I awoke from my bed in a gown of ash.
Slipped under the fox-lit moon like a small, hidden thing.
Plunged my hands, my arms, deep into the dark black soil,
pulling out wraith-like tendrils of sodden moss, sharp rocks.
I was hoping to find you there, hidden in the loam,
under shelter of bark and peat. The dirt took all of me.
Used me up. But deeper
I clawed, I dug, halfway to shoulder then,
wrapping gleaming earthworms with memories.
Moist carapace looms of solace and surety
on which they could feed.
I counted thunderclaps expecting, hoping to find you there.
And when the wind came, I counted the soft rushes
of grasses bending under the breeze. Still I could not find you.
I willingly lost myself in these searchings.
I was as naked and empty as a doll on another briny shore.
Like Lot’s wife I turned around to see what I had lost
and was reduced to a pillar of salty tears.
I look for you, search for you in organs
belonging to you as much as me:
this painful skin twitches like tiny birds being held too tightly.
this lung of lost purpose- knowing only how to dig,
knowing not to breathe deeply, but to provide
only to dig deeper, deeper, until the thick clay covers me to ankles
and I am bound.
What if the heart is an endless library- will you be there if I look?
Or will I wander endless corridors and stacks eternally,
not realizing your name has long been scrubbed from a spine
I need desperately to live-
A smooth, shiny parchment awaiting new script
disintegrates to wisps the moment the page catches my pulse.
There was no fox-lit moon.
There was no rush of breeze in tall rippling grass.
Everything here is a lie of convenience.
I don’t know how to speak of myself in my gown of ash,
half-buried in wet moss and lichen with the loss of you.
Was one of the founding members of the Dallas Poets Community in the late 80s/early 90s, now called the DPC. Was accepted to the Squaw Valley Writers Conference at age 19. Workshopped with Brenda Hillman, Mark Doty, Joe Ahearn, Sheryl St. Germain among others. Enjoy live readings and performing poetry as well. Was a featured reader at the Dallas Museum of Art.
Should have kept a Rolodex of publications but hindsight is 20/20. Items seen here have not been published before.