Friday, July 12, 2013

this woman I know







               — for Melissa





she is lovely, kind, funny and wise, 
pays attention to details that matter 
and gives credit where it is due 

she recognizes brushstrokes and patterns
hidden within the weavings 
of intricate tapestries of silence

she pauses for just one more moment, 
as her jagged, deep inhalations memorize

each aspect of this undiluted world, 
this crazy, unzipped life

where wings are frail and transparent,
too easily bent or broken, 
but if you are careful, 
they will carry you far enough
before you fall

she comes and goes, 
waving farewell without a sound - 
she changes her name until it fits, 
she weeps, she dances, she hums

then revolves,  
goes back to an awful beginning
she cannot seem to forget, 

where words once seduced her 
into the latticed lateness 
of an empty morning
without coffee or bread to bind her wounds

small sentences held her hands, clasped together
as they shook through thicker shades of night
she never quite believed were possible

beneath bridges she once burned,
she sifts through soft gray ash, 
seeking bones to bury. to ask forgiveness, 
a wretched ritual of penance none of them require - 
there was no offense remembered 

but oh, 
she is warmed by a single notion 
that one day they might sing her sinew slowly 
into a different place, 

one without boundaries
and unjust rules

beyond horizons of barbed wire,
she sees unsaddled horses grazing 
and smiles

there is a boxcar sitting,
still on the track, 

quiet, open and waiting
for her to run, jump, 

settle inside the early dusk
and fly far away 
to where dreams are shaped
and reborn,

loosened from the long list of madnesses 
decreed by a mundane existence

where words don't seem to matter much
or mean so much, she cannot speak - 
her eyes turn black, 
shining wet with ink

apologies kick off their shoes
as bare toes squish and stretch, reveling 
in the last days of summer's lush green

leaves turn, crisp and drift,
briefly ablaze with fiery, vivid colors,
her cheeks reddened by an unexpected breeze

they become new reminiscences for her to tuck safely 
between those sacred folds 
of her stitched and mended heart

anticipating another journey
to somewhere else,

where she can simply breathe