sounds of falling acorns
apocalypse in the panhandle
imagined sugar cubes
What is this rush?
She speaks to the child in me:
bothered and borrowed by some.
Take cover, then shut down.
My name is not what you think it is.
Why do we say the sun has come out?
Come on, tell the truth:
the clouds stomping in front of it
dissolved, didn't they?
These are my architecture boots.
first green then slick and hardened,
sore from taking too many chances.
I'm misremembered and catastrophic.
I was once your dream or something like it,
something flimsy but decent--
worth remembering when you needed me,
and then not so much.
It was a year of discovery, she said.
At 36, she learned about velvet pants and bobby pins.
Before that, it was Florida oranges, strip mall sushi, and good sex.
And by good sex she meant it was the first time she wasn't afraid.
The second time she felt, well, how did she say it exactly?
It will come. Maybe later, at 37, 40, or 52.
It being—well, most things we wait for or delay:
Things deepen, she said, staring at the Diet Coke. All things deepen.
I know that, come on.
But she swore,
over a lukewarm avocado roll,
that she will not carry what they carry.
I asked but already knew the answer.
They can only ever be the same two people who always go unmentioned in writing,
dead or alive.
She sneezed, and then asked me for my blessing.
TUESDAY, November 17
I spent the morning reading a student essay about a rare flower that only blossoms once every ten years. People who live in cities, my student wrote, are forgetful. Later that afternoon, my schizophrenic neighbor walked up to me on the sidewalk and called me a fake bitch. After dinner, I poured myself a glass of wine and googled the symptoms of schizophrenia, wondering if I imagined her cracking voice.
THURSDAY, November 19
I've never heard jackhammers that loud. I curled up next to my aging dog on the cold kitchen tile, where we yawned for hours.
SUNDAY, November 22
Instead of going to church, madre called me and asked me what it was like to follow the Buddha. I told her that when you follow someone who is walking away from a light, you can't see their shadow. But when you follow someone who is walking toward a light, you can't see your own shadow. So maybe it's best not to follow anyone.
MONDAY, November 23
I haven't checked the mail this week. My letter box is near my downstairs neighbor's door. I am afraid of her.
MONDAY, November 23 (again)
Madre left a voicemail on my answering machine. She told me she made a sandwich for me and it's in a tupperware in the fridge. I haven't lived at home in 25 years. I picture the sandwich in my mind's eye; the tupperware is on the top shelf. It is clear with a blue lid. There is a post-it on the lid with the letter V. But that's her first initial, not mine.
MONDAY, November 23 (yet again)
I am in bed with leg cramps. I imagine myself swimming in a river, kicking through the water like some beast. These days, I find that water is the most acceptable thing to destroy. The cramps are starting to dissolve. Soon I will be asleep.