like a museum

we spread on the just-made crepes
along with clotted cream
whose name is so unappetizing to me
i spread it extra extra thin
and a little bit of strawberry jam as well
like a museum where it’s ok to touch everything i say
about going through isa’s jewelry collection
box by box
array by array
starting with earrings
then onto rings
then a half-hearted look into bracelets and necklaces
the dress at the thrift store with all the little cats all over it
that i would never wear in this life
(polyestery fabric
and in general, dresses don’t fit my body right)
and the m&m wheelie suitcase
that i absolutely want 
for all of its bright colors
but because it is $15
and is probably not big enough
i just wheel it around the store a bit
as if it were mine for two minutes


bitter is a word

isa and i laughing on the brown line L
about the startup company that helps startup companies
named frantelope logistics
(and in the logo,
the L in frantelope connects with the logistics L)
and i, as frantelope logistics, in my consultations
will start with questions like these:
ok, now tell me, do you have bean bags
and a little over-the-door basket ball hoop?
alright, and what kind of coffee do you have?

and, please tell me there is a hot tub somewhere.

the tour of borrowed scarves i say
as izzi hands me a soft and long orangey scarf
in union station
where i pull on my second pair of leggings
before we go out to walk in the single digit cold
spice cake spice cake  i cheer
after the pasta place and some tiny wine
and the gallery openings we wandered our way through
bitter a word
for this kind of cold and
something about the feeling or taste
that capitalism leaves in me
that comes up
when we walk past men wrapped in not enough layers
on the too cold sidewalks
shaking their paper cups clinking with small change
as if they have been there
this whole time since i last walked these sidewalks
months ago when the sun could still make it warm enough
to feel comfortable walking around in short sleeves

soon/not so soon

the remaining banana half
(sliced clean with a sharp knife)
on the kitchen island
how this ritual
only took a day to develop
and how my dad and i keep it going
days later
sweet she says

as we lay the scraps that soon/not so soon
become closer and closer
(stitched and stitched) to becoming
a whole
how we do the teamwork dance:
me on the floor pinning the fabric strips together
her at the sewing machine and iron
figuring out the rhythm
the slow red snake of tail lights heading east
passing the slow bright snake of headlights heading west
across the concrete barrier
while i try the guessing game in the backseat
to see if i can name all the ingredients
in the granola bars 
he made this afternoon
the sprawl of beans and cheese
on the paper plate
that we pass back and forth
at the conejito’s table reserved
for five or more –
veronica and i wobbly
on our wobbly orange stool seats
in the living room
reading multiple choice questions aloud from a human geography AP exam prep book
while chris, dad, rob and isaiah and i
try to reason out
the answers
i said i’d mention a panther
as a shout out so
i’m mentioning the panther

for the marvelling

let’s leave drive in the opposite direction
i encourage dad
even though we’re already running behind
just so that we will head east for a bit
so he can see
the brilliant parchment of superhuge moon
climbing up into otherwise
dark sky
the woman who gets loud and vocal
and like a wild cat defending her territory
when any man gets close to her
(i was raped i think i hear her say
in explanation)
and then later
another woman responding the same
the trauma keeping them both
at their edges
(the first woman’s hair
and her build
and her wild brain reminding me
of a once-lover
who now lives in a valley
under a big sky
a word for the marvelling at how two strangers
can trust two strangers
all four of which are  buckled into seats in a car
hurtling towards an entire night long
of warmth
i must put on the official glove i joke
about the food safety glove
i pull over my hand in order to pass the cookies
to the woman walking through the food line
who thanks jesus to us/who thanks the jesus in us
and who also says something about how the cookie eating
is all she can do 
to keep from crying right now

swimming in

eli and i both stop
in the cold too cold to stop in
and laughwatch the ridiculous geese
honking and taking off
into bright blue sky above us
(our laughter is an incredulousness
that such a creature
can be alive
in such a coldsnap)
zero degrees outside, almost 80 degrees inside
in the humid warmth
of the tropical dome
we are swimming
in plants and light
oxygen on my skin
oxygen in my lungs
oxygen a song i want to keep singing


for the nog

the kleenex depleter tour
of 2017 i say
about the past few weeks
first at my sister’s
then amber’s
then here

at some point all of a sudden,
i’m terry gross interviewing jenafr
about being an author who teaches writing workshops
to turtles and cats and soon, this year, 
to giraffes
bundled up
and walking through the single digit temperatures
down to the creek
we take turns
naming all the warm things
we can think of
including but not limited to:
the steam rising from a teacup
the inside of a greenhouse on a sunny day
candle flame
sex in a second floor bedroom in july
a sauna
chili peppers
the horseshoe prints 
and tire-less wheel marks
(which i initially mistook for bike tire marks)
we find in the gravel road
on our way back
and then the black horsetail hair- a curving shape against the new snow- she picks up
and then another
the smell of nutmeg
as i pull it across the grater
while she beats the eggs perfectly
for the nog

her secret hobby

the snow so cold
it squeaks under our feet as we make our way
over la crosse’s sidewalks
past the daytime unlit rotary club light display
(loses its charm she says in the daylight)
towards lunch
a backpack filled
with clothes and leftovers
(popcorn from last night’s movie,
and the fanciest mac and cheese (with shell-shaped noodles)
plus a few remaining cranberries from the salad
from lunch at the charmant
whose ceiling is filled with belts and pulleys and wheels
that don’t move anything or attach to anything
she leans in
near the dairy aisle telling me
about her secret hobby of walking in such a manner
that makes men
move out of the way
i think you might have just had a facial expression i say
as we make our way east on the rattly bumpy bus
through a frozen landscape, snowdusted and glimmering
our notebooks on our laps