only one

the nina simone song
(that involves loving like the wind) darien plays
while he adds legs to a bench and i
trim a pile of black elastic zoids
in what might be the first farm to farm text
joseph reports that he fixed my flapper
which means (fingers crossed) the stove in the cedar room
(that is very much like harry and bessie’s stove at black mesa) is now useable
last summer’s cherry flavor taste
in tonight’s crisp
that dottie serves
for dinner dessert
at three minutes each (or so)
it’s difficult to watch only one episode
of R. Kelly’s hip hopera
and so we crowd around for a few
laughing in the office
from the water world: 

 A local resident wades through water on a street in the “El Indio” settlement on the outskirts of Piura, in northern Peru. – voice of america, day in photos

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at the red

the discipline it takes to keep myself
from trimming zoids (it will only be an hour)
on friday, the day of writing
how, from the loft bed perch, i lay and stare
out all the windows:
at an american persimmon and its mottled bark swaying in the wind,
at the red of a cardinal inthe foliage along the chicken yard
at the big drips of rain rolling off the corrugated metal roof edge (which are different than all the little drops in the background which are imperceptible mostly, but create a gray haze),
at all the branches (bare) that will soon be filled in with green
kayah, five years old, in the dinosaur onesie
swinging (by holding robs hand on one side and baigz’s on the other)
at dinner circle

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because the trauma is still the same

roadside buck stew
heating up on the stove
as i chop garlic,
whisk dressing,
saute onions

two kinds of wine sipped out of little jam jars
and two kinds of grape juice for the kids
and a city food array of cheese and crackers
that catherine and nathaniel imported from st. louis
and how we gather and snack at the picnic table
near the end of a surpise balmy day

sampha playing through the speakers
which seems like a perfect smooth lilt
for spring
as i scrub carrots and slice onions

the email that says your grandma was never in a work camp
but was taken to germany under false pretenses where she did forced labor in the agricultural sector for the war efforts
and how this changes everything and nothing at all
because the trauma is still the same

mica and i laughing at the image of her
showing up to the kids’ nerf gun war
with an automatic nerf gun and strapped
with hot pink foam bullets
criss crossing her
how catherine and i groan on the couch
because of the too weird echoes of the actual world about actual guns
when emory says it’s not safe to show up
to the crew of kids with nerf guns
if he doesn’t have his too
the one-person-at-a-time rule
on the tour of the cedar room
which smells still thickly
of flax oil

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under a sunbright sky

listening the the country station low
as i drive the curves of the county highways
under a sunbright sky glowing blue and wrapped
in cloud ribbons as i move along the mostly dry brown/gray scape
intermittently marked with new green growth and some black patches
from recent burns
how i cannot see the needle
but can make out the general shape of it (angled)
and its silver shine as dr. ball brings it to my gum line
pinch is the word she says which is sort of it, but there’s also a sting and pierce
and while i can handle this (especially thanks to topical anasthetic)
the thing that makes me cringe is when the nerve is exposed
and even the air on it is too much

the weird numb face afterwords
doesn’t make me want to cry this time
like it did last time but i still pretty much left my body
for most of it
(unnamed phenomenon: the special kind of trauma/terror
of having dental work done
even when the dentist is a good one)
smell of flax oil mixed with lavender and lemon
and maybe it’s because i’m on my knees
or because of the repetition
or because the space is mostly empty
or because when i pour the oil drops on the floor it’s like annointing
but it feels like reverence

the three daffodils i pluck from the karma patch and place
on the butcher block at dinner circle

superb is the word i use
with cynthia about her dinner
which consists of nettles cooked with garlic, banana bread with black walnuts, oat flour mini quiches with chickichurri (chimichurri made with chickweed), pazole and whole sweet potatoes baked in a dutch oven tossed in the woodstove fire

how last night i woke at various points
and could, in the view framed by the loft window, trace the moon’s path
across dark sky

from the water world: 

An indigenous woman collects water from public tap on the eve World Water Day, outskirts of Hyderbad, India.- voice of america, day in photos

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with every step

lemon and sugar is always a good combinati0n (was it darien or joseph?) says
as they bite into a slice of the dutch baby
still oven-warm in its skillet
this time without pumpkin


smashes all previous records amy goodman says
on democracy now
about a recent report issued by the world meteorological organization
which states unprecedented increases in global temperatures
and rising sea levels
another news brief from amy goodman: the high court in india
has granted human rights to
the ganges and yamuna rivers

how i often don’t like the fruit in pies
but the sweet bursts of peach
from the potluck pie
in all its orange splendor
are perfect
boot smoothie darien calls the vinegar and banana peel combo
in his galoshes
fighting fungus
with every step
d-day  i call it
about the three discs i knocked down
(new personal record)
in one game

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thundering underneath

the two creatures i spot down underpass as seen from
the top of the road,
maybe wild turkeys
maybe pheasants
how i double back on my run
back across the train bridge again
just to be running over the motion
and sound
of the train thundering underneath

dottie and i cutting drain pipe for the greenhouse catchment
dottie and i arranging the whitehouse cister and downspout just so
dottie and i walking mattresses in carts over to the cow barn
dottie and i making jokes the entire way
on this almost-70-degrees-everything-feels-possible day
it’s a kind of meditation
i say of the cleaning;
the repitition of wiping the walls from ceiling to floor
the rhythym of sweeping and sweeping again
from the water world:People try to cross the Rimac River after it breached its bank due to torrential rains, causing flooding and widespread destruction in Huachipa, Lima, Peru. 

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where we will weave

the day-old box of doughnuts
at the table
and dean sitting there too
and i ask him how he’s doing today
(which is the day after the memorial for his daughter)
from his perch on canoe-edge
emory asks if certain sound combinations
are actual words and i say
they can be if you want them to
while he paddles towards
the shipwreck shaman
that one can only visit if their ship
has been in a wreck
and although we simulate some turbulence and wild weather
we are not shipwrecked enough
to meet him
emory making string/rope
out of bark from the tree he’s perched in
as i clip willow whips
in their green newness
awaiting a sole-mahogany reunion
where we will weave
in early fall

how the wind begins to pick up the feathers
that emory and i gather and organize by color
(leftover from the wing-clipping in the coop)
so we lay 2×4’s over them
to keep them from fluttering away
i carry the saw and em carries the loppers
(both red-handled)
into the tunnel of the fortsythia
whose branches are sparsley dotted
with bright yellow blooms

killer headache i say about the thing i can trace
from deep underneath my shoulder blade
up along my cortex
and following the curve of my skull up and over
tentacling down into my eyebrow
and along the top of my cheekbone
where it sinks down into my sinuses
and ends by nestling itself
into jaw joint 

from the water world: 

A local resident bails water from behind a barrier as a flash flood hits the city of Trujillo, 570 kilometers north of Lima, Peru, bringing mud and debris. – voice of america, day in photos

A worker collects garbage from the Marilao River in Bulacan, north of Manila, the Philippines. – voice of america, day in photos

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