Friday, October 31, 2014

Sometimes there be hard times.

To be on the verge of tears –

To feel the wellspring in the back of your throat burst up and push at the walls behind your eyes and nose; a throb, throb, throbbing, indifferent to the curious spectators on the other side (the boss at his desk) (the passerby on the sidewalk).

The sigh before the wellspring bursts that at once hurts and salves the heart; that at once lifts and intensifies the lump in the throat and the weight in the stomach.

The desperate final attempt to suppress a perfect storm, an uphill battle against Mother Nature herself (who lives, as we know, in the back of the throat as much as in heaven’s hovering rainclouds).

And then you cry.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dreaming of reality

Sometimes I am flying through an orange sky and taste the autumn air 
Then I am on my balcony on the 900th floor, where I inhale deeply from a cigarette and look out over an alternate universe that I discovered, of all places, in a playground’s tunnel slide. 
Then I dance with abandon to a song that plays as it is written inside my head.  
I stretch my legs, my arms, my toes.
And the orange sky is gone
And the strange wildlife below are fading
And I am lying in a bed in a basement apartment. 

Sometimes my dreams are as real to me as the pillow beneath my head
And I return from them and think
Maybe I’m dreaming now of this basement apartment
And my life is still happening on that 900th floor
And this breakfast
This conversation
This kiss goodbye and drive to work
Will seem so magical and strange from my view atop a tall tall balcony
So I’ll inhale them now like my dream cigarette
Like I’m going to wake up at any moment
and find they’re all gone,

like smoke

like a whisper

like a forgotten dream

and I’ll try to remember that everything is extraordinary to someone

so why not my life

to me?

long road and a sunset

Monday, May 12, 2014

The seasons of a new boy

It goes like this.

The sun beats down on you for the first time when we emerge from the birthing center. Your eyes are closed and your skin smells new and you’re so tiny that the world at once feels giant and welcoming.

Leaves change colors and so does your hair, growing in tune to your increasingly chunky body that snuggles into my shoulder as I take you with me everywhere – from backyard to refrigerator to stove. I master the one-handed egg crack and you master perfect slumber on the hip of a new mother; habitually swaying a tiny body back and forth, back and forth, like an autumn leaf drifting peacefully to the soft ground.

The world gets smaller when winter storms rage, and we create a universe in our two-bedroom upstairs apartment where exist warm baths and fuzzy pajamas and a big laugh from a tiny belly, rich as hot chocolate and deep as the snow.

Today you revel in the feel of damp grass beneath your still-tiny toes and fresh fruit on your jabbering tongue. Soon the sun will beat down again on a person who is no longer so new; whose eyes are wide open, whose knees are carpet burned, who far prefers dancing to snuggling, but whose cheeks remain as pink and delicious as strawberry cotton candy.

It goes like this. I race to keep up with the swiftly-moving seasons, which play like a movie that I am powerless to pause except in snippets of memory and two-dimensional Facebook albums. So I’ll revel, captivated, in each day and week and month. I’ll store up each fleeting laugh and cry and slobberkiss in my pounding, infatuated heart.

And I hope that once in a while you’ll still want to snuggle – even when wrinkles frame my face like the thousand winding pathways that lie ahead, and these seasons turn my hair into swirling winter snow.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

For a little boy

All of you –
Your chunky thighs that kick when you’re surprised
Or enraged
Or ecstatic.
Your three-almost-four-toothed smile that flows into your eyes
That squint in a way that makes me think maybe
maybe a person could really burst from joy
or a really good secret.

You and your arms that flap when you’re excited
And it’s as if you’re going to fly away;
right out of my arms and become
One of the dancing snowflakes out the window.
You and your soft forehead that touches mine
When you need the kind of assurance that can only come
From a nice meaningful forehead touch.

Your tiny mouth that says mama and so many non-words
Only you don’t just say them but yell them
and whisper them and try them out in every part of your mouth so that you savor the sensation of speech.
And that mouth opens wide now for airplanes and choo-choo trains that carry rainbows for cargo –
a spectrum of flavors and textures that elicit an “mmm” and a grin every single time.

You who are unafraid of failure
Unafraid to laugh until your whole body aches
You who forgive in an instant
And love unconditionally
For whom I would do any crazy chicken dance that I’ve never done for anyone else
At any time of the day
just to see your toothy smile for another instant.
You who breaks my heart with a cry or a cough
And mends it again with a laugh.

You came from me. And sometimes I do a double take just remembering
There was ever a time when you weren’t.

But I feel like a bigger person in the world knowing that because I am
You are

And because you are
I am