analysis (n).

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I am learning your features, the angle
at which you hold your chin, the slant
of your mouth when you are thinking, 
the slant of your mouth when
you are holding back, the slant
of your mouth when
you might mention
a story from boyhood. 

I am learning your preferences, the process
of your coffee making, the place
where your dishes belong on the shelf, 
the place in your room where I may leave
a hint of my belongings, the place
in your room where, I've noticed, 
you've kept the notes I have written. 

I am learning your rituals, your morning
unlike my morning, all clanging and loud, the reliable
technique used for folding, the reliable
method used when you cook, the reliable
way in which you take your hands
to my face to bring me
into your ritual and space.
 

Posted on November 30, 2017 and filed under the word project-.

observe (v).

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Look at the dreamers, all brave and tender.
Look how they rise, early and often and
day after day after,
look at them sweeping their front stoop,
getting ready for their day of glory.

Look often to them in your own frailty and doubt,
look how they stay soft and open, look at
the gentle way they greet their pain and questions,
look at how they carry on, and they’ll tell you
readily and with proof
about the goodness that is left
and the gifts that have been sown
in the open fields just beyond
the border of our disappointment.

nuisance (n).

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What is this, this gift, all haggard and fuzzy
like dewy mail left on the stoop,
keeping me up at night, keeping me from
staying clear-eyed and stoic-hearted,
keeping me in my manic ways scribbling
notes and letters, humming and talking
only to myself?

With this gift I cannot make
many or much with my hands,
I cannot persuade with graceful argument,
I cannot solve predicament or problem,
I cannot, consistently, keep food on the table.

What is this, this gift, these words and
this longing, showing up at all hours
after weeks out and away
like some flighty lover
demanding to be loved?
 

offset (v).

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I made this for you, I made
this meal, all soupy, but warm, I made
a place for you to lay your head, I chose
these blankets that are soft against
your sleeping body, and I made
the bed.

I made a place for you to safely
align your hopes with your plans, I made
this map for you to etch out which direction
you’ll first go.

I made all of this and
you made a world for me out of
wonder and adventure, all lush
in its breathless scamper
as it draws me away and out of
my fearful huddling. 

Here, I built you a house to
wait out the storm and you
brought me to the ocean. 

grip (n).

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I wanted to be not only
the woman you held and
sat next to at dinner parties, but
also the woman who stored
your delicate and sacred things.
I wanted when we gathered
to gather you and be gathered
after a day of scattering our efforts.

I wanted to be what lit up
your sky when it gets dark at night,
or maybe just the person who
steadied you on the days
you felt your foundation shaking.

genealogy (n).

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The creases of my wrists are the same as my mother’s,
in the same way the bridge of my nose matches hers
and the straight line of my chin matches my father’s.
I share his love of silence beside the ocean and
the same pointed pinky toe as him, I share
her love of sprawling, late hour chats, and his
tender heart for the mysteries of this world.

What clever magic that
the stuff that makes them up
would be split and rearranged
that I get to carry on
the creases of her wrists and
the straight line of his chin. 

alchemy (n).

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It’s boring, what you do for money;
we all need to put food in our mouths.

I could listen for hours about
the moments you’ve felt most alive,
and what burns a hole in your belly,
the people your eyes turn gold for,
all of the cliffs you’ve jumped from,
and your favorite dinners.

Tell me another story
about a time
when to you it was confirmed
that the world is made of magic.  

lout (n).

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This has not been a graceful arrival,
fueled only by flu and fever, crawling
on hands and knees, clawing at the floor
with such effort, only to cross the room.

This has not gone as planned, this
intended rise to glory, instead
it has been with shaky voice and body,
with running nose and dry mouth,
with achy chest and swollen glands
that I have shown up to the party.

I concern myself not with the way
I have brought myself to this place.
I concern myself with keeping
my heart open and my eyes wild.
 

inverse (adj).

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we are not made of the same things - 
I was plucked out of the sea and you
are made of earth and clay - we do not
come from the same place, you do not
speak the language I speak when
I speak to you about what sets
my soul on fire. 

what is it that
you recognized in me
and what is it that
I witnessed in you
that drew us to
this place where
we have gathered?

channel (n).

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I will model my gentleness after the river, who
asserts her own direction, who reshapes
even rock and slate, with a voice
thunderous enough it rattles in your chest. 

See how your spirit settles when standing
at the bank, not because she is
docile, but because she is resolute. 

It is in the rushing river that I
bring myself to stand, see how
she is unwavering in her certainty,
see how she makes a way for herself, see
how the trees with reverence
lean in to gather more, see
as she moves she is humming, 
"even still, I will persist." 

homestead (n).

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The two of us are a place that
we stumbled into, a clearing in
a strange country, with this
language we didn’t know how
to speak to each other, and these
thoughts and feelings that
are made out of further borders
and outstretched coastlines
than we had ever seen.

The two of us are a place that
was founded on a dream
of two travelers who became
pioneers who became
patrons of this land and country
they built together.