the coming-together commotion

in the dream, there was no way
i was going to catch
that midnight plane
i haven’t even begun to pack
and was confusing one 24-hour segment
with another
in our last day at the foundation
mara and i both in the
huge common space both
sad for the ending and
excited about the coming-together commotion

at the intersection of
lombard and philadelphia:
man on cruiser bike
upright and whistling
a melody familiar but not
what i do recognize: it sounds hopeful


st. john’s bridge and its
institution-green aglow
against the coniferous dark
of the west hills
coming into view through
the window of the north
and west bound #4

perched in the author’s chair
facing a floor/sea of 8-9 year olds
rippling out before me
practicing how to choose
from all the me! me! me!
hands in the air
some names i learn: betta, dominic, myles
and some names i will not retain
third-grader miles
in all green
comes up to squeeze me twice
to appreciate/thank me
for coming to class
and discussing nicknames and
needlessly forcing
the word beloveds

first bath in four years
that lowering-self-into-water
almost too hot to touch
sacred moment

and then the lipgloss song
bumps out the speakers and
shiz and i trade oh-shit looks
the moment the (queer) dancefloor
becomes a place where
everything is right
in the world
where strangers feel
like family and where
joy is ebulliant and uncontainable
how shiz, lauren and i laugh our way across
the parking lot after lauren screams
at the rat-along-the-wall skittering sighting


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