book by book i thank the letters

in the dream i am crunching on too-hard
caramel corn and end up breaking a molar out of my mouth
i hold the tooth (similar color to a popped
kernel of the corn) in my cupped palm while
still spitting out enameled shards
mica and i eating rubies
(wedges of grapefruit)
across the table from each other
in what we call the art cafe
of upstairs karma,
nina in santa fe light
asking me from the computer screen
about urgency and i say
it takes years
what if this were an ongoing conversation
instead of something that stops
after the droughts in california are over
what if it is a constant consideration
and not a crisis response
what if we rode the waves as they came in

after laughing about how
everything is going to be AWESOMEl,
i ask on the other end of the line
in what ways does it serve you
to continue holding on

and offer: you don’t have to take it all on at once
you can take it on in little pieces
as you’re ready
you get to be kind to yourself
you get to take your time

gigantic tadpole
circle-swimming in
small plastic tupperware
perched on karma kitchen counter
digging little furrows in the
soil-filled flat
before sliding un-round tomato seeds
across the crease in paper
with a pencil point
in the warm but not hot greenhouse
while laughter rises
around the corner where
trish, alyssa, kris and molly
group-pose for polaroids
kris and i couch-perched
exchanging double-chin-scar stories
(and though there are many in the chin-scar club
this is the first i’ve met who also
has a double)
small teacup of
handwhipped cream
dolloped with several spoonfuls of granola
sweet crunchy meets silksmooth
hippie grape juice trish replies
when alyssa asks what’s that about
the dusty-lidded grape-floating
bottles of liquid
that might also eyeballs floating
in jars of formeldahyde especially
if it werte halloweenish time
book by book i thank
the letters, the pages, the poems
(like finn said i should.
and though i don’t believe in shoulds,
i do think it’s a worthy idea)
before tossing them in the box
of passing along/moving on


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