Hope Leaves

Hope lives 
In yellow lemons heavy and ripe with the color of all sunshine.
Trees aching with sour bliss
Somehow finding happiness
While wearing the remains
Of lingering acid kisses.
Long before we arrived
All that light found a single
Branch. I look in my hand
Having the entire universe
Right in my palm.
Mystery peels back the misery
Replaced by heat and the scent
Of innocence.
Delighted by impossibility
I come forward to bear witness to pure truth. Belief
In the chemistry, tested and
Drawn from within me - draining
Water now inside Where floats my will.

I beam with healing light
So I’m told, that my Mass, all my blood in a chaliceQuenched a thirst
To pass all these tests.
So I dress like a goddess
Secretly becoming more
But less than something
I knew before. Born
Safely here in a nest
Like a new red Robin
Cracked wide open
Leaving his blue speckled crest.
My shell belies the crisp spring air
That I breathed in and out
Still miraculously
All these tasks unconsciously
Sympathetic. My heart, my lungs
Fill with hope for any cure.

So cut me open and free.
Anonymous files stored away
Alphabetically by a steady hand.
Surgeons can fix anything
Sewing me up from the edge.
And hope renewed, miraculously.
Singly, we file out into a streak
Of white where we become one
Line. Our years walk heel to toe.
My turn will come
Eventually like everyone’s.

Where does the line end
In shreds of curled ribbon
Ripped against a scissors edge
In colors I wouldn’t choose.
Yes, we’re listening
Our ears to the wall Without the next answer
All of us fail and fall.

Yet there’s hope for truth:
Every green springs again
Every blue goes black
Every white wing flies
Even hell finds heaven again.
Our cheeks absorb - All the tears
Our heads defend - All the rain
Our mouths reject - All the words
Our bones crack - All the power
Our skin thins - All the scars
Our hands open - All the love Our wallets empty - All the hope
The gamblers and monks
The grifters and punks
Laugh at the boundaries
Of who you and I were now
Crossed like electrical lines
Connecting us to switch
On our heart lights.
The same power to know my soulExisted before I rode this train: Crossing border-less countries
Aimless and naked
Alone and afraid.
Breaking into my body
Stealing my baggage
A common robber holds up
My bones in steerage.
I’m nobody anymore
But a body to tear at
Until I’m empty of anything
Of value at all.

As a spawn of the dead
A pawn of this life
For what I deplore
And who I defend
Myself against the punch line Bereft of the joke.
It’s no longer funny
But simply strange
Not hearing any laughter.

Climbing up a shaky ladder
To unlock the attic
My life lies packed away
Saved for a future still unknown date
I slice open the boxes
Letting fresh air inside
Wipe away the dust
And watch
My memories fly out like moths
Faded pictures of the past rise up
Ascend above the trees
And into the cloud
Pouring down onto rooftops
Where my hope still resides.

Fulmination: A poem in photographic parts

To my aram cara, who knew this poem prior to its appearance here, I decided to publish its parts as photographs. We may never get a chance to see our images together in a picture. Perhaps one of us hands our phone to a passerby after asking if they’d not mind, “oh thank you so much it means a lot to us.” I imagine we grasp hands, walk over to an ancient wall by the seaside on a lucky sunny day. We’re both in big sunglasses, floppy hats, blonde hair peaking out, bright smiles. Our flowing white dresses bought the day before, when we heard it would be unseasonably warm. It’s close to lunchtime. We thank the passerby and we say nothing and I slip the phone into my backpack. Sighing simultaneously, both of us know the value of that photograph. A dream.

The Fulminating Infection

Failing

Necessary evil, failure.  
Learning from mistakes
Like lying and broken bones
The body breaks down
And cries for more.
In this case tears
Hung high inside a bag
Delivered through a tube
Poking into my chest
Plugged in with a needle.
Giggling to myself
“Not a nipple”
Laughters ripple effect
Spans out amongst the others
And now everyone’s
Going to get in trouble.

But it’s my fault
No one but me
Got me in this mess,
Or have they? Because
It’s an art:
Learning recreational
Cursing, lying and
Running away from home.
My growling hunger
Turns to fear.
That’s where
Boredom hides.
As we seek home again
The place one cannot return.
Like a library book
With a Dewey decimal card
I’m no longer on file.
Suppose I stole the title.

Before dark I’m matchless
With no anger left to burn
So I return to
Changing names
But face hardly look the same.
New people new names.
Strangers turn me away
That crazy woman’s back
She doesn’t live here
Not anymore.
The address I remember:
Only my own body.
Dirty gray cumulus clouds
Reach the places where
Shame grows. Right there
On the test not surprisingly
Cirrus streaking
Shocking the dusk
Into color of embarrassment and
Of cheeks slapped pink
For blue words
We try on for fit
But they fall off of our
Small bones too big
To not know
To small to talk shit.

Instead of daisies
In my mind the
Fertile soil hardened
Into my imagination now
Rusty colored clay.
Growing up worthy of
A head, once
Covered in hair
Jumping on a trampoline
Without a net
Be cautious of curls.
Now straight as
a cactus prickly as
a crown of new cowlicks
The color of
shock and shame.
Green and indigo
But not what I thought
Just a day ago.

Everyday failure:
Unthreaded needles
Stocking runs unearned
Continue up the thigh
Showing the quality
Of bare legs
With purple webs
Becoming ugly
And weak.
Sometimes my mistakes
Weigh like
Lead sinks, an umpire
Metal but not much ore
Certainly no gold or platinum.
My pick axe and
Shovel, sieve ad
Headlight
Mocking the brave
Fish that live in
Darkness so ink black
They willed themselves
A headlamp on
Their hard hats. Darwin
Had his way of
Plumbing the breaches of
My Grace in the name
Of the father who
Died with experience
My tribe hid
It’s treasure in
Broken Russian birds.
My genes unzipped
Finally to reveal
The ladder had fallen
Apart at the rung
Where I slipped.

Principally, I deserve
No less than
Expulsion from the school
Of this life and
Of the race of humans.
I have lost.