carnations

I will be a child of the Dalai Lama.

I will be a man I don’t even begin to know or understand and will befriend a young boy, near broken in two, and be as father for the one who wasn’t.  like I said, I don’t know how, only that it needs to be, and I will.  sometimes I will be a man, else I might seem as wind or rain or rocks by the side of the road, but it will be me all the same.  the child, he will know, what is, and what isn’t.

I will be a butterfly beside the creek who flies into the wind.  or maybe I already did.

I will be husband, lover, your best friend.  the horizon sky will be both dawn and dusk.  we won’t say dream, we’ll say – this life.  meaning you, meaning me.  it is a vanity we will allow with gratitude.  in god’s dream we are the breath, the poem that speaks like water does.

I will be an old red truck who holds two lovers kissing in the late night rain.

I will be a sail who rounds the Cape of Good Hope.

I will be a child who is lost in the woods and though they search and search, is never found, so instead becomes a bear, a mother who tells her cubs what it was to be a man and writes her tale into the bark of trees for all to see and read and understand until that winter’s snow when she lays down and passes from sight.  her poems nest upon those trees for hundreds, hundreds of years, maybe even right now.

I will be a tree who lives a thousand lives.

I will be a star with limbs that reach to the first note of time.  I will sing with light because God asked me to.

I will be a poem, the honest poem that has been wanting a pen, and says itself rightly, with only brightness for a mouth.

I will be a leaf first borne on the far far light of a star, then drink rain, drink earth, bloom like green, then in autumn become amber and fall with uncounting cousins where I am raked and rattled into a pile and am leapt upon by an excited child.  good life, leaf thinks to itself.

I will walk with you and when the question is asked, yes.

I will be, again, the fallen faded leaf who befriends a spirit sitting on a bench and who notices me that one day even though wind would seem to scatter such relationship.  I will be there the next day and the next and the man will find me again and again and understand love is always implied even in the smallest fragments, even when he thought love would look like someone else.

I will be a woman with her ordinary unknown life who, one day, right there on a street corner for all to witness, holds up a sign surely meant in some other way, yet when a man near lost of faith passes by and reads, it will restore him from despair.  then she will in turn be passed by just the way most angels are, never knowing herself, that is who she is.

I will be the color red, an orphan of the China sea, a good fortune wedding dress, with stories to tell, but I won’t.  instead a woman will write poems about my fingertips and the soft curve of her tongue.

I will be a man who writes a list of names, a list just like this, save for the one he is being now.

me, again.

read footnotes about this poem

changing pants (unfinished)

here, I’ll change these pants
slip into another me, maybe
scrape my knees, break breath
on buttons harder than me.
but more honest unafraid,
lions and bears not being
what folk of usual, usually
think.  sprites with teeth.

quiet comes the pounce
when you look away, who
is eating us.

who takes and keeps this thirst.

wings

some wings aren’t feathers, but leaves instead.

some wings drink from roots, not three toes.

some wings hold hands, finger limb to limb,
smiling into the taste behind your lips.

some wings beckon the wind to themselves
although the sentiment is mutual.

some wings remember your face, you who
swam in their autumn change of grace.

did you thirst for their brittle scattering
tresses at your feet?  they do notice that.

how our feet land in the sky does matter,
how your voice takes theirs inside.

some wings hold very still as earth
soars on past their steadfast gaze.

leaves are kin when water is blood.

world keeps listening and flying in.
 
 
read footnotes about this poem

poem to someone I don’t know, number two

I could wonder what it would be to share a kitchen with you.  spoons and pots and plates, and pleats.  brushing against you casually without a second thought (well alright, a few).  to lounge on the sofa, book in hand, you reading yours or adrift in meditative intent across the room.  or to awake, in bed, your face horizon’s light.
  
here’s why the moon adores the dawn, surrendering.  maybe all is only one cup’s measure of truth.  not this day the intimacy of soft familiar shoes, but yes, wanting
to be.  yours, sincerely.

read footnotes about this poem

don’t be Chinese

don’t be Chinese if you’re not, you’d only do it wrong.  don’t be too tall, lest you’re bound to leap.  don’t be slow if you cross in the middle of the block, cane in hand. (then) (take a breath)  that’s my son!, said following the twisting running hollering boy.  about right for relationship, one full breath after another one.  father hurries along.  some things are right, some things are hidden.  it’s a matter of being ripe.  
desire don’t always count the way we think it does.

china

china walks round the corner past the bank.
china is a woman this time.
china wears a jacket that’s grown very old,
now faded red, like her hair, faded thin.
china doesn’t look at me.
china’s thoughts are a hidden wall.
china lets time pass, walking ahead of her.
out of sight china turns, comes back home.
china draws a circle in the sky of her feet.
china has only silent words today.

if I were an Asian mother walking down the street

here, here look at my son.
he is larger than me.  much.  larger than my husband too.  larger than either of us.
 
I hold my husband’s hand as we walk to market down the late morning street, my arm within my son’s arm.
 
sometimes my son steps out ahead, as when we cross the street, but then soon he is back at my side.
 
I walk down the street in between my husband and my son, hand in hand, arm in arm.  here’s my son.  my gratitude.