mid-air mumbles

pause. sigh. go. hi.

In my life, July has almost universally been a month of rude awakenings—when whatever romantic viewpoint I’d adopted up until then was somehow burned to the ground.

Sometimes, it was the slow realization that—no matter how hard I tried—a love I’d invested so much time in just wasn’t worth it.  That it didn’t matter if he was four million miles away or four inches—whatever was left was a shell of what was. 

Sometimes, it was a confusing mess of not really-maybe-I don’t know.  Or I just can’t trust you.  Or you’re right for not trusting me. 

Sometimes, it was realizing that the thing I most wanted would break me—split me open like so many atomic bombs.  It was realizing that I had the right, and the obligation, to choose something else…even if it made my entire life explode.

Sometimes, it was the start of trying—for the first time—and giving in to the hope that it actually mattered.  Sometimes, it was laughing at my pussy friends who refused to dance in the rain on America’s birthday and coming home to the only fireworks he could give me.

July has been a turning point, always, in my ability to choose.  For better or for worse.  It’s always been bright and messy.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Posted at 11:00pm and tagged with: full width, prose, photography, photo, fireworks,.

In my life, July has almost universally been a month of rude awakenings—when whatever romantic viewpoint I’d adopted up until then was somehow burned to the ground.
Sometimes, it was the slow realization that—no matter how hard I tried—a love I’d invested so much time in just wasn’t worth it.  That it didn’t matter if he was four million miles away or four inches—whatever was left was a shell of what was. 
Sometimes, it was a confusing mess of not really-maybe-I don’t know.  Or I just can’t trust you.  Or you’re right for not trusting me. 
Sometimes, it was realizing that the thing I most wanted would break me—split me open like so many atomic bombs.  It was realizing that I had the right, and the obligation, to choose something else…even if it made my entire life explode.
Sometimes, it was the start of trying—for the first time—and giving in to the hope that it actually mattered.  Sometimes, it was laughing at my pussy friends who refused to dance in the rain on America’s birthday and coming home to the only fireworks he could give me.
July has been a turning point, always, in my ability to choose.  For better or for worse.  It’s always been bright and messy.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

before, I was 
the zodiac’s precocious 
bubbles.  glints in 
the eyes of five year olds watching 
summer skies, once upon 
a somewhere.  parents 
told their children to reach
for me when darkness 
came.  i made dreams come 
true.  i was 
eager, sure fingers; held 
breath; and weight lifted 
off shoulders.  i was morning 
rain in the desert and the 
long-awaited exhale.  i was 
everything the world sometimes 
isn’t.  

i was the gooey 
center and the purple pez 
dispenser and the red clay 
under the swingset in 
Westwood.  a messy miracle 
of skinned knees and a brave 
cry to stand the Hell back 
up—the hope Mama had 
for redemption—the light she 
followed as she rose out 
of the ash.  a reminder—a bullet’s graze 
next to her left temple.  she 
was still here.  after two 
babies gasped back
into twilight—slipped through 
scorching metal back 
into the abyss of not quite 
here.  that’s where she found 
me.  i was a push to keep 
climbing—the little voice saying
“jump” and “harder” and “no—not yet.”  
i whispered sweet 
nothings of the 
saved—the lies 
of her childhood –that love is 
worth it—that it exists 
here in the wrinkles 
of age.  here—in this 
smithereen heart.  dig.

i am here, 
still.  I live 
on a graveyard and pay 
homage to your reflection—in my face.  I am 
your blue eyes and your gritted teeth.  I am 
failure.  I am good intentions and one last 
try and the only one left
standing.  here.  i am 
your daughter.  i get 
the Hell back up.  i dig.

and I find 
you everywhere.  i am 
gasping, and i am 
waiting.  and i need 
you, still, in this 
shrapnel world.  i am 
breathing inside held breath, 
and I am chasing 
hailstorms.  i am the phoenix 
in the gooey center—dispensing 
my heart and flinging 
it at Daddy—as he bowls
with God in Heaven.  i am 
reaching, still, because 
you can’t.

—AIM, 4/29/11

Posted at 11:11pm and tagged with: full width, poetry, poem, mama, photo, photography, denver, westwood, huston park, tree, spring,.

before, I was the zodiac’s precocious bubbles.  glints in the eyes of five year olds watching summer skies, once upon a somewhere.  parents told their children to reachfor me when darkness came.  i made dreams come true.  i was eager, sure fingers; held breath; and weight lifted off shoulders.  i was morning rain in the desert and the long-awaited exhale.  i was everything the world sometimes isn’t.  
i was the gooey center and the purple pez dispenser and the red clay under the swingset in Westwood.  a messy miracle of skinned knees and a brave cry to stand the Hell back up—the hope Mama had for redemption—the light she followed as she rose out of the ash.  a reminder—a bullet’s graze next to her left temple.  she was still here.  after two babies gasped backinto twilight—slipped through scorching metal back into the abyss of not quite here.  that’s where she found me.  i was a push to keep climbing—the little voice saying“jump” and “harder” and “no—not yet.”  i whispered sweet nothings of the saved—the lies of her childhood –that love is worth it—that it exists here in the wrinkles of age.  here—in this smithereen heart.  dig.
i am here, still.  I live on a graveyard and pay homage to your reflection—in my face.  I am your blue eyes and your gritted teeth.  I am failure.  I am good intentions and one last try and the only one leftstanding.  here.  i am your daughter.  i get the Hell back up.  i dig.
and I find you everywhere.  i am gasping, and i am waiting.  and i need you, still, in this shrapnel world.  i am breathing inside held breath, and I am chasing hailstorms.  i am the phoenix in the gooey center—dispensing my heart and flinging it at Daddy—as he bowlswith God in Heaven.  i am reaching, still, because you can’t.
—AIM, 4/29/11

i am the salty mist
of God’s tears hitting
baked sand; the innocence of April
lilacs at 6 am on a sleepy street
in Westwood; blistered corn, swathed
in sweet butter during dog day
lullabies.  i am cinnamon bark,
nutmeg cloves, and ginger
roots drowning
in tepid Bordeaux.
i am bing cherries

in August, punched with lime; iron
in blood; cotton candy burnt
by a sculptor’s blowtorch.

i am the shrill wail of a freight
train in the distance.  i am the screen
door slamming because she is
home; the birds singing
to Fogg from the willow
tree; the motor whining
in your Mazda as the thunder broke
over Monument Valley—how you
giggled in the monsoon.  and hail
shattering my windshield.

i am purple velvet swaddling
couch cushions with
cacti poking legs—piercing—
ripping holes, but we sink
deeper.  i am Cleo’s
breath on cold foreheads.  i am
the leather of my
Mama’s face.

i am blueberries—sweet
and discrete—ripe
bruises; sunshine fields; little
girls with fuschia blush; golden,
glowing sunsets; and brown
flannel.

i am the hush of Sunday mornings
at the lake.  i am his heartbeat before
he’s awake.  i am the clatter
and clang of dishwashers.  i am
the tide and ripple of
streams in Estes.  i am ashes
descending Never Summer.  i am
flapping hawk wings in Big
Sur.  i am whispers
told to Niagra.

Posted at 7:20pm and tagged with: full width, photography, graffiti, love, poetry, poem, photo, synesthesia,.

i am the salty mist of God’s tears hitting baked sand; the innocence of April lilacs at 6 am on a sleepy street in Westwood; blistered corn, swathed in sweet butter during dog day lullabies.  i am cinnamon bark, nutmeg cloves, and ginger roots drowning in tepid Bordeaux.i am bing cherries in August, punched with lime; iron in blood; cotton candy burnt by a sculptor’s blowtorch.
i am the shrill wail of a freight train in the distance.  i am the screen door slamming because she is home; the birds singing to Fogg from the willow tree; the motor whining in your Mazda as the thunder broke over Monument Valley—how you giggled in the monsoon.  and hail shattering my windshield.
i am purple velvet swaddling couch cushions with cacti poking legs—piercing—ripping holes, but we sink deeper.  i am Cleo’s breath on cold foreheads.  i am the leather of my Mama’s face.
i am blueberries—sweet and discrete—ripe bruises; sunshine fields; little girls with fuschia blush; golden, glowing sunsets; and brown flannel.
i am the hush of Sunday mornings at the lake.  i am his heartbeat before he’s awake.  i am the clatter and clang of dishwashers.  i am the tide and ripple of streams in Estes.  i am ashes descending Never Summer.  i am flapping hawk wings in Big Sur.  i am whispers told to Niagra.

it will all be
okay. he said it
to me like he
meant it, but i could
see in his face
that he didn’t
know. i wanted him
to know, but i—
as always—knew
better…knew that
this was some sort of sincerity
i lacked.  i loved

him. in that tragic way
we sometimes do.  in
that way that causes
splintering.
like cracking a pigeon’s breastbone
during a tough
dissection. 
put some elbow into it.  and then
collapse.  faster than
you think.
like a perfect life
unraveling.

i smiled.  that tight kind
that happens when i’m
rescuing someone.  blinked
hard and sank.  inside,
not where he could
see.  i was always the one
who stood tall when
my knees were buckling. 
a tug, a squeeze, his arm
on my wrist.  i shook it clean. 
i would be alright.  the belief
mattered more than the ache
in my chest.  i felt light and warm like
bloody feathers
floating a gusty
blizzard.  again.

that room, now
so empty and
clean.  finally, mine
again.  i watched his
feet make clicks and
his hand turn
the knob.  felt the soft
down of her head and her
bright eyes watching
mine.  he didn’t.

i didn’t
get up.  didn’t
open the door.  didn’t
kiss him goodbye.  i
don’t do this.  i
don’t—goodbye is not
in here.  goodbye implies
choice, and that was not
mine.  i just
watched, like i had
so many others, and
stared straight ahead—waiting
for something i’ll never
understand.

i shook
at first, grabbed
the phone, and stared
at it.  watched
my world closely
to see if it
would boil.  it
didn’t.  i could
still breathe.  so, i stood
and locked the door. 

i didn’t
believe him when he
walked away.  it was just
another bruise to nurse
and examine.  another
indication of what is
wrong with alma.  another reason
why not.  another not good
enough.  i didn’t
want to. 

instead, i kept
my eyes shut and
the rooms dark.  i sat
and waited for something
else.  i let the wounds weep
on 16th, and i held on
to someone else till
the room stopped
spinning.

and then, i got up
again.  by myself. i
stitched the contusions
into resilient quilts, and i
kept myself warm.  and
it was.

—AIM, all rights reserved. 
Written on no sleep at 6 am this morning.  Took about two minutes.

Posted at 6:38pm and tagged with: full width, poetry, poem, love, relationships, okay, colorado, photo, photography, landscape, estes park, sunset,.

it will all beokay. he said itto me like hemeant it, but i couldsee in his facethat he didn’tknow. i wanted himto know, but i—as always—knewbetter…knew thatthis was some sort of sincerityi lacked.  i lovedhim. in that tragic waywe sometimes do.  inthat way that causessplintering.like cracking a pigeon’s breastboneduring a toughdissection.  put some elbow into it.  and thencollapse.  faster thanyou think.like a perfect lifeunraveling.
i smiled.  that tight kindthat happens when i’mrescuing someone.  blinkedhard and sank.  inside,not where he couldsee.  i was always the onewho stood tall whenmy knees were buckling.  a tug, a squeeze, his armon my wrist.  i shook it clean.  i would be alright.  the beliefmattered more than the achein my chest.  i felt light and warm likebloody feathersfloating a gustyblizzard.  again.
that room, nowso empty andclean.  finally, mineagain.  i watched hisfeet make clicks andhis hand turnthe knob.  felt the softdown of her head and herbright eyes watchingmine.  he didn’t.
i didn’tget up.  didn’topen the door.  didn’tkiss him goodbye.  idon’t do this.  idon’t—goodbye is notin here.  goodbye implieschoice, and that was notmine.  i justwatched, like i hadso many others, andstared straight ahead—waitingfor something i’ll neverunderstand.
i shookat first, grabbedthe phone, and staredat it.  watchedmy world closelyto see if itwould boil.  itdidn’t.  i couldstill breathe.  so, i stoodand locked the door.  
i didn’tbelieve him when hewalked away.  it was justanother bruise to nurseand examine.  anotherindication of what iswrong with alma.  another reasonwhy not.  another not goodenough.  i didn’twant to.  
instead, i keptmy eyes shut andthe rooms dark.  i satand waited for somethingelse.  i let the wounds weepon 16th, and i held onto someone else tillthe room stoppedspinning.
and then, i got upagain.  by myself. istitched the contusionsinto resilient quilts, and ikept myself warm.  andit was.
—AIM, all rights reserved. Written on no sleep at 6 am this morning.  Took about two minutes.

It was already pouring when we left my apartment, meandering the six or so blocks to St. Mark’s.  I stopped to roll my trousers up so the wet cement wouldn’t bleed onto the leg.  The rain poured down my back, soaking the white cotton of my tank, before dripping down my bare arms to my sandaled feet…just enough to make me shiver.  As always, I forgot my jacket.  I remember looking up at you and wanting to see you. 

It was approaching sunset; purple pushed blue as you reached for my hand.  Together, we sideswiped puddles on Colfax.  Inside, the emo kids typed. Outside, we slipped into each other.

Posted at 4:21pm and tagged with: short, story, moment, photo, full width, once upon a someone,.

It was already pouring when we left my apartment, meandering the six or so blocks to St. Mark’s.  I stopped to roll my trousers up so the wet cement wouldn’t bleed onto the leg.  The rain poured down my back, soaking the white cotton of my tank, before dripping down my bare arms to my sandaled feet…just enough to make me shiver.  As always, I forgot my jacket.  I remember looking up at you and wanting to see you. 
It was approaching sunset; purple pushed blue as you reached for my hand.  Together, we sideswiped puddles on Colfax.  Inside, the emo kids typed. Outside, we slipped into each other.

this

we laugh
as the record
player scratches
the vinyl of “put your
right foot in” hokey-
pokey madness.  the green-
gray linoleum of our living
room acts as rink
to our socked
feet.  and Dixie watches
with wide-eyed alien
curiosity.  your baby

blue lasers twinkle
behind cat eyes, and he is
the tallest man on
Earth.  i put my feet on his
shoes, and we waltz
to suspicious minds.  and
then, i fly—like i know
how—and every fear
i’ve ever had finds its
place on his rickety

shoulders.  he tells me
to touch the sky, and
somehow, i believe
i can.  and somehow,
i do.

—aim, 6.15.10, all rights reserved.

(i miss you, daddy).

Posted at 1:33am and tagged with: full width, daddy, father's day, poetry, poem, photo, sky, clouds, sunset, colorado,.

this
we laughas the record player scratches the vinyl of “put your right foot in” hokey-pokey madness.  the green-gray linoleum of our living room acts as rink to our socked feet.  and Dixie watches with wide-eyed alien curiosity.  your baby blue lasers twinkle behind cat eyes, and he is the tallest man on Earth.  i put my feet on his shoes, and we waltz to suspicious minds.  and then, i fly—like i know how—and every fear i’ve ever had finds its place on his rickety shoulders.  he tells me to touch the sky, and somehow, i believe i can.  and somehow, i do.
—aim, 6.15.10, all rights reserved.
(i miss you, daddy).

the twenty-five year exhale

when i was itty-bitty, my
Mama told me that
thunderclaps were my Daddy’s
lucky strikes…so i wouldn’t
be afraid when the
lightning came.  i used to
picture Daddy in his brown
flannel—hair askew—smile half-cocked—
bowling with God on a
fluffy, white cloud.  sometimes,
i still do.  and it makes
the Boogeyman inside me
laugh.  when i’m looking
for my keys, most
days, i yell, “Daddy,
give it up.”  and two
minutes later, i’ll
find them in the microwave—
next to my mascara and a can of
peas.  it’s his way
of reminding me
he kept his promise. 
his body’s gone, but he didn’t
leave. 

late at night, sometimes, when
i can’t sleep, i
ask him about Mama
and Papa and Terry and Everett and all
the ones who left me
behind.  i ask him if i’ll ever
find someone to love me
half as much as he did.  i ask
him for monkeys and paid bills
and all the dreams i never wished
for when i was six—because i was
too busy dying, too.  and i tell
him, “one day, i’ll ride
a bike.  one day, i’ll be
the one you knew i could
be.  one day, i’ll be
worthy.”  but,
for now, i’m just
the girl without
parents, trying not
to skin her knees.  and he
will make sure i’ll always laugh
when i finally find my keys.

—aim, 6.15.10, all rights reserved.

Posted at 12:20am and tagged with: full width, colorado, clouds, sky, sun, poem, poetry, photo, photography,.

the twenty-five year exhale
when i was itty-bitty, my Mama told me that thunderclaps were my Daddy’s lucky strikes…so i wouldn’t be afraid when the lightning came.  i used to picture Daddy in his brown flannel—hair askew—smile half-cocked—bowling with God on a fluffy, white cloud.  sometimes, i still do.  and it makes the Boogeyman inside me laugh.  when i’m looking for my keys, most days, i yell, “Daddy, give it up.”  and two minutes later, i’ll find them in the microwave—next to my mascara and a can of peas.  it’s his way of reminding me he kept his promise.  his body’s gone, but he didn’t leave.  late at night, sometimes, when i can’t sleep, i ask him about Mama and Papa and Terry and Everett and all the ones who left me behind.  i ask him if i’ll ever find someone to love me half as much as he did.  i ask him for monkeys and paid bills and all the dreams i never wished for when i was six—because i was too busy dying, too.  and i tell him, “one day, i’ll ride a bike.  one day, i’ll be the one you knew i could be.  one day, i’ll be worthy.”  but, for now, i’m just the girl without parents, trying not to skin her knees.  and he will make sure i’ll always laugh when i finally find my keys.
—aim, 6.15.10, all rights reserved.