Tuesday, February 17, 2015

john the baptist

I never thought I would miss you as much as I do now.
The house is cleaner since you left.
I finished cleaning the last dirty cup that you left behind just this afternoon.
and I don't get elbowed in the night.
I have the whole bed.
I'm spending more time with my cats.
and I'm doing what I want when I want.
but my bed is colder.
and maybe my heart is too.
but that's a stupid thing to say.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The princess and the pea

I almost ran over a frog on the way to Nate’s house.
I had just gotten off of a plane 4 hrs earlier.
My hometown.
My mom’s car.
Rain, wind and before I left the house my father warned me:
“Don’t park under a tree because it might fall on the car
and don’t lose your mother’s keys.”
It wasn't that windy
and I'm the responsible daughter.
To a fault.
It plagues me.
How soon he forgets who I am when I'm gone for a few months.
The roads in Lorain never felt so bumpy.
I forget that some roads are bad and that most roads are terrible in South Lorain.
It still rains.
I hadn’t seen a frog in what feels like ten years.
I don’t know why I looked at the road hard enough to see a frog crossing it.
I swerved.
I image a yellow road sign for Frog Crossing.
One big frog and little tadpoles trailing behind it.
If you squint it looks like sperm chasing an egg.
I had forgotten about frogs just like I had forgotten about worms.
Worms would litter the sidewalks on rainy walks to grade school.
I mistakenly thought worms liked water.
Why else would they take to the sidewalks when it rained?
Once, I put some in a plastic container I had already filled up with water.
I thought I might keep them for pets.
They were all dead within minutes of their swim.
The car ride was no longer enjoyable.
I remember that the freedom of driving is just an illusion until you hit something.
I should tell my friends that I just killed something.
I wasn’t sure.
No thump and I would have felt it in the pit of my stomach.
I think.
It wouldn't be an interesting story anyway.
Only to me.
I think to myself, I used to see them while cutting the grass once in a while.
When stray cats lived under the shed in the backyard.
We tried to bribe them with milk in a Styrofoam plate.
“If you feed them they’ll never go away.”

Merry Christmas, darling

Mom was telling them about her cancer.
They cried.
Talked about their grandchildren.
Exchanged gifts.
Their poodle, Wylie, was lying next to me.
Not at all like I remembered him to be.
Had I been absent for that long?
They looked the same though and the house did too.
I spent so much time here when I was a small child.
When my mom was working they took care of me.
Hours and hours of Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie.
Paddington Bear and The Hulk.
Grilled cheese sandwiches made with unfamiliar cheeses.
Glow in the dark finger puppets.
Turning away when Superman kissed Lois.
Swimming in their above ground pool in the summer.
Though I never learned to swim.
They told me he would sit under my hands forever if I kept petting him.
I stopped petting and he got up and started walking.
He runs into furniture.
His eyes are greyed over like his body.
The Christmas tree was unfamiliar to him now.
He ran into it, got scared and backed away.
I brought him back to me by putting my hand out and touching his fur again.
I don’t know.
A light up Winnie the Pooh.
Getting better.
Don’t forget your present.
We love you.
The dog curled up and began licking his little doggy penis next to me.
I hate that sound.
I hope they don’t think I made him do it.
That fucking horrible licking sound.
The only peace he has left and I want to take it away.
I would have swatted him if I thought I wouldn’t be judged.
I pretend not to care while everyone else really doesn’t care.
He just keeps licking and licking.
At a time like this.
I feel like there is something wrong with me at this point.
I would have gladly stolen his penis licking peace of mind and not thought twice about it.
I don't remember when he stopped.
I don't remember leaving their house.
He's gone now and so is she.

Running towards and against time

A treadmill faces a daybed in the basement.

Right above the treadmill is a large framed print of a painting.

A mountain scene with trees and some deer drinking from a lake.

To the left of this picture is an antique looking clock.

It doesn’t work but I think that I remember a time when it did.

The clock has real or silk flowers embedded in it the silicone or resin base.

Rounded square edges.

Yellow or yellowed.

The hands of the clock are exposed.

A sort of dull gold.

Thin metal.

This clock is maybe five feet from a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Clock.

Maybe more like twenty.

Wood grain lines the walls between and around them.

In between the clocks hangs a large wooden shelving rack.

Ping pong paddles and balls rest at the top.

Pool cues flank.

Four coasters sit on a lower shelf.

Each have a realistic but paper butterfly under the glass.

A miniature boxing glove dangles nearby.

A small wooden sword that reads Defiende tu Cultura is below the glove.

A Puerto Rican flag is painted on this sword.

Defend your culture.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Upright piano downstairs

Piano clock.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame clock.

Has a different instrument representing every number.

It’s round, maybe glass.

Black and the silhouettes of the instruments are gold.

It hangs above my upright piano in the basement of my father's house.

The backdrop is wood paneling.

My father’s short-lived collection of beer steins sit on the very top tier of the piano.

One of them plays “Oh Mein Papa.”

An plastic yellowing bust of Beethoven sits on the tier to the right of the sheet music.

A shiny ceramic grey angel is blowing a kiss with one hand and covers its smooth crotch with the other hand.

A gold desk lamp.

A silk rose sits in a clear plastic treble clef vase on the left.

The one that replaced the simpler glass one.

A candle from Germany slouches backward just below and to the right of the rose.

A dancing devil surrounded by barrels of wine etched into the wax.

Two thrown and one coiled ceramic piece, all crudely made, sit thisclose together.

The dark copper color of the piano.

The stool pushed in.

Four pieces of linoleum cut to fit under the legs.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Breaking out of a bag

Large orange jacket.
He is visibly warm.
Too warm.
He starts to fiddle as soon as he sits.
He takes off his yellow tinted sunglasses.
They are connected to a yellow rubber strap that I suppose he bought so that he can wear the yellow tinted sunglasses around his neck like a librarian when he tires of seeing yellow.
He opens his black backpack and gets a plastic bag out.
There seems to be mail in the plastic bag.
Maybe junk mail as he seems impatient and unaffected by the contents.
The bag gets rolled back up.
More discomfort.
He takes the yellow tinted sunglasses off of his neck.
He roots around in his backpack for another plastic bag unearthing another pair of yellow tinted sunglasses and puts them on.
I wonder how many plastic bags are in that backpack.
I imagine a life organized by plastic bags.
I think of the growing number of plastic bags under my sink.
The first pair of yellow tinted sunglasses, strap and all, go sloppily into the plastic bag.
Another yellow strap gets pulled out of a different pocket in the backpack but is not used for the sunglasses.
More discomfort.
Only two stops until we have to get out and be in the cold weather to change trains.
He takes off his large orange coat and wraps the second yellow strap around it.
Tieing it up like a sleeping bag.
At this point he seems very pleased with himself for the first time.
He is feeling the satisfaction of his efficiency.
He pops his collar and looks around.
No one else is excessively warm on the train.
His darting eyes don't meet anyone else's in agreement.
He would probably strip down to nothing if he could.
He may or may not have enough yellow straps to bind up the rest of his clothing and
I have never felt so still.

The first day of the rest of our lives

The man at the hospital.
Not a woman like I initially thought.
Asked me about my shoes that he thought were Keds.
My grey Chuck Taylors.
I told him they were comfortable and he said he could tell.
I liked him so much even before he spoke to me.
If I were old I would have liked him to be my husband.
Flannel wearing.
Lots of grey hair and a small, kind face.
He looked like the character in a page of my childhood jumbo coloring book about a safety dog.
He wore large white tennis shoes.
Much too large for how slight he was.
He was waiting to get chemo.
But no one seemed to realize he was there.
He was used to getting his treatment on a different floor.
Only his regular doctor wasn't in.
I wanted to make sure he was taken care of.
Much like I would if we were married.
He was the husband of my future self.
I would have put him in my pocket and taken him everywhere with me.
I worried about him all day.
My mother and I went to a different hospital room and played a hundred rounds of UNO.
When we returned and passed the waiting room the man was gone.
I should have spoken to him more.
I hope that he was taken care of that day and for the rest of his life.
I felt so close to him.
He was alone without me.