Sunday, November 20, 2011

a paddle in the river

i've been drawing the taj mahal for you
in my class that i'm quitting.
because you are you and i am me.
and there's all this stuff floating around
in the air, unspoken. all these unsaid things,
sentiments, beliefs. breathing in largely,
wholly, slowly, safely. with the bottoms rims
of my eyes burning like onions
looking at my red knuckles while sitting still,
completely unmoving, perched, fingers curved,
at the piano ready then lifted in mid-air in the
sigh before the concerto begins.
fingertips spreading fast over capital letters
and punctuation and pupils that move side
to side. i keep wishing i could look at myself
from outside my body and give her a good
little pep talk, the kind i know i need.
but instead i look out of the colored glass
window and think about nothing at all.
i keep wishing i could trade something
to have nadyne back like some bargain like
some little kid who'd make any deal, feels
guilty for being bad. i swear i'd bring her back.
listening to african percussion, feel my lips
congeal with spit, try to swallow take a
deep breath, fill my lungs though its my
heart that feels its full, no more room in here.
all my one liners i thought of in the car
gone now which makes my nose scrunch up.
and then i'm criticizing myself again and getting
angry. and i can't articulate myself and getting
angry. i don't think i could explain the
kind of headache that comes from death.
or the way in which you turn your face to the
sun and decide to be happy anyways.
and oh, nadyne again. and is it strange that
after halloween i thought about how i'd love
for her to visit me but she was in my dream
where i held her like a baby.
its like you keep showing up.
just like i keep waking up.
but this room feels brown and like a soft
brush against my cheek with sniffles in the night.
this room reminds me of christmas and
sitting cuddled on the floor admiring the
books, putting my fingers in between pages
and feeling the weight of 200 more and the pressing
of a book cover
and peeking at typefont. the letter A.
this room reminds me of cartoons and sober
late nights with few words and the piano,
again, from down the hall, in the distance,
unfamiliar notes as something is created.
creation. my hearts desire. the envy of.
ability. skill. hearts in motion. hand's devotion.
and i see my life's purpose like a paddle in a river,
like a deep pull through clear water, pushing
and gaining and finding the truth.
in a novel when you feel overwhelmed,
when you forget the people in this play
are actors on a stage and
what will the poet next will say:
your moment of truth -
a millisecond
but its under your skin
and deep in your pupils
its circulating your veins
and forever in your brain.
and this is what it feels like, in this room
like an early morning shower or the
way my sweater slipped over my head
sleeping with clocks ticking and eating
food on a bench.
and so not only to create,
but to find.
to look for; seek.
like death, like a room, like a book,
like my picture of the taj mahal i'm
drawing you. like quitting.
and i'm always giving myself this pep talk
and trying to be more forgiving.
where every wretched moment is a valid one
and puts me closer to the truth.
what i'm seeking.
where i'm paddling to: truth.
a real second of time
that comes in the form of an honest
reaction. instinct.
your impulse, something real which is
why we are breathing in largely.
wholly, slowly, safely.
last week i took up painting.
for nadyne. and for my truth.

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