still giving (but slowly)

the decision to finally
pull up the still-giving
(but slowly) broccoli
plants and then
the tugging

_______

like if a terrorist were to come
in here to mail something, as if they would
actually say yes when i ask
‘does this parcel contain anything fragile, liquid, perishable, or potentially hazardous, including lithium batteries and perfume’ she says

_______

the coconut bon bons are tempting
but so are the first class postage stamps

_______

thunderstorm digging
into the heat of day
so much rain i say
pinning pattern to fabric
as it starts coming down

_______

i may not be the butch you anticipated
i think but i don’t call underwear panties

_______

i thought those were supposed to be unbreakable
trish says of the corelle plate that sounded like
a crashing chandelier when it broke apart on
the kitchen floor

_______

he’s refusing to eat trish says
of a. who now carries a bullet
in his heart who woke up
delusional (pain medication)
and scared and agitated – all
the tubes who said he still
wanted his friends to go
out there – even though it
meant they might take the next
bullet they haven’t told
his parents

_______

black mothers at the arch she said
telling stories about their sons
getting pulled over their sons
going to jail their sons living
in a kind of fear that white people
will never know

_______

chasing sunset down
a gravel road dogs
in the ditch drinking
a bird that seems
magnificent but lands
in a perch too far away
to tell

_______

sunset sky that almost looks
like mountains instead of sky
which is a kind of tug
in the general direction of
north and west

_______

what the water brings:

A home-made aluminium boat carrying 16 Cuban migrants pulls up to a dock in Grand Cayman island
A home-made aluminum boat carrying 16 Cuban migrants pulls up to a dock seeking what the migrants said was refuge from rough seas, in Grand Cayman island August 28, 2014. Local law enforcement would not allow the migrants to receive drinking water, food or supplies from well-wishers onshore, before ordering the group to depart the British territory or be taken into custody and repatriated to Cuba. The boat’s captain said the passengers – 11 men and five women – had been at sea for five days since leaving eastern Cuba. REUTERS/Peter Polack

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approaches/is upon

fabius!!!! i call out
approaching our
half-way there
turn-around point
(7.5 miles down, 7.5 miles to go)
at the edge of the bridge
that crosses the river under
ridge road

_______

a pronounced wave
(rather than the 1-finger-lift)
from a cement truck driver
while we pass each other
on highway mm

_______

good day for a run says darien
in the porchswing we talk
through the porch screen
him eating something breakfasty
(perhaps melon)
me hanging onto front step railing
while i stretch my legs

_______

i apologize to anyone who
sits near me for the perfumeness
(also known as the mistake of
using conditioner that
a visitor left behind)
_______

snot-rocketing i say
and mica admires
the verbness

_______

imposter syndrome i say
while quartering the
amish paste tomatoes
talking about how i
don’t give myself enough credit sometimes
(example: dismissing the breast stroke
as not a real stroke
and therefore the 40 minute swim
i did the other day doesn’t count)
not in a way that defines me
but also not in a way that is contained
i consider writing a list

_______

lights flickering in karma kitchen
amidst the steam of giant pots
of tomatoes cooking down and
the hum of the fan pulling air through
as the storm approaches/is upon us
me slicing away (coring and quartering)
while mica separates tomato from juice
and lifts quart jars in and out of
the hot water bath

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let’s stay

elena exclaims about wet socks/shoes
on the field but also
hucks a damn fine huck and
while we line up for the next
point to start she says how much
she loves this game
how many different places/circumstances
she’s played in
face beaming

_______

what the storm coming in looked like:
a gray shelf in the sky
a swath
black as clouds can get
with a line/burst of light underneath
mica and i confer
about whether or not we should
get out of the water
abandoning our 40 minute swim
let’s stay i say

_______

two dollar zip loc of
yogurt covered pretzels
in my backpack

_______

joseph in red tshirt and
thin black suspenders
on his way
south and east

_______

alyssa and i hug like
we’ve known each other since
middle school
like we’ve been through something
and, collectively, we have
onion slices coming apart on
the butcher block
_______

pictionary on the front porch in
lamplight some of the words played
include:
referee
pillow case
finland
mud
tilt

_______

let’s start early tomorrow
mica suggests
a tactic for avoiding traffic
which is not a bad thing to do
considering we pedal on county highways
(speed limit 60)
that like to throw in a curve now and then
decorated by yellow signs with an arrow
in the shape of said curves
with a 40mph speed limit noted
which not all drivers comply with

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sweatshine

awake at 5:30
running shoes on at 6:25
starting slow i drop down
into creekside treeline
and when i rise back up
striding to the top of the first
gentle roll (flanked by corn)
the sun, an orange orb,
lifting off the horizon
both of us in just the right
place so that we shine
on each other

_______

upon return (after 50 minutes
of me propelling myself forward)
the glisten of my chest
sweatshine

_______

funny song emory hints
starts with an ‘i’
turns out to be this:
i got 20 dollars in my pocket

_______

the sunset sky (pink cloud pulled apart
across clearblue)
and the colors it turns people’s faces
and how several of us can’t help
but look up to take it all in

_______

hatchback city tyler says
as we arrive under a
pink-swath sky regarding
alyssa’s and zoe’s hatch-
backs parked in the drive

_______

we’ll remind each other
what our bodies can do
lines like this, potato chips
and if there was a bag nearby
i’d eat until nary a greasy crumb remains

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like ropes like poles

eli’s arms wrapped around
while we walk in the sideyard
like participants in a three legged race
what if you just stayed here
and we walked around like this all day
i joke and he says ok
we used to call him monkey
because of how he would climb up people
like ropes like poles

_______

the tomato weight
(six 5-gallon buckets of them)
behind me
(where grass turns to gravel
the motion requires less effort)

_______

tyler with a vita coco in his hand
says look what i found in memphis
victory
_______

warmer than bathwater
mica and i agree
about our 10 minutes of
light activity
(pondswimming
which means we stay near the surface
on a 97.7 degree day)
which means we are sweating
once we step out

_______

we cheer from the front porch
through the screens
heyyyyyyy! welcome home!!!
as the jet family arrives
along with hazel
who i know only from a story
about how ultimate frisbee
broke his jaw
and he had to eat liquid food
for weeks
while it healed

_______

3 liquid gallons strapped to my back
while i walk up-down the brassicas
after dusk (the edges of clouds renaissance-lit)
swatting at the high-pitch whine near my ears
with the sprayer in my hand
aimed at the plants

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but glittering

we go separate ways
to the same river
(east, into the fog-shrouded sun
and south, into the next county)
but we are still in this
10 bike miles
together
pedaling to and away from water
muddied but glittering
this is how the day begins
_______

through the fog
past the clinking inside the cow barn
(the clinking, i never know what it is
but always hear it
could be milking machinery
could be the cows fighting the doors of their pens)
down to where the fabius passes under a bridge
and on the way: too many smashed frogs in the road to count
_______

bottles of nail polish
lined up in rainbow order
on the picnic table
under pine tree shade

_______

izzi sponges the half/half colors on
(this style has a name:  umbra)
and asks which place, out of all i’ve lived in
i like the best
and if it was
sad to leave
and i ask her about her favorite
of all the places she’s been to
_______

the telling and re-telling
of the chin-scar stories
part one
and part two

_______

fox flash
blurring across
gravel road just after
the creekbridge
under the canopy
of missouri trees
_______

having just learned about heather askeland yesterday
who laid herself on the tracks
at a point in her life when
she was becoming too sick to care for herself
during a relapse of late, systemic, neurological lyme’s

this knowledge a wash
brushed over the train’s howl and hurtling
as it roars beneath us
while we hang onto the bridge railing
and wave to the engineers
(one of whom reaches out the window to wave back
one of whom does nothing
and one of whom blinks the lights on and off and
screams the whistle)

_______

what’s that izzi asks
pointing to the lines on my thigh
cutting, though i should have said scarification
_______

a too-muchness
of sound
(the insects at hot summer pitch
the fan hums
the layering of voice upon voice at once)
makes me want to turn katydid
into katydon’t

end-of-day relief: pressing
neon green earplugs in
so i can crank the fan up
as high as it will go
pulling that night-cool air
through the screen and onto
my limbs

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cold cloud

morning in two phases:
that of letter-writing
and that of living room yoga

_______

dinner:
salad bar: rice/quinoa
tomatoes
cucumbers
fresh basil
shredded carrots and beets plus
lemon tahini dressing
and zuchinni fritters
with various pickles/ferments in jars
set out in a line on the butcher block

_______
five hours i say
about the rows of mason jars
lined up in karma
(red-filled
with tomatoes
in the form of juice and guts
[tomatoes plucked by green-stained hands
four buckets filled and cart-hauled])
more than that she replies

_______

izzi steps in
to the walk-in freezer
as condensation floats out
cold clouds kitchen-drifting

_______

in an instant, the room
flooded with voice and movement
the 5-pack comes tumbling in and
several land
with their arms around my waist
_______

from the water world:

D3C2BD7A-CD31-4E8B-9259-2124C806C56D_w974_n_s_s
Rev. Mpho Tutu (C), CEO of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation and daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, covers her face as she participates with foundation staff in the Ice Bucket Challenge in Cape Town, South Africa.  The Ice Bucket Challenge is an initiative to raise awareness and funds for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) also known as Motor Neuron Disease (MND).  – voice of america, day in photos

Children paddle, as they use discarded styrofoam as makeshift boats, to collect floating plastic recyclables on the Manila Bay to sell to junk shops, in Navotas City
Children paddle, as they use discarded styrofoam as makeshift boats, to collect floating plastic recyclables on the Manila Bay to sell to junk shops in Navotas City, north of Manila, Philippines.
REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

 

 

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