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some mornings [Jun. 19th, 2010|01:39 am]

sometimes i wake up feeling like an elephant
that ate a whale
that drank the whole ocean dry.

all five of them.

i’d get out of bed, but i fear
that i’d crush all the tiny things beneath me,
            ladies hurrying with umbrellas
            men running late in traffic
            bunnies scurrying from gentrified homes
so instead i dangle my big foot attached to my huge ankle
alongside the sheets slipping from my sleepy cave.

i should hide here forever, i think--
because of the staring and scaring and crushing.

sometimes i wake up feeling like a hot air balloon
deflated; stranded on a deserted beach.


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To The Boys Who Didn't Suck [Apr. 12th, 2010|01:04 am]

thanks for linking your huge grey eyes with mine
when i handed you your mocha frappuccino,
instead of continuing your day
having never actually seen me.

thanks for trying to stick up for me
in that argument on the lawn
about women’s reproductive justice.
it was cute the way you yelled

a woman has the right to her own body, man!

thanks for sticking around to hear
my poor grasp on rhythm
as i attempted tambourine solo on that karaoke stage.
unfortunately, you should know that i’m
not much better when i’m not intoxicated.

thanks for asking me to dance,
and then when i said i couldn’t,
making me dance with you anyway.

i tried not to giggle aloud
when you tipped your white wide-brimmed hat
after the final two-step of that misty Friday night

i know that you drive a big ole’ Dodge
and sit at Sonic after hours to pick up
a babe or a fight

i find you charming.
so, your grammar sucks,
but you don’t.

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Because Helen listens to The Pixies in India [Apr. 5th, 2010|08:58 pm]
a sequined sari softly draped over pale, slender shoulders.
swirls of orange and yellow like sorbet--
           sweet like her last summer spent in The States.

she traded her senior year
grande soy white mocha frappuccinos
singing lead in a all-girl folk band
and her liberal demands
for bathing with baby elephants in the
canal down the road from the only
coed academy in New Delhi.

a seventeen-year-old singer-songwriter swooned her.
he sings in Hindi what she can only feel in English.
they sit in the cafeteria like royalty, wearing aviator sunglasses,

feeling beautiful in foreign fabrics
feeling dirty with white skin
falling in love with forbidden
boys who have destinies arranged for them.

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Gender-Happy Meal [Apr. 5th, 2010|08:53 pm]
He stepped right up to the counter.
His blue taffeta bodice matched
the blue shimmer sweeping from lid to brow.
He stepped right up and the girl behind the counter
with gold highlights on dark brown hair handed him
a paper bag and a wind-up HotWheels car.
He pursed painted red lips and pushed the car back
without winding it up.
Her over-plucked eyebrows mimicked the Golden Arches behind her.
McDonald’s has rules about who gets the bag with My Little Pony
and who gets the bag with the HotWheels car.
Maybe if his hair was a little longer and he wasn’t missing
his left front tooth, he would have walked away with a prize.

Sisters steal their brother’s HotWheels and let their Barbies watch
while they give into their need for speed, but if her brother is seen
with a doll in hand, he can count on eating asphalt at lunchtime.

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june 14, 1988 [Mar. 1st, 2010|01:16 pm]
a close up.
skipping out of work early on a Tuesday ‘cause the temperature’s finally below 107°.
there’s a sunburn forming where the forehead conquers what used to be hair.
trying to hide 28 years of freckles behind thick red frames and a thick red beard.
there’s a mustard stain on the faded button-down, just above the n in Dan.

smile with your teeth, Dan.
wishing this moment could last forever.
snagging this moment like a kite in a tree

so it will last forever.
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Freedom [Feb. 12th, 2010|02:46 pm]

there’s bog mud dried thick to my bare feet;
one on the sweaty leather seat
and the other on the accelerator, answering to no one.

indian paintbrushes try to smother out the fresh roadkill with no success,
and Paula Cole is asking where have all the cowboys gone.

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“Something of His” [Jan. 30th, 2010|01:55 pm]

she does laundry.
flopping and folding
floral sheets and cotton dresses and soft colored towels,
when    one      lost      sock
of         blackandwhite argyle
clings to the corner of her washcloth.

she removes it and stares at the hole forming in the heel.

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edna, tx [Jan. 20th, 2010|02:11 am]
i’m a jungle cat.
i eat figs and persimmons straight from the tree
and the sticky orange juices stain my JCC camp tshirt.
i wipe my fingertips on my shorts and there’s orangey dirt streaks left there, too.

plastic snakes hang from fake spiderwebs to ward off the birds,
but i know what’s what.
i crawl in the softest sand and my knees don’t even hurt.
there’s moss in my hair and i’m beautiful.

i pick homegrown zinnias and wipe the peachy powder on my nose ‘til i gesundheit,
pet frogs toes as they clumsily hop out of reach,
and play tag-you’re-it with the butterflies who hover too close to the ground.

the grass is tall and so are the sunflowers that follow the curve of the driveway.
all the trees stick up into the cloudless sky.
piney barked branches remain strong, never swaying in the summer breeze
that so effortlessly wafts pine needles to the ground where they stick to my shins.

i’m not big enough to climb the trees
except for the one with the magnolia petals and the branch low enough to sit upon.
i sip summer raindrops from the flowers as big as my face.

when the fireflies appear i chase them with a pickle jar until grandpa comes home from golf.
his cigar smoke and old spice musters with the outside smells that tickle my nose
and i gesundheit again.
he tells me to come up to the carport to wash off.

there isn’t a carport at home
or soft sand or a magnolia tree or fresh figs.
i’m a jungle cat and i like it here.

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b.a [Aug. 3rd, 2009|01:46 am]
The taxi cab slows at an intersection for pedestrians to pass
and her door flung open to the slick streets reflecting lamps
that mimicked stars from above.
She stepped out and scampered spinning letting her suitcase fall to the cobblestone
letting her lacy underwear soak in the city
letting light rain ruin her flawless hairdo.
Cars with cracked windows lend their soundtracks to her routine.
Opera popera ballet dizzy turns opposing traffic.
A skipping silhouette never skipping a beat making up new words
to an old jazz tune from her childhood in the street.
Shopkeepers sweeping their stoops stopped to stare
but she couldn’t feel their gaze past her blue coat now dripping
soaked down with warm rain right to her bone.
The feathers in her hat have wilted—yet she’s never felt more alive.
Looking towards the heavens stars fall and drop drips onto the tip of her nose.
A fallen star.
A new song.
A warm smile.
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xmas in july [Jul. 25th, 2009|02:25 am]

where are you christmas?
a little girl sings quietly in the backseat
the car thermometer reading a big ol july 109.
while an ice cream cone melts into the lap of her dress,
she can’t help day dreaming of sugar plum fairies
and whoville’s christmas joy.

the red light turns to green
flickering again and again in her eyes.
speeding cars through the intersection are oblivious
to anything other than their own stopping and going.
the summer sun steams off fresh tar at a visible foot at least
and she anxiously wriggles within her seatbelt
thinking only of the snow fields that might cover roads in months to come
oh, how she can’t stand the wait.

every morning she dresses in wellies and her matching hat and gloves
her mother unravels her out of the hand-knitted scarf
and into more appropriate shorts and neon gellies.
disgruntled, she rides to swimming lessons three times a week
with the promise that she can order ice cream before the day is through.
dissatisfied, she trudges through the heat dreaming of gingerbread and hot cocoa
as her hot fudge sundae slides off the cookie-cone once again.

she searches for clues left by dr. suess
and the whos every night in her bedtime stories
because she worries the grinch may have stolen her most cherished christmas
and replaced it with everlasting july.

before climbing into the car each day
she drops a letter in her mailbox
addressed to the north pole.
in red crayon she writes
where are you christmas?

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