Am I Home / Am I Whole

I once asked Google to show me the self who is truly loving life.
It asked me to search again.

I once loved a hole through my favorite sweater.
It didn’t prepare me for the hole I would love through a man.

I once asked the trees to grant me an answer to: “Am I Whole?”
They could not, having never needed to ask themselves the same.

I once waited for my life to begin.
The lights shut out all around me, the door locked, everyone went home.

“Am I Home?” I ask the cities I sleep in.
Their lights blink blankly, their traffic a new kind of silence.

“Am I Home?” I ask the men I sleep next to.
They breathe heavy, dream through it, and I ignore my twisted gut churning: “No.”

(2019)

Smokemount

When the light is on its last breath I go down
to the creek to hear it bubble and shimmer black.
Able to name it without seeing it – I’m leaning
into this new trust slowly, nature first.

Without sun, the currents are newly visible in inky jet and etch,
going every which way, not simply forward or down:
Watery folds like snakes, side winding into sand and gone.
The peeling back of dark skins, sinew corded over muscle,
networks wrapping bone.

It is here, in this quiet, lightless moment, that I recognize,
somewhere deep in my own current, milky black and ebbing,
I’ll be ok eventually.

(2019)

How Does Anyone Survive?

Don’t think about it today – Ready Set Wake!
But it scalds the taste buds on the wave of arabica,
dumps out with the cereal prize, arrives
with the mail, mid-afternoon and delayed,
stuck behind some coupon for eggs.

So you get outta dodge – out of The States, for God’s sake –
where you dance in the Midsummer parade and
bathe in the lakes and sweat in the saunas
until you’re bleary-eyed but wide awake.
Where the days overlap like pre-teen chatter, no chance
to cocoon into night, and the light sweeps you up,
clothespins you to the sky – the chance to air dry
those sopping thoughts in the Finnish countryside.

But as your flutter between the birches
it slices down and perches
smack in the middle of your quiet mind
and you think: How does anyone escape?
How does anyone survive?

(2019)