It Ain’t Going Anywhere

You know which path,

You know what Y means,

Go it boldly or don’t go,

Eyes open, head high,

Listening, yes distracted, by the soundtrack-the one that plays in your head,

If you’d Knelt down and whispered in your ear,

yes, you’re own ear,

And once again a little louder,

-you’d have said, “you know better”

Standing next to the Speaker, wearing that hat, having that drink,

A sweaty mosh pit reminded you…..

“You are alive.”

I tell him “Son, ear plugs are cool,”

but don’t stand by the speakers, never;

Knowing his brain cannot jump forward in time.

Mesmerized by the drums, pulsing to a whining guitar,

Always Feeling so much more than the auditory nerves can soak up…..

Angry vocals, raw but playful,

Coming together like sugar and cream;

Nothing store bought could compare…….

honesty is meeting a stranger’s gaze,

Courage is not staving off the awkward moment

but relishing it’s teachings.

Beauty is scraping your broken self from the rubber of your shoe,

Feeling defeated but smarter.

Why did I once wince at the imperfections?

…the humiliation, unrelenting palpitations of hurt,

Handcuffs, eyes swollen from tears, defeat.

Embrace it like you did when you saw your first drag queen,

It’s heart is beating, it is truth and it ain’t going anywhere without you.

Gallery

Only She Knows

The laundry needs a whirl, The epidermis some exfoliating; That nest of greasy hair…. Could use a tousle with a brush. The whole of her calls desperately For an abundant frolic with some soap, ……or an improvisational meditation, A kneel down; a shout out for hope. No one else can see her illness, No one […]

The Rogue Wave

It’s “just a beverage;”
you tell me;
Something wet,

that quenches,
enlivens your insides,
refreshes wholly
with  newness;
a tactile sensation,
an unexpected pleasant 360′ of emotion,
the flirtation of an ocean wave,
like a smile from across the room,
for you it’s real
for me
it’s not that same wave.
When it soaks you- you run to shore,
When it soaks me, I run in,
that unexpected wave,
I’m the child again,

it’s my first time at the beach
a welcome surprise, my first

rogue wave,
a cool reset on a sweltering day
you’ve tasted it’s salty rim
I hadn’t known I wasn’t alive?
I stood, my soul dripping
what it could not hold,
what it could not quench,
revealing the many tiny holes,
like a sieve it drains slowly at my feet
I am still thirsty same as you.

The Alleyway

For nearly 11 years I saw it as just an alleyway.   It was a place to go sneak a molecule of clean air; free from the sticky fumes of hair spray and gossip.  It was my work place, and after so many years there, I no longer thought it special.  It was Friday.  As usual, I took  A moment  to regain my composure before I told yet another elderly lady with loose confidence that “it looked great.”  Great was that word I threw around the way most use the word interesting.   It was years I did that smile and forced my hand to use my scissors in a way that didn’t translate even a hint of the artistry I was capable of as a hair stylist.  “Oh yes, that looks just like you, lovely”……lovely, I’d think to myself-lovely that you have such a simple regard for beauty…  Lovely that I’ve helped  you feel pretty again, after all, that is what matters-feeling pretty?

But it was there at the end of a shift that it happened.  The sun was setting, an unusual surprise being it was more like February this April.   I stepped out in the same way I usually do, sipping my lemon water and draping my neck with a hot Lavender pillow.  But when I stepped out back I felt I had interrupted some strange stage show.  I was not alone as usual- just me and shadows of the alley; which was usually  scattered with peanuts the lady upstairs drops for the squirrels.   Instead there was a satiny trail of red fabric leading from the old metal door and just trotting up was an unarguably  large well groomed horse with an ivory sash over his back.

Rubbing my eyes letting out an exasperated sigh I was about to call April fools when I looked up at who rode this beast.   Geeky glasses and full red lips, in all his goofy glory wearing a felt black brimmed hat was Braden?    “Juliet….oh Juliet”…He said.  Then the music started and my cheeks grew bigger and glowed with curiosity.   Poofs of glitter were being spattered like confetti into  the air.   Glenna and Ruby who were tending to clients were no longer working inside.    It was our song,  they played Moonlight Serenade.  How could they know?    It was then that I knew that my simple life as a hairdresser would be more than I could have imagined.

Thus far I had known just the tip of the love and service I felt I owed to humanity.  But Braden…This man had a knack for making a gift out of an ordinary day.   And now I could cut his hair until he had none!    His smile on horseback behind the Pixie Doll Salon had not a hint of ill assurance.   He beamed with an unwavering presence of heart.  He held out a hat for me, “the skies the limit,” he said.  There he was with hand held out and two ladies propping me side saddle on the romantic beast-“I need me a life rider-Got your boots on”  he said?    I grinned like a lovesick girl.      “You said you didn’t care what we did tonight?”

This  new vantage point-the shiny muscular back of  this quietly powerful  animal, gave me new insight into  putting your feet up at days end.  It also allowed me to see things, really see things, a little higher up, keeping in check with my ego.   I felt a wee bit spectacle in the middle of downtown on horseback.     This all proved to be very symbolic; love lessons I may call upon over the years.      With only the stars as witness…and Glenna and Ruby in back of the Pixie doll Salon.

The day had come.  Trotting through alley’s with my love and his perfectly coiffed hair.  Past the windows of those diners who were lucky to see the news first- I was getting married!     I was love-able enough to to be chosen and he may have known if first.     I leaned in and whispered. “How fast does this fella go,”  I asked.   “Well, I figure,  If we take the back roads and do a light easy trot, no one will ticket us? ”  There’s one more thing.  “We need to get to the park.  There,  I will take out one very shiny object and place it on your finger.”   ” Well giddy-up!”   I think if were galloping we can show them the ring?    It does catch every bit of the moonlight on it’s huge surface- yes?    His face answered for me.  Onward John Wayne.  Hang on, Calamity Jane he dug in with with heels, kicked and road with skill I hadn’t known before.   “Wait, wait…..He pulled back and nearly tipped us off with his abrupt hault.  Glenna yelled “DON’T GO!”  – running inside-she came back  tossing flowers she had stolen from the bathroom-here, hold these it just looks right!  In one hand I caught them- petals floating all around.   I nervously clenched the bunch of fresh Spring flowers.  “Giddy Up-if we break a law, we just plead we don’t know any better- cause were in love!”

Nothing to Hide

Tis not the color of my skin,

but the attitude within,

tis not the brand of my new pants

it’s – when I wear them,

I NEED to dance,

it’s not the weapon at my hip,

it’s that unarmed,

I  WILL  repel your every quip.

It’s not the guard dog,

that makes me stand with pride,

it’s that we both have nothing to hide.

IF I knew you liked Pie?

Had you stayed in my life…..I may have not been me.  I may not have loved that boyfriend-that skater boy-the way I did.   My psyche may have preferred quiet of introspection.   I might  enjoy aligning my books in the shelf by color and size?   I may not enjoy recklessly slamming doors and speeding in my car, when I should go slow?      I may not have doted on my lover the one I loved-like no one  should love someone; with every coursing corpuscle and every molecule of oxygen in my hemoglobin…….diminished to a heap of blonde hair and blue jeans, lifeless on his porch when it was over- just  tears keeping me warm.

Had you stayed,   I may have never have reacted as I did-when a man  professed I was somebody; worthy and love-able.     I may have very well understood love differently?    Perhaps it would never have owned me; and when that handsome young man slid a diamond on my finger, perhaps I would have been filled with excitement instead of fear-so scared that  I had to run.  I might have even mailed a letter, cause that’s what we did back then.  I may have explained why I ran or I may never have run?    When I did sit quietly with myself, which was never…. I did  wonder what was missing, and I never knew it was you.  But I  baked a lot of pies from scratch and a lot of quiche Lorraine.   I fed everybody……and I would have fed you-if I knew you liked pie?

Part one: Why did you leave?

I was nearly two when it happened.  My mom had gone through the closet looking for clues.  She found a business card in the pocket of his clothes, my father’s clothes; the clothes she usually laundered.  Looking at the white rectangle business card she held in her hand spurred hot tears.  The logo looked so innocuous, so pleasant- A divorce attorney.  Why couldn’t he find the words?   As a toddler we are encouraged to use words rather than clock  unknowing people bruskly over the head with our toy?  Why couldn’t he find the words?   Not even Goodbye?