somewhere between

where there’s one, there’s more ami says
about the doe cutting across the backyard
only this time, it’s just her
stepping and pausing and stepping
before she enters
the brush and the birches

_______
somewhere between confetti and confection:
all the colors/patterns of hats and mittens and winter jackets
in the long line of kids in a row
on a sidewalk outside the gradeschool
waiting to be scooped by the cars that swoop through
(which are organized/directed in a similar way to cars at the pickup/dropoff at the portland airport,
only there is less gruffness at the twin cities area middle school
than there is at the portland airport)
_______
a name for opening a collection of essays or
a literary magazine or
any other written source and being sweetly surprised
by the names 
of poeple you know
and feeling, in a lovely way, that the world is not so big
(for instance, in the chair outside the pool at the therapy center where madix takes swim lessons,
i pick up a new yorker and read a review
about a group art show that tuesday had work in and then
encounter a short story by sarah shun-lien bynum)
_______
how i hold the yellow post-it bookmark
under each sentence as madix,
eager to skip lines,
reads from the tale of two kitties graphic novel
on the couch where we lean into each other
and take turns every other page

_______
the laughter
that comes when ami has to yell close guide at the smarty-pants TV
whose guide icon keeps popping up
in the middle of the movie we’ve settled down to watch
especially because after she yells
we have to wait until the command registers and the interruptive guide closes – same as all those church polite waitings  – 
until we can let the laughter burst forth
and part of the hilarity
is that it happens at least three or four more times
before the movie’s closing credits roll
_______
ami and i piled
like two more stuffies 
added to the collection in madix’s top bunk
where we tag team storytell in the glow
of the purple string of lights

_______
wherein bane (strongman) and mister ice (villian who has the power to freeze creatures and things)
go to battle in another installment
of bedtime stories with madix
only this isn’t a physical fight,
it’s an MC battle
(i’m mister ice
i’m not nice
i won’t grant you a wish
and i’m gonna eat fish)

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the short bright path

zing 
the short bright path
of a meteor
as seen out the car window
in the pitch black of a moonless 
4:30am sky

_______
i hope you don’t get glued i say to ted in the dark of a day whose sun has not yet risen,
a farewell wish in reference to the weird progress/decision
oof the medical industry to not stitch nor staple but glue people back together again
who have been sliced or split open
_______

tangerine lava flower, that’s the color of this sky’s sunrise i text
and later: now it’s lavender charcoal with lemon burst
_______

freeway retaining wall
a blight on the landscape 
(the freeway itself, another blight)
though perched on top:
a bird of prey
grey head and mottled white body
_______
an innundation of box stores and strip malls and all the signs and billboards
that go along with them and then
a V of geese
flickering overhead
and then another – 
this is the advertising i want to read
_______

the sleep sheep coo-ing in the background
while madix in the purple light asks
for a hippo story, no – a jack and the beanstalk story, no – a hansel and gretel story 
and after that, a stuffy battle
(in which sometimes the stuffies battle, but most often, they just have an adventure)

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some things break

emory and i tromping
through bramble and branches
to the cedar grove
(past the fallen down house/barn
and beyond the sandhill line)
and how drastically
the landscape changes,
there is a fern,
moss,
very little undergrowth and
the branches seem to catch the sound and the light –
it falls different here –
soft, gold
_______
as if the ice is bending
sound: the noises the tree galls make
when i toss them across
frozen pond surface
_______
all the golds and pinks
dangling from the xmas tree branches and angela
showing a teacup from the pink gold china
that matches
_______
as if we woke up in the middle of a sugar plum fairy dream,
but the dream keeps going:
the three-tiered serving plates
of sweetest sweet treats
plus bowls of berries and
dishes of chocolates
not to mention the teas
and cider
_______
some things (many things) break a heart,
such as a thirteen year old writing about
our unnecessary and awful war
_______
a secret snake-note message
coiled inside a canister
of mixed nuts
_______
when i say sweet dreams
she says you too, my meteor
_______
the cold (and crisp scent) of the clear-sky night
carried in on mama cat’s coat
and in the pads of her paws

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plucking apart

baigz and i in matching safety orange hard hats
because the chain wrapped around the thick chunks of tree trunks
could pop a link
under all the duress
as the tractor drags 
the incredible weight of them
_______

creatures so big in the highway
trish says turkeys guessing outloud as we approach
though it turns out
they are a bald eagle
and its juveniles
plucking apart
the muscle and sinew
of a roadkill raccoon
and as we approach
they take off yet
land in the corn stubble nearby
and we are all surprised
by the sheer heft and size
which, from this unusual proximity,
we get to take in

_______
angela running around the field
in her mint green unicorn onesie
which is a bit baggy in the crotch and legs – making each run for the disc
a comical one
_______
that’s some martha stewart shit i say
of the good-lookingness of the two cakes (pineapple upside down and pear upside down – with pecans)
cooling on the butcher block and
kitchen table

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the sunset something

sans gloves, i
pull the sleeve layers long
over my hands
_______
the vertebrae, the thin ribs
of gibbous, the incredible shrinking cat
defined and almost sharp under my palms
as i scoop him up
_______
the ice in the tire track pressed into the dirt road
that i crack with my tennis-shoe’d toe
and the ice in the intermittent stream
whose shades and shapes form
around the big rocks scattered
_______
the bald eagle gliding close enough (thirty feet?)
that i don’t have to squint to make out
if that is indeed a white head and white tail i see – 
it is, indeed, without a doubt
i reserve the question mark
for the other two or three along the way
that could have been red tailed hawks
or juvenile bald eagles
up on slater’s hill and along
county line road
_______

the possum
looking at me looking at it
in daylight
scampering slow off into 
the woods
and me, redirecting jack the jack russell’s attention
to keep
the peace
_______
the kitchen clock
once again silenced:
pulled off the wall from above the sink,
battery adjusted so no contact
is made
_______

the sunset something peach
(sorbet, perhaps)
along horizon

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the light and the lines

19 degrees  reads the outdoor thermometer at 9something in the morning
and then there is the walking in the wind – how mostly i don’t notice the 19 degrees except for on my face
which feels like a thin mask of glass
that is about to break off
my body
________
the light and the lines
on sharon’s face from where we sit
in the sun coming in through the plate glass
i felt ten times lighter she says
_______ 
how we use our fingers
to wipe the melty cacao off the sides of our mugs
as we sit near the orange flames
glowing/licking woodstove door glass
_______
the sound of the dog/cat door
flapping in the wind
cause enough  for mica and i to pause and check
if the prodigal cat
has trotted back

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such a small

a lab for noticing what you need
and making boundaries and requests
he says
about winter
and gives me permission
to float out the window or onto the ceiling
in the dentist chair
if i want/need
_______
on top of some layers
and underneath others
i wear her grey hug
to town and back
_______
nothing like sitting in a dentist chair
to make me feel small
and then there they are
wrestling with the thing that it hurts to bite down on
in order to take the Xray
which requires three different hygenists to get it right
and they take a total of twelve Xrays 
just to get a good image of two teeth
you’ve got such a small mouth one of them says
with a smile that i am grateful for
as the hard edge of the thing
presses into the space under my tongue
making my eyes water
and maybe the pain is the trauma here but
more realistically, it is the disempowerment
of handing my body over to other people
who have a kind of access to it (and this particular knowledge about this part of it) that i do not
and when no one’s looking
i tap three times
over my heart (which happens to be on top of the crunchy papery dental bib)
like jenafr taught me
beam me up i mouth

_______
like a parent dropping their kid off at school for the first time
or at their first overnight camp or sleepover
i tell mica from the back truck seat
while i reach my fingers through the cat carrier door mesh
he gets one and a half scoops twice a day
his favorite place to be petted is under his chin
he likes to drink a lot of water
when he gets frisky, he likes to play with foxtail or willows or things like that
and later, the cat carrier on the bed of mica’s room i tell him through the mesh
she’ll be good to you
and he is looking the damn softest and cutest
i have ever seen

_______

names for the sunset sky
as seen from the rise-fall of the gravel hills of
county line road:

little twin stars
and
tangerine flame

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