open the envelope

lisa’s mat (green) and my mat (coral)
rolled out alongside each other’s
as we stretch slow
on her photography studio floor
into the morning
of thawing street ice
the fizz of the kefir
just recently made
and handed to me
in a shallow bowl
the gold of all the fields of dead things
that we roll along
over and down the slopes of hills
as the sun breaks out of sky
part snow-ice, part melt
the gravel road that leads home
part white, part shining
mama cat rubbing against my ankles

moonstar purring in my arms
and gibbous nearby in a patch of sun
also purring
perched on a log
while the snow/ice drips drips drips
off branches and roof slants
the array of prints
hard to discern in the aged snow
possums perhaps
maybe cats
the smell of frankincense
that comes at me
when i open the envelope
with the monroe, oregon return address
there are so many things
to send one reeling and hearing this
on today’s democracy now show
while i eat my quinoa and sauteed onions/red peppers/kale
with scrambled egg/omelette the way jennifer taught me to make them
is one:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, known as the CDC, is slated to hold a briefing next week to outline how the U.S. public should prepare for the event of a nuclear war. The scheduled briefing comes as tensions between the United States and North Korea continue to rise, largely sparked by President Trump’s repeated threats to launch a nuclear strike against North Korea. Last week, both former Vice President Joe Biden and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen said they think the United States has never been closer to a nuclear war with North Korea.

we’ve gone from a liquid state
to a solid state i say
(really, i said gaseous, but i think liquid sounds better)


there is an egg entry in the lion lexicon
i say, explaining now, when i crack an egg with
commitment and follow-through

i think of you


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 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

the frosty glistenings

the bubbles that rise along the edges of
homemade tortillas as they float/brown and sometimes puff
in the hot and shallow oil
in the cast iron on the stove
i wonder how long they will last jennifer says
about the old card catalog cards
set out along the digital card catalog computers
as scrap paper
(they meaning all the analog card catalog cards in the world)

the little placard stakes in the library-permieter landscaping
that we tuck handwritten guerilla poetry into
while the sun (weak in its wintryness, but bright in its mid-day-ness)
tumbles down onto the sidewalk around us

the frosty glistenings
on the tips of my eyelashes and
on my eyebrows too
as we walk through town
on a one-degree day
and the condensation from my breath
trapped and rising by the wool scarf i’m wrapped in
rises to land 
on brows and lashes

there are the kinds of movies
with semi endearing narrators who say
don’t worry  – she doesn’t die about another endearing major character in the film
even though the film ends
with her dying

the sweet smallness

the air
blurry with slight snowdust
sifting like a crossword:
and down
the sweet smallness
of cat paw prints pressed
into fine show grains gathered
on gravel road surface
the trick she shows me
for not too dry scrambled eggs:
flipping them once the bottom side is baked,
turning off the heat
adn letting them do their thing
the crunch of cardamom pods
(tucked in the blue cloth napkin)
under the rolling pin
on the wooden cutting board
for the million dollar tea experiment # 1.5

how, on this eve, i cannot help but think
of a certain fire ring
warming the toes and fingertips of desert-crossers
distant from their families
under the starpunch
of a vast and stark sky
can you feel it i ask the cold coming in
about the upcoming teens and then single digits predicted
as highs in the coming days