Two bad mitten rackets.
The orange one,
she hands to me.
The red one
she holds in her fist
and says, Mine.
It’s the first time
she says the word,
to the language of want—
beyond naming the object
she shapes her desire
on her tongue and
pronounces the thing
as hers. And I gather my girl
into my arms and hold her
as if to say what words
can not—that we can
not ever own anything,
not really. We can hold
a thing for a while. We can
label it ours. We draw up deeds,
extract promises, build cages
and walls, we fashion golden rings.
But everything slips through
our hands eventually. There is
no part of speech to explain this,
no translation for the way that
things change. And they do.
Like a girl who just yesterday
couldn’t say Mine. Like this woman
who loses what she once thought
she had, watching the world
as it shifts, one syllable at a time.
Sometimes it helps
and no matter
what we do
its red pulsing,
i want to know why it is that in this vast expanse of creation i am here writing it seems like such a useless occupation like making speeches instead of sowing seeds guess i'm not as much of a farmer as i'd like to be though i love the thrill of tending an ailing blueberry bush giving it the right acidy push seeing the strawberries turn beauty red the sweet plums plumming for the first time mixed with an orgasm of basil and rosemary tomatoes mixed with flowers and prayers mulched against the coming long hot summer i have worked myself to the wet bone repairing the sprinkling system piling on the mulch pleading with each stem and bloom to feel loved and linger here with us five years out this will be a food forest but for now i love the first artichoke streaking up to heaven on a slender shaft i adore the bright red orange blooms on the pomegranate that is not quite mature enough to turn the blossoms into fruit yet hibiscus and peach avocado and orange i kiss this gorgeous ground that holds the micro and macro life of eucalyptus trees and tiny organisms i can't see but still i love to know may you be as blessed as we are to have you here, from the hawk family high up in the tree to the squirrel that steals the birdseed to one and a half-year old Sammy who loves to spray water and sing in his swing we are such a oneness of community a living choir of praise and need and fullness living here in Woodland Hills, California under the red hot sun
Beneath the honey locust,
I practiced watching the clouds
both expand and contract
in the open sky. It is like that,
I told myself, the way you and I
hold each other and let each other go
at the same time. With the same hands,
we grasp and release. With the same
words, we emerge and we hide. Our bodies
become both altar and offering.
Our love is both curse and bliss.
I want to be vast enough to contain all this,
to be unfrightened by paradox. I want to bow
to the great What Is. But I’m small.
And impatient. Oh rats. I watch the clouds
as they shift from reptilian skeletons
to long white fingers outstretched.
It happens so imperceptibly, the change.
And I want to force it, to push it,
to fix it, to craft the world as I want.
And the sooner the better.
I want some answers, now.
But the answers are usually questions.
I’m not trying to be glib. But the closer
I get to what I know, the less I know of it.