Sunday, March 17, 2013


I won’t visit the ward where she’s sitting 
beside others who stab themselves in their necks.
Who does that? Who? And why? 
(Is that icy tone mine on the phone?)

She didn’t want to die, 
Only make her lover stay.
Because I’m needy, mother!
One of her serial assertions.

I love you is another

Once upon a time she was a sunny child
(Wasn’t she?) Am I dreaming when I 
see a little girl with a soft red heart
flung open to everyone?

She loved hearts, on her headbands, 
on her socks, on her toothbrush, 
pillow hearts--everything she owned
wooed Be Mine.

Her beauty wasn't subtle. (Why didn’t it save her?)
People stopped us on the street, knelt down 
for a better look into those bluegreygreen eyes
(their color has no name, has never been seen before.)

Didn’t I bring her warm milk at night?
Didn’t I embolden her with dance, surround her with my
Kind, savvy friends? Give her new shoes
(covered in hearts) for summer camp?

Didn’t I make it clear she was not doomed
because language in all forms failed her?

She had dreams of driving a red convertible
with its top down, volume up, her blond hair blowing 
like yellow scarves but now almost 30, not even a permit, 
she feels stranded in a dream noir, 
on a long drive from somewhere to nowhere,
forever crashing into strangers’ lives.

It wearies me, repels me. I’m standing
too close to her desperate edges.
How deep is her doubt? Who knows?
What part of her is her, what part monkey?
How much deeper will her slow dive take her?
I don’t know when she’s lying and when she's not 
since all her words are stained with colors
unfamiliar as her eyes and from her mouth, 
strange sounds that scare me to death.

I should have watched her more closely. 
I should have watched her the way a sailor
watches the wind before setting out to sea.
Everything in the air must be important if
you want your boat to move to the right place
at the right time along the best route.

She cries, mom, mom, it’s not your fault.

If I could forgive, if I had a hero in my heart,
I wouldn’t sail backwards in my sleep, 
never reaching the shore, never coming to rest. 
I would not judge. Because who knows 
where the wind comes from?
Who knows where it goes?