After "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society"

If I could ask the wind to make me fly, I’d sail over clouds and sea to your tiny island, drifting down slowly to land on the hills, lying in grass before running to find you. Where would you be? The sun's in the dewdrops and you’re on the path, bucket in hand on your way to the well. Flying on wind made me pale as a pearl so I stand back to watch you where you cannot see. The jumper I knit you has bunched at the collar, needs to be washed, yet I’d lay down and die that you’ve worn it every day. How young you are, how soft your skin. In 50 years I’ll come and tell you, “How good you are, how deep your eyes,” for in aging we are better than we were, if we can love. And how I love you as you bend to clasp a rope upon a pulley, looping hook to pale as the bucket is lowered down into dark; happy bucket to gather your drink, your wash, your life. The sun comes in full and you wipe down your brow, hoisting out your sloppy bounty, gripping strong then walking again with me at your heels.

Untitled, 2018

I love to hear the sound of the wind from a sheltered place. Particularly when it travels and circulates in gusts, bending back the palms slightly; commanding a chorus of rustling fronds. To be on the other side of a window from such a night is to be in harmony with my own flesh and blood, my own flashing mind.

The City, Pt. 3

Today is a day for great joy in the city. Stand in its throngs as the doors are thrown open, pouring out people whose arms all reach outward to touch and to hold, to lift and to twirl and to carry their loved ones up over the street, where dirt and debris all get trodden and ground into Earth’s finest dust. A warm wind comes to paint the sky, streaking cheeks with all that’s left of what was said, though we’re past that now. Watch the men who take long strides, long lost friends all gripping hands or backs of heads, laughing just to feel some quivering bow-upon-string, this music of life.  Someone claps you on the back then hands you a drink, calls you by name, waves out an arm where people are dancing, hiking up skirts and kicking out feet, hands clapping to keep the time and always someone shouting, “More!” You drink as children flutter past the legs-like-playgrounds, britches clean from living hidden; dirtied soon for the games are progressing. Mothers eye them, touching

Girl in Field, 2004. Silver Gelatin Print.

My little sister stands in a field because I, her older sister, tells her to. She does not argue nor delay, and puts a cap upon her head as I direct it—tilted slightly and to the left. Her gaze is unflinching, unaware of others’ words to bring her down and looking like a soldier, too young to fight but ready in her heart to hold a knife. The field is wide, the grasses dry from winter’s drought, her boots very small but no less able for trampling weeds and filling in the holes left behind by moles and mice. Her pale legs are showing despite the cold, normal in this humid place, and a pale hand covers her face because I, older sister, wished to make the blush of youth a story though she, little sister, never blushes, youngest of four and ever seeking stillness in the wild.

Jerusalem Day

I loved and hated Jerusalem. Loved and hated. These were the two sides of myself I had to reckon with from my bedsit on Yafo Street: the side that was quiet and easy, no fuss; and the side that was alien, terse and unforgiving. What I loved, I also hated. And what I hated, I somehow loved. I had never felt freer, nor more trapped. Never more sated, nor more hungry. Never more lost, nor more found. I was a stranger there, even to myself, just a brooding shadow following the body of a girl. “Where will the girl go today?” I would wonder, tying up her boot laces, too hot for the desert climate. I hated being an outsider but I loved that it felt like a secret. My secret loving lead to a refuge made of secrets: whispered prayers between the cracks in The Wall; a passage of white where the crowds would not go. My secret loving brought me beauty—antique chairs made of glass mosaics; brass chandeliers to hold flickering candles; tattered, sun-bleached cloths like flags, waving in the wind. Beh

Flarf Poem after Frou Frou

Wanted to, thought she might, eat up the world, eat it up whole in the sound of a laugh. Thought she might, tried she might, swallow the world, swallow it hard and swallow it fast.  When she might, could she might, eat all the clouds, eat them up, reap them up, sun stars and moon. Though she might, told she might, go without path, eat it up slowly and eat it up soon. When she might, then she might, eat up the world, brightly and lightly, one Summer’s eve June.

The Beach II

A little girl drops down in a crouch on the sand at the beach. Her bent knees patched with salt. Her hair wet, like little wet blades of grass. She turns her head—one ear to the sun, the other to the earth, the cool shadow-space made by the architecture of her bent frame—and feels the heat like a great, warm towel just pulled from the dryer, its tan sheen left upon her skin, layer after layer and day after day.  The tide slides in but it’s thin and foamy, sucking up her feet down below the brown, making her think of the film she saw that made her cry when a horse drowned in quicksand though his boy tried to save him, calling the horse’s name over and over and both of them weeping, she and the boy.  This new, thin veil of wet is good for drawing, gliding fingers across its surface, fire-bright sunshine, new geometries bent and twisted and made into words. A little bird flaps to land nearby and she watches its needle-beak piercing the beach, over and over, searching for sand fleas a