Monday, June 21, 2010

Blowing Besos

(Poems composed while laying in the sand at Juhnon Beach over the weekend.)
This morning I got your letter
From across the wine dark sea
It arrived in my little P.O. Box
I open with a key
Red and blue fringe
And my name written so clearly
I took you to the park beneath the vines
And for an hour I shut out the world
Except for you
And your dress stains removed with seltzer
And brother with leukemia
You quoted Dickenson to me
You wrote
“The chariot is frugal that bares the human soul”
And I folded you into my big book of
Shakespeare plays and won’t
Open you again until the leaves
Of autumn fall at my feet.
Yesterday while running
Through the city
I caught a yellow butterfly midflight
It was just past the machine shop on
Mei-Shin Lu where I turn the corner
And sprint the last half-mile home
Through the Cyprus trees and across
The bamboo bridges
Dodging the woman with strollers
And old men playing chess
Looking up too late to catch me
Whizzing by in a blur.
Last week the Koreans got clobbered
Two goals against in the first half
And my eldest daughter
The one that feels things so deeply
Like her dad
Took off her foam soccer ball hat
And sat under the table
And wouldn’t come out
Until I crouched down beside her
And let her pinch my arm
Until it bled
Poor parenting
I suppose
But sometimes it helps to shed blood
Right along with the thing you
Love most
Dying in front of your eyes.
Sunday afternoon
I got a haircut in the little neighborhood salon
Sat under the pink shiny blanket
In the spinning chair
And mumbled directions in Chinese
Kept my fingers crossed as the
Clippers started snipping
And the chunks of hair fell
Like monkeys from the trees.
Following morning in the teacher’s office
We sit side by side
Collectively loathing the new guy
Who yammers as the day is long
Both of us thinking
The same thing
Silence is golden
Later we laugh
How we need a magic ring we can touch
Focus our message
“Wonder Twin Powers….
Shape of a big sandwich of shut it.”
Now every time he starts talking
We both put our heads down and giggle.
It was a Thursday evening
And I caught you playing
With the buttons
Of your shirt at your desk
You didn’t see me until
It was too late
But then there was no escape
Because you know I’m not looking away
“Keep it unbuttoned,” I whispered
“Makes life more interesting,”
And so you did.
Waiting for the school bus
On the first day of the week
With three pint sized daughters
Playing Simon Says
Simon Says touch your nose
Simon Says touch your ears
Simon Says touch your clothes
Touch the sun
All their little hands reaching
Up into the sky
So high on tippy-toes
No higher than my waist
Such hope that they will be the one
Wiggly fingers
Pursed lips
Eyes shut in concentration
Not a care in the world that
They were already out.
Last weekend drove west to the
South China Sea
To run wild in the waves
And explore secret dunes
And windmills in the distance
The water so warm you’d swear
It came straight from the tap
Wind surfed off the shore and stared down
Into the depths
Just pulling on the breeze
Knowing nothing would catch me
If I fell.
This morning I came to work
I opened my computer
And began planning out the day
A week before finals
It’s crunch time and
You texted me
You said, “Thank you for making me feel alive again”
That made me smile
It took me five minutes to text a reply
Silly fingers won’t cooperate on the little keys
I wrote:
Am writing poetry before class
Heating up coffee in the microwave
Feeling wind against my freshly shaved scalp
The hair already starting to grow
I feel alive too.
Saturday night
After the girls drifted off to sleep
I hit this rooftop party
To dance under the flashing lights
Bodies glistening
Arms thrown wildly in the air
Across the park I could see into my daughter’s bedroom
The little lamp beside their bed
19 floors off the ground
I thought about standing in the ocean that morning
Not quite land not quite sea
Only wave and surf
Looking out at the unknown horizon
Looking back to see safety on the shore
It’s like that moment before a perfect kiss
Leaning in unsure if you
Should let it swallow
You whole
Hoping it will last

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