GRIEF

In 10 Pieces

1

You are small in the

face of a storm

Grey spray hitting your skin

You float

Your senses

Above consciousness

People died back in those days.

Orange rooftops cry against blue skies

The rain fell red

Memories of old crones

They cover their heads

Protection from memories


I stood on the edge of the world

A small child

Tempting fear

Seeing a coming storm

The end of everything.


I don’t expect I will ever go back to Croatia

2

You were cut from me on the hottest day of the year

Brief moments

Euphoria

I lay in my own blood - happy, living

Begging them to bring you to me

Through tears muddied by their drugs

You already chose by the time we met

I wake

Early hours of morning

He snores next to me

Farting and sweating up against my body.


I wake in fear

Crying for ghosts who left this earth

Desperate dreams

From when I was still young.

_____________________________________________________
He came into this world  

When rain hammered

The windows of the institution

I would have reached down and sliced myself open just to have you

They wouldn’t let me

Gazing into the pools of his eyes

Intense love

Paralyzing fear

Electrical shortage in his chest

Still…  

4 weeks on

I laid on the floor of the bathroom

In a puddle of my own tears

wishing for death

3

Once

I raised my face

to the impending

sand dunes

screaming

crying

so hard

I threw myself into the sea


Today

I realized

my predicament

being but a prisoner

inside my own body

a body they eye

suspiciously

I lay down in the sand


Tomorrow

I’ll throw myself away

bring myself back

from the precipice of being

cry into the dunes

wishing the pain in my head to return.

Bring him back


Once

I realized that our lights were gone

burning fierce in the fire

no light in them.


Shadow flames


Yesterday

Locked away -

a prison of my own making

of my own longing

in my own body

screaming at the sea

To someone long gone

4


The sky is different

smell and weight

wind and clouds

a vast ocean

of humanity

I wonder when we will

wake. Realizing the errors that we made

back in those burning black-top days,

staring into the orange skies over Los Angeles.

Coughing and wheezing

on dry grass fields,

pretending that softball was fun,

dirty sweat running down our noses.


My toes hurt.

Move like fluid across the floor

while a woman pounds a stick to keep time,

screaming at us in Russian.

We spin faster

in boxes

flower petal delicacies.

Our hair plastered down -

pulled hard with bobby pins.

At night we fall

a pile of animals

snoring softly.

__________________________________________________________


My favorite sound is the Santa Ana wind

whipping through birch trees after the sun sets.

They have long been cut down,

replaced by hedges

that need little watering.


Tumbleweeds rolling down Valley Circle.

Obstacles for student drivers and kids smoking joints,

hanging out the trunks of their parent’s cars,

speeding through the boring suburbs.


They tore down all the trees

because water is too expensive,

sidewalks are too precious,

skin cancer is too lucrative

When they take that street lamp out

they will find a time capsule of my childhood.

Bits of dolls,

candy wrappers,

love notes,

chunks of hair torn out with my fingers.

Bits of a lonely little girl from the suburbs

that I shoved

in the hole

in the side

of a steel lamp post.

Hoping someone might find me,

save me,

tell me I was not alone.

______________________________________________


I miss the wind,

tumbleweeds,

orange sky,

burning black-top.

Sister Mary So-and-So screaming my sins back in my face,

white dresses,

strange tasting fountain water that has to run for at least 25 seconds before it’s cool enough to drink.

Big-sticks on Friday afternoons.

How the boys would be hypnotized by the sexuality of our appetites.

The nuns staring in horror as we licked them down to the wood.

Food-dyed chins,

sugar highs.

I miss those broken slippers, my bum knee

the opportunities I squandered

while I drank away my shame,

starved away the past.

The naivety of youth

before I realized

all the things I wasn’t supposed to do

he did for me

already.

Being held in your father’s arms before its weird.

Telling your mom you’re scared.

Not having your words choke in the back of your throat.

Walking away.

Letting time come between

you and yourself.

Changing.


Getting old is terrifying.

Anyone who contradicts that is a fucking liar.

5

Carpeted

Green


Fall asleep for 100 years

Still

Understanding


Dullness in the head

Yellow is a terrible color for the soul

We are not alone

Sounds of grief

Rising up and down

Rattling in your chest


6

I should write something up-lifting.

But that hammering - day and night…

tearing down the building to put something else in its place,

someplace we won’t be welcome.

People in tents line the streets of this town

They smell putrid - rivers of sewage in the gutters

Shooting up into their genitals

Begging and screaming

Fires

Binmen pick through their last vestiges of hope

Meanwhile, the rest of us...

Tolerate existence.

Vapid anger growing daily

No end in site


”I thought I would be good at all this.”

They keep telling us it is only a matter of time…                    till time stands still

Ice melts

Ground turns to dust

We become distant memories to the amoebas that replace us

The earth spins


7

I have made a mental list of every infraction

Beaten

Convinced of how rotten

I am

Study the passion flower

Hold it’s perfection in your hand

I could strive for that

But it would be futile

Life is good

I’m so lucky and ungrateful

For my privilege

Being born

White

Pretty

Rich

Keeping his secrets

They weigh on my shoulders

Still

After 15 years

I can’t speak them out loud

____________________________________________

My son

I am frozen when he cries

When he can’t sleep

His thoughts racing through his perfect mind

I look through a mirror at his pain


The worst thing I have ever done was make another person like me

I pray he can escape

Mumbling pleas in the dark


You must be perfect

You must be sane

Mother

Woman

Thing


I swear broke him on accident!

Just like you broke yourself.


8

I should find a shrink.

That witch told me I would be less sick in my chest

If I didn’t addressed this grief…

Night watches

Waiting for fireflies

Lightning bugs

Willow the wisps


Scent is powerful

Pulling you deep into dreams you lived before

Can not place

Your place

In

It

In every corner of your fiefdom

Plastic outrage bubbles

I too

Am guilty

The dog with the feather duster tail is long dead - his bones are dust under our feet

Carried away to the four corners of the earth

A coming storm

Blankets us

In the dust of the dead

Which, incidentally, we did to ourselves.

If Shakespeare was more than one person

Why can’t I be two or four?

9

Child dances

Foot stomping

Legs thumping

Thunderous joy on hardwood

Unaware and blissful in the ignorance  

That someday this will end

Become a secret ritual

Not shared with me

(Or any other person for that matter)

Till child finds the one


The illness of adulthood will

Overtake his joy

Freedom

Spirit

Mournful processions in and out

Of locked doors

Will mark this time

As will lists

I watch with tears, and laugh

It will end soon

But laughing still

Till my face hurts, my eyes water, my sides cramp

Wishing, hoping

He stays young

Forever

10

It was a nightmare where you fell from me

Your tiny frame cracked and broken

A scream that cut the sky open

I could do nothing

Paralyzed in my ineptitude

Your scream haunts my waking hours

I hear it still

in the back of my head

Trying to release

these black stones in my pockets

The feeling of tiny fingers

Wrapping themselves up in my hair

Connection

Took all my crutches away

To bear myself naked

Let them see these scars

Let them laugh at my humiliations

Let them be the people that they bury beneath carefully crafted veneers

Let them be alone with grief