She’s at the cafe again, sipping coffee, watching her friend sweep the floor while the sun streams through the windows but when she is not looking the trees whisper ill-fated tales of childhood to each other and the familiar wind and snow rage on an empty field steeped in her blood. Every corner of this place is loneliness and desertion, the scent of which clings like a hungry leech waiting patiently for the spirit to suffocate. You can flee to California but this town crawls in your veins, bursts in your bones.
They held daffodils between their teeth as they wove flower crowns and years later
Flipping through old books she found four-leaf clovers pressed between pages
Crushed flat and still, preserved for no one
She felt the heat and shine of the rising sun and saw her friend in his car, preparing to leave the summer behind
She called out to him from the patio and said I love you
He turned to her and responded Ugh stop drinking
The child molester sitting a table away asks her about a boy as the morning coffee begins to waft
She says Give me a cigarette and I’ll tell you
She takes a drag and weaves a tale of indifference
As he lectures her about fickleness
The boat is aglow with firefly lights and with every slow deliberate breath
They are floating past the dock where just a change of mind ago they sat by the fire, kissing cigars
While she threw dull smiles at the red flames, unwound unrequited attachments,
And left someone else behind in the rainforest daydreams
The barge of drifting lights and youth is swimming in circles
Creating a breeze that makes her dress dance like a sea creature with pink tentacles
Behind the crystal of her champagne glass, his eyes are green in the dimness of this yacht and in the morning
She’ll notice they are an unfamiliar slate color
She looks back to see the fire is dead at the dock and wonders if she has been here before
When they were 19 they sprawled on the cafe patio
Shook their unbrushed, raven hair and laughed
They took free cigarettes from old men
Not knowing which one would turn out to be a child molester
Ultrasounds are fun! It’s amazing what medical technology has done for humanity. Just a couple of months in, you can see your little fetus bouncing around and waving her hand inside your belly. It’s neat-o. She looks like a little alien and sucks her thumb. By the time of the anatomy scan around 20 weeks, they have the ability to scan the entire fetus organ by organ, to ensure everything is in its right place and in developmental order. But don’t think for a minute this has eroded my rabid support for abortion and reproductive rights.
People are quite supportive and friends you may not even have been very close to will periodically check in on you, which is very sweet and thoughtful. Also, the bar is considerably lowered for you in terms of life. You will be praised for doing mundane things like actually wearing heels and not looking like a total slob when leaving the house, and people will ask if you are capable of a 15-minute walk. You will feel like a champion just for getting through the bare minimum requirements of life. Just kidding. This is actually not entirely a good thing.
I am also incredibly fortunate in that I have many friends who are pregnant at the same time as me (it’s an “we’ve hit the early thirties” thing). They are there to share experiences and advice, give good book recommendations, and be positive when I’m not feeling so sure (or to reaffirm that they are not so enthusiastic about the same things, either!). I have 5 other friends having babies this year, so I feel less alone in this. This kind of support is priceless.
This was on the complaints list as well, but there’s an aspect of this I suspect I have missed, and I somewhat welcome its return. It’s nice to have a head full of thoughts and ideas, however disjointed, nonsensical, and fleeting they are. I had two moments, one involving Donald Trump, and the other involving a lost cat that incited in me a uncontrollable word-vomiting in the form of angry blog posts. It’s not the best in terms of emotional regulation, but having been dry on ideas for some time, it was refreshing to be reinvigorated again.
I entered two poetry contests for absolutely no reason. I do not even write poetry but my husband’s cousin posted a link of random free writing contests for the month of March and one thing led to another. Since I can’t blog about beer anymore, I flipped through journals from 12 years ago and sorted through my thoughts and words from what seems like a lifetime ago, to turn them into blog posts. It was like a 20 year old me left behind pieces of a puzzle for 32 year old me to put back together. If I really want to keep this up I have 12+ journals worth of junk to sort through, but we’ll see what whims strike next.
These haikus came to mind while I was awaiting my turn to be heard by a judge at a court hearing.
Many years ago
She was warned but did not heed
Now she must atone
She glanced at his soul
Perceived a bitter rotting
Silently, she left
She invented the cloudy dreaminess in boys eyes and their obvious intentions,
While drinking a golden tea rendered from a sunburst of alien tentacles with a red heart.
He explains he is a budding musician and believes in god so she asks why and says
You can find god in pews, or resounding from the throat of a holy man or
You can find god in the five-lined staff
Where your wings force their way through the skin of your shoulder blades
To glitter or reflect the steely pall of your confessions –
But then sacrilege appears on the patio casting his poison on every frame of her daylight
A blank ghost, with colorless, translucent skin composed of love molecules from her youth.
She suddenly feels she might be compressed to a vanishing dust to be dissipated with the breeze
Becoming only a glint in the saga of conquests
A dead, buried, short story with no premise.
She has forgotten about the young musician and his guitar
And her tea has turned to mud.
With dangerous ambivalence they were rampaging the streets
She sees herself everywhere in mirrors, holding rainbow glasses of drinks
Until she finds herself sinking between his sheets
Breathing warmth out of her veins, suspecting that if she blinks
She might erase it all with the pulse of the night and a parting of the lips
When her wings fluttered the hours away in a smoky heaven and she tore shooting stars off the walls
Traced the clouds with her hips, brushed the ether with her fingertips
In smug delight of holding a microcosmos in her pocket, blind to impending falls
So steadily she holds the gaze of his gold-flecked eyes
Carefully one more time traces his ripples and lines
When daylight snakes in the room and the night before is a faded whisper of sighs
And the arrogant sun sings and shines
She can feel her heart starting to creak and bend
And fears with him she’ll meet her end
It was an aimless time in the rain whiskey burning in the veins and someone whispered please sleep but sleep bribes with the most useless promises and giving in is the most undignified part of the day, when forced ripples of unconsciousness threaten to be continuous so they used small, orange dolls to force wakefulness with a torrent of fire and abandon. Sunset Boulevard would not die so the four of them took a booth at Denny’s and she tugged her hair, sighed, and he turned to look at her, his expression asking what am I doing here but she only smiled, because she did not have the answer. She closed her eyes and thought those liquid-slate eyes are the most fleeting of all, unstoppable, and when she opened her eyes she felt she had miscalculated and was spinning in confusion at her own error. When the sun rose she drove to the airport, crying at the drab hideousness of the 405 and its ceaseless droning, and she did not know why, but her friend, leaning her head against the passenger seat window, was secretly pleased with her tears.
running home in heels with the pleasant floating of the hour and bearable ticking of days
she always knew unrequited emotion would result in a loneliness that beats against all sense so
she was receding with the distance
losing her patience in the thick tropical forests between them
it was a predictable resignation, between unfamiliar canyons and a picturesque second of the day
she imagined he had a magical sunshine encircling him
silken hair dying in a meaningless wind of fascination
so she met the sunrise on the cafe patio with a cigarette
later in the day as she sipped iced tea
his ghost could remain in those forests and
she would not be there at the airport when he returned