mermaiding

feet across gravel
running underpass dips and rises
and returning
pink-skinned and sweat-faced
_______

zinnia lei of
pinks, reds, whites, oranges, yellows
i drape over her head
to rest on neck and say
on the train platform welcome
to the tropical paradise
of missouri
_______

she hands me a crab mold-made
melted-down candle scrap wax gift wrapped
in wrinkling plastic
(smell of gallina canyon
front porch – rosey)
just before i joke about
putting my business shoes back on
while stepping out of glitter flats and
into sandals
_______
like a wall i say of the
insect sound lushness
liana in the passenger seat
leans her head out the window
on the county highway to greet
_______

liana how-are-you-doings the cashier
asking her how her name (spelled leanna on the tag)
is pronounced and revealing that
her name is liana
but is often pronounced leanna
_______

curving our way down the
park entrance road i tap her thigh
every time it’s her turn to echo me
in the song
(when i was young
i was the sun
shining through the trees
down to the ground
when i was young
i was the mountain…)
one worth remembering/singing again
she says
_______

she complements my
upper lip sweat
to which i respond
sweat-stache
_______

the pause of a million days
lined up next to each other
to the do-you-want-to-break-up-with-me
question which hurts to think about
because i hadn’t considered it quite
in those terms
(instead, the language was
about edges and efforts)
_______

mermaiding my body down
into forest lake water
at thousand hills state park
hoping to be gifted the answer
i don’t want to give
that i already carry inside me
while liana blanket-waits
in sequin rainbow tiger stripe hat and
puerto rican bottoms
_______

side-swiped she says
on our blanket at meager beach
where the sun is too much(for the non-desert-dweller)
and the people are too many
and even a coconut water
doesn’t taste good
_______
maybe isn’t a yes i say
when i ask if i can
touch
it’s not a no either
she responds
so i thigh/hold fingergrasp
until i need another hand to turn the wheel
_______
you are a dazzling constellation
in my sky i say hanging on tight
in last grasps teary and sniffling you
she says are a photograph
of a dream
_______
if you ever want to find me i say
i’ll be out on that rock
along the rio
if you ever want to find me she says
i’m in your bed
_______

one of the most extraordinary humans
she says i’ve ever met my forehead
pressing into her shoulder
one of the most amazing and exquisite creatures
i say i‘ve ever known
_______

how i grasp
as she with backpack
backtracks to trainstation
where our day began
how i want to stay/wait
how i want to write and return with
letter-heart-magic
how i want to undo/not undo
how i consider leaving
but all i can do is stare at gravel
tracks
sky
until muscles and brain pull it together
to turn ignition key and slow-roll
_______

from broken open i say
to broken
_______
a rodeo out there trish says
about weaving (like slolem)
through the three sisters
on the riding mower
_______
who else would put umlauts on it
trish and i laugh as i identify
nina as the mystery sun card maker/leaver
________
grief ritual trish suggests paper boats
a watery softness/motion to letting go
and how she holds me when i ask
if i can curl in

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Filed under daily practice, poems, poetry, writing

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