Saturday, April 4, 2015

April 4, 2015

In the Before Cancer Era

I would have answered each
Of the five phone calls
Between midnight and two
Thirty years doesn't seem that long ago
While living in the same time zone.

I would have kept all the shame
Placed on sea gulls for eating trash
Placed on the fault line’s guilty movement
Blown away by the windy desert
Stayed tattered as I hung on a flimsy clothes line.

In the After Diagnosis Era

I let the phone ring
Again and again
Between midnight and two,
Remember nights
When Mexican men stood
At my window confessing love.

I pay the gatekeeper with roses
The Virgin de Guadalupe showered,
Mortar the discarded petals
Into the cracks of a voice.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April 1, 2015

Vacuuming chemo dust
From under my bed
Where night shadows
Come alive during daylight
When the scar sears my chest.
I am lost in my home
Between stacks of empty boxes
Buried under manila files
Filled with details
All the bodies touched
By my hands
Left behind.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

First Visit

Sitting at the Dr.'s office
Breast Specialist
OK, I feel fear now
My boob hurts.

I wonder what will be said
When will be the biopsy
How often will i have to 
Come back to this office?

I am alone here.
One person offered to wait with me
I turned her down 
Wanted privacy.

Every time the white door opens
I wonder if this time the nurse will call my name
The fear started two blocks from here
Will sweetness rise out of the pain?  

Driving by Krispy Kreme 
I want to change lanes
Pull into the drive through
Order a glazed doughnut.

I breathe hard
Circular breaths
No stops between rise & fall 
Inhalation exhaling.

Waiting to see the nurse
To wait and see the Dr.
To wait for two biopsies
To wait for both results.

Reminded of being alone
The room has a small tv
The View is on
It diverts my attention.

The gown has only one tie
I can't figure out how to knot it.
The Dr. enters with hands in prayer 
His fingers open like a scallop.

Wet with afterbirth the color of Venus
My muscles squeezed tight
Betrayed by conversation's order
He said, "We can beat it!"

Monday, April 1, 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Skylight frames the night
Black and white beneath my knees
Moon beams on futon

Friday, February 1, 2013

Through the Fire Exit, Down the Rabbit Hole

Kickoff 2013

May You Always Find the Way Out of Locked Places

A Gerbera daisy dropped
On a moist forest floor

In the lateness of your night
In the morning of my day

Hands reach across sheets
Hands reach across states

Fingertips touch sun-tanned skin
Bathed in Mother Ocean
Dried by Brother Wind

In the early pre-dawn
Before roosters crow
Or owls fly home
I know you are awake

Next to nothing between us
Before the map of a planet

Our earthen nature absorbs
The shock and terror
We know capable of love

Your grotto filled with water
Once empty the day before

The fire pit spat ash
Burned from dead flowers
Covered us like dust used to find
Crime scene fingerprints

Pilfered bamboo survives
Huddled in a clump
Plot of dirt saved for flowers

Chairs circle sacred space
Guarded by the old woman living
On the wild corner of the lot

She stirs her iron vat of brine
Boils down our bone baggage
Until the yellow marrow melts

Wheel barrow the color of rust
Mixing bowl for bloody mortar

Bonds your flat rock children
Wall sloped for sliding rain water

Sets pumice cinder-blocks in cement
Sharpens the corners around my heart

Trees with poison ivy spread red pain
Tree with chain embedded in bark rind
Trunk absorbs pain and strain it survives

Tannenbaum thanked three times
Held green bushy needles close
The pine surrendered to the New Year.