges.
I follow the river-sidewalk to a bus stop bench
With peeling green paint and take a seat
In my star-soaked jean shorts.
I bury my toes in the five inches of turf
Between the bench and the sidewalk
A world for the surfacing pink worms to cross
Where they will shrivel and die when
The sun brings their hot-concrete Armageddon.
I absorb the tiny stars in my skin
And my arms and legs and hair become slick
With the gathering galactic water.
Before I never understood why florists spray
The flowers completely if the roots are the part that
Drink, but now I know.
The ricochets of rain pelting my face in the energy of
Each ping of every drop
I sit, covered in diaphanous liquid stars
And I imagine I glow in the gloomy darkness of noon
Someone else has joined me at the bus stop bench
To be watered too, I suppose.
He wears a coat with the collar turned up
And a faded Toronto Blue Jays baseball cap
With a frayed brim like laugh lines around a smile
That doesn’t exist anymore
The rain only touches his face and his hands, folded
On his lap over wet denim jeans.
I slide over and take his hat off, because I want him to
Feel the tiny stars like I do
He’s startled like someone should be when a stranger takes
Their hat off, and his glare of surprise is brown
Like a cinnamon stick.
He asks me what I’m doing
—You’ll be watered better if you let the rain touch your skin
But maybe he sees that I’m glowing so he takes his coat off
And a grin slowly spreads across a face with a freckled nose
I know he can feel the energy of the stars in his skin too
We sit at the bus stop bench in front of a sidewalk
That wriggles in happy fat worms dancing in the stars
But that will be shrivelled and dead this time tomorrow
And everyone else has umbrellas and coat collars and hats
And we have nothing between us and the rain
That feeds maps into our lost souls
(Busy busy busy like bees — I have some reviews coming up, and a couple rants to deliver, but for now here’s a poem I wrote in a moment of summer nostalgia. What do you miss most about summer? I’m pining for walks in the rain, can you tell?)
I make an effort to avoid you
Where once I might have sought you out
It doesn’t mean I don’t want to see you
It just means I don’t think it’s a good idea
And that everything will be better if you
Forget that I exist
Yesterday I picked up my anthologies from the printer. They are things of beauty. I mean, I did find one typo in them so far, but…the Typo Gods are never totally unforgiving. And I can fix it for the digital edition (which is closer to being published!). Info on where to get a print copy will be posted soon! In the mean time, here’s a sneak peek of what’s inside. This is a poem called BONES.
Tracing over the bones
Holding you together
The knots of hardness in your fingers
That move as if to some beat only
To the snap and rotation of your wrist
And straight, smooth lines of
The arms you open.
In these arms I fit.
The indents of your collarbone
Against my face
The point of your chin
Resting firmly on the top of my hair
You shift, and the hollows of your face
Roll atop my head
The imperfect perfection of your nose
Inhaling my scent
As I inhale your scent through
The plates of your chest, over your heart.
The curve of your ribcage
Meeting the pieces of your spine,
Growing to become smooth
That roll as you adjust the
Grip on my hips.
So many angles you are made of
Long and short
Fierce and gentle
Hollow and grabbing
Radiating warmth and
These are what you are made of
The bones under your skin
The sticks and stones
Making the familiar shape of your
Both comforting and terrifying
Thrilling and calming
These are the shapes I
The ones that tame
Darkness and bring
You were made for me
And perhaps I’ve been lucky enough
To have been made