23 April 2024

A Meditation, After Putting Cleo to Sleep

For Mom

some equate smallness
with insignificance,
as if worth isn't just
a matter of vantage point--
perspective, time, and a little luck
held like a fragile package
so delicate
in one's line of sight.

as her tiny heart slowed, then stopped,
I thought about how loved she was,
so thoroughly,
with Dad's gentle voice
and nicknames
imbued with meaning and love,
with his large, callused hands
stroking her fur,
nape to tail,

and how his line of sight
would only blur when
suddenly flooded--
when suddenly taxed--
or overcome with grief
for the small creatures
he had loved and lost
so many, many times, and
I think of this, today,
with this little creature,
old and yet still a kitten,
her purrs slowing down.

our breaths are small
but imbued with meaning and love,
and so are our choices,
like when we ask someone else
to take away our pain
when we are ill-equipped
to do so ourselves.
and with perspective, time,
and a little luck,
we can learn to forgive ourselves
and know--
hands losing purchase, every day--

we're doing the best we can.

19 March 2024

Just Before

It sounds like playing the same song over and over, thinking about the weeks leading up to losing you: death occurs after the limbo, but before we can hear your voice again.

I am still falling into the fleshy womb of fear, its warmth separating me from time, and you are not here.

It sounds like leaves crushing into dust, thinking about the minutes leading up to losing you: a strange place, fading before we can find you again.

24 February 2024

On neurodivergence

She said, "you can only hold
one thought in your head at a time,"
like a small bird
that falls out of a nest--
delicate, its breaths urgent.

But as she is stating this "fact,"
I do not think that she is correct,
as each of my thoughts
fully formed,
flashes of hummingbirds each time,

and each time, that sharp
little flutter
frightens me
when I mistake it for something else,

then it transforms
and finds a friend to fly with it,
each bird defying what makes sense--

just like each thought begets another--
related, but not always--to tag along.

05 February 2024


before the river of fire 
swept across the lands, 
flames fell from the sky, 
and we took 
to each other's arms 
for shelter.
in confusion, we wept,
our hot tears leaving 
deep valleys 
in sloughs of skin.

this is a lesson we cannot tell you.
it has to be shown.

we exist to care for one another. 
it is written in our bones, held 
in our graves as testimony:
large skull, small skull, no flesh--
a mother's long limbs, fingers, 
hold close her child, whose tiny frame
is forever five years old--
whose mother so loved him 
that her last remaining instinct
was to protect him
from elements beyond her control.

it is futile; it is terrible.
it has to be shown.

09 January 2024

The American Trauma

It's the same reason
the attic isn't decorated,
or why guided tours
of sausage factories
do not exist.
We hide truths.
We store them
not just in metaphors,
in figures of speech,
but in muscle fibers,
in blood,
until the resentment
isn't just some burden
but a punishment
in waiting,
curlers wound
a little too tightly
to the scalp,
invoices folded
into little sharp thirds
before they go off in the mail.
This is how the truth is inherited,
one small bundle
passed down
then passed again
until bones
are wittled into nothing
and daughters are left
missing their fathers.