I have to leave the house for stupid errands
Call when ready and we’ll see what works
I look out the window
Is a wall
How do I crane my twisted neck
To find the freedom
That I know is in the sky
Can you go buy me cigarettes
She rasps from the dark cocoon of wherever she is with her demons
On the mattress on my bedroom floor
I take my school uniform off and change into civvies
Put on some mascara so the 7/11 guy will sell to me
Come back with the goods
She’s still there
Deep in her turmoil
But also she sees me
As I bring her lighter
I was raped
She drops it
Like a bowling ball through a glass table
My feet beneath.
I feel the impact
On my childhood
On my innocence
On my place as her daughter
As she discloses
For the first time in her life
Nearly fifty years old
Her vast history of horrific sexual assault
In graphic detail
Of the violence
Of the humiliation
Of the insidious threats to silence her
A suite of stories
That I now see as almost universally thematic for so many women
But her first telling
Was my first hearing
And already I had my own
Tucked away inside so many poky corners of my soul
She draws on her dart
Exhaling putrid smoke
Into my asthmatic face
She’s feeling that relief
Of no longer carrying it alone
My feet feel the bruise of the bowling ball impact
My soul is writhing with the discomfort of being made the listener
She looks at my face
Hers switches up and she blinks
Dons the facade of adult
You’d better put your uniform on and get to school
I keep my loneliness warm
With the blue light
Scrolling for the jolts per minute
Without wanting to get dressed
Or move from the couch
I know I am ok alone
But if someone said
Hey let’s play
I might say
Today I fell in love
With the enchantingly intriguing
whorls of my left index finger
My own fingerprint
My own uniqueness
Finding new things to love about myself
What a beautiful daily habit
Mum, I’m gay,
I texted her.
That’s nice dear.
As in you’ve renamed yourself, or like two poofy men?
Striding through the Autumn morning in my walking shoes
Seeking solace in the beauty outside me
from the rage that churns within
The grey blanket of the pre-dawn sky warms me not,
but offers me great comfort,
with the reassuring reminder that I am
and as expansive as the universe
A blush emerges as the sun comes back from the other side of the world, busy tart
A suggestive apricot, fuzzy and without edges, and with the optimism of Alabama Whitman
“She tastes like a peach”
how truly did I want to taste her mouth
Still I stride, breathing through my swirling truth
And now, somehow, streaks of pink and blue
Audacious as those marine creatures that you think have surely been exaggerated
in the artist’s depiction
I can even forgive my ancestors for believing in sky god
Here under this cracking morning sky, remembering to notice the beauty of the universe.
Mary Oliver eat your heart out!
Savour those juices as they stream down your chin
Rivulets forming in your cleavage invitationally
for another lover
of life to slurp at
Mum, I like to lick life juice off the tits of women poets.
Still I stride, rounding the corner, home comes into view.
And in the valley beyond, down over the town to the west
The sun, my current favourite artist, has invited the morning mist to dance.
My queer little heart opens in bliss.
Life really does love me!
And I love her right back,
most Sapphically indeed.
And with that
The dahlias are suddenly finished.
My only consolation
The wry knowledge
of just how quickly
next year will come round
Poetry will save us as it has and always does It's poetry who catches us falling in and out of love A resting tent that nurtures us while our souls replenish, touching the universality of our own uniquely fragile stardust... Stroking our foreheads, breathing peace into our hearts, illuminating the beauty in everything and stitching it into a cloak of light, draped lovingly around our shaking shoulders; whispering cogently to us of its impenetrability, of our own sovereign safety, so that we may rise refueled our furnace stoked charged by the life force now burning outrageously bright in us to face the world and all its oddly timed surprises with the optimistic courage of a rising sun This day is mine! Poetry has saved me. Again.
In the forest
alone I stand
by the held wisdom
and cool release
of all my fellow trees
Our shared experiences
touch us differently
but the sky calls us all
as our roots reach
to nourish us
In my garden
I look up and gasp in awe
At the beauty of the view up through the tree
“Imagine being one of the creatures lucky enough to live under here!”
And then I realised that I am.