conversationalist (n).

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I’ve become unskilled at
asking people questions because
the only questions that come
to mind are the kind that
don't fit in well at parties; 
at all times I am consumed
with bringing my hand to
the tender, glossy heart-place
made of glass, asking,

in how many pieces has
your heart been broken, and

how did you become the way
you are, and

what are the things that have
made you fearful? And

what chorus of thoughts
keeps you up at night, and

where is it that you
have made a home, and

when have you been
the most alive, or the
most stuck, or the most
confused, or the most
of everything, all at once, and

who is it you call when
your world stops -
turning or just
making sense or
freezes in those brief
shattering seconds
of doubt?

Forgive me, I no longer see
a room of pretty faces, only
a room full of gaping hearts. 

subscribe (v).

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I am in awe of the enthusiasts;
what mystery is their clarity to me

that this, here, brings them delight,
and that is enough.

That they can subscribe with such
devotion to a cause: they have
shown up with faces painted and
colors adorned.

My awe of the enthusiasts
is rooted in the fact that
they have subscribed to a
place where they are confident
in their belonging,
and their joy in abandon.

I think I fear the only thing
I have been abandoned to
is my own doubt and wandering.

reply (v).

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The answer will come,
I know this as truth, though
it  may come not in the way
you have requested and
appealed to the gods.

Answers come sometimes
in the form of thunder,
announcing boldly their
stance. They come also as
a weary traveller, long away
and awaited, kicking off
dusty boots and shuffling
slowly up the stairs.

Answers come with trumpets
and choirs or with
the softest whispers at
the lowest frequencies -
sometimes they need us
to lean in closer and quiet down.

Right now you will find me
with lights off and altar made,
feet bare, kneeling on the floor,
hand to chest and heart attuned,
and even this: breath held,
ears to the west, listening and
postured for the answer,
when it is ready to reveal itself.

recurring (adj).

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My dreams are stories about
the wildness in you, and your
heady gaze. I dream
about they way
people talk about you, 
and often I have
the dream where you
list off to me what you
think are your faults. I dream
often about
your hand, almost
touching my hand, your
morning, almost
starting with my morning.

manual (n).

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Regarding the care of an aching heart:

Be unrelentingly gentle with yourself.
Wade into sweet pools of grace abounding.
Be soft with the way you bandage
your wounds (include ample amounts
of breath and expanse).
Bellow all you need, even
in soggy, ragged sobs. 

Take harbour in the wonder
that you partook in the
sacred, delicate act of
loving another being.  

components (n).

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I so wish dearly to be made
of wit or grandeur or
stories that inspire,
it would be nice also
to be impressive, just once,
or at least tidy; it would be nice
to be a person that people
knew what to make of.

It would be more convenient if
I wasn’t just made of
flowers upon flowers, spilling
out of my chest and
onto the floor,
onto our feet,
even while standing,
so many of us,
in your kitchen.

cog (n).

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What great mystery that
I was given these words, and not others,
and in this order, and from this
voice, in this tone.
 

What strange passage that
I must find the way to say it,
the words that will fall
from my rolling mind and
tumbling heart.

What an odd happening that
I would spend the whole morning
in stillness and silence to
find some way to point out the
wandering of the world.

unrepentant (adj).

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Who is the woman I am becoming
and when will I become
a woman who does not apologize
(so much), that is,
a woman who does not apologize
(ever) when she is not in the wrong.

I want to be a woman who refuses
to smile and take it
when it is not something
that I care to take. 

I want to be a woman who is not afraid
to take up space and
make room for others at the table –
and stage, and up, up the ladder and
into the open field and wild sea.

sector (n).

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Our hearts have chambers,
as if the creator knew
we couldn’t take it
all at once,
so much of life arriving and
leaving at
any given time.

Delight and sorrow both,
they are too much and too
substantive to not have
some way of filtering them
into bouts and waves.

I can only take in small increments
the great mystery that
brought us together.

I can only take in small increments
the simple fact that
we sleep in different rooms.

outset (n).

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Remember who we were
when this first started
when my hair was short and you
didn’t want to like the city?

In those first days we spent hours
sizing each other up and
holding ourselves in -
I kept most of everything to myself
and still
felt like I was flooding you, you were
a fortress, air tight, no clues
to the matters of your heart except
maybe
in the gentle way you sat next to me.

Remember when, it was spring,
you walked me home and I
didn’t know that this was you
opening your door to me,
that this was us
falling in love, walking a flat tired bike
down Palmerston in June.

discern (v).

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My heart is a child
mid-tantrum, thrashing on the ground.

How do I soothe you?
How can I gather you up?
What can I bring you
to let you know
that you are loved?

What are you saying
with your tears and bellowing?
I want to listen, or do you
need to just let it all out?

It is okay, it’s fine with me
if you need to just let it all out.

architecture (n).

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You brought over brick and mortar
so slowly that I didn’t notice
in the hours between night and morning
you were making for me a home
in the softest part of you. Slowly you
brought over stone and slate
and built for us a landing place
while I lay sleeping or while
I was running late or while I took
time in the burrows of my mind. 

You brought over clay and solid beams
and made for us a shelter, complete
with a skylight to let the
stars and the morning in.