“to be a woman of her words”
Lukewarm water sucked up a straw,
In a white Styrofoam cup capped with a plastic lid.
Ah~ not tasty.
My hands are suddenly so wrinkly but also so soft, like a new born’s butt.
My hands cover the lid, my fingers bend over the cup’s round edge as I hold it to my mouth.
My head is still and my eyes are glued to my beautiful granddaughters’ eyes.
My mouth is wondering, looking for the straw: I readjust my hand. Ah~
Another sip of water. It isn’t cool but it’s water.
My thin arms extend. They used to be bone, muscle and fat. Now they’re bone and loose skin, swinging as I move my arm out to her hands for her to grab the cup from me.
My hands appear in my vision, then my wrist and then my bracelet which is worn to help the nurses keep track of who they’re dealing with.
I am so happy looking at the youth in her eyes. She is my daughter in law.
She is beautiful. She is married to my youngest son, she is older now with three of my granddaughters.
She thinks her daughters are youth but she is youth. She is.
She brings me love, care, affection. Mm, her fragrance suits her well.
I complain to her, my north Korean accent and raspy voice penetrate their ears. I complain and I complain and I complain because I want them to remember my voice.
I ask them to massage me, I want them to remember my skin.
I ask them to brush my hair, I want them to remember how I did it for them. I love them.
They love me, and I won’t leave them. I won’t ever.
My touch, my smell, my sound, I will be in their hands, their noses, their ears, their hearts forever.
April 16, 2014
January 20, 2017
in order to swallow the kitchen and the body
and touch every silverware, the last china glass, or
lonely emergency whiskey hidden on the top shelf
so long as you aspire
to live with passion so naughty,
feeling up every bump and groove like a whore,
because that’s how to know the self,
a self that might inquire
comfort more broadly.
When this happens, when burning becomes a chore,
think of the hearts you can melt
as you burn, burn, burn so they all can admire
and burn, burn, burn becoming dangerously haughty
and burn and don’t worry of gore
because someone will stop you if it must be dealt.
Really, don’t worry. Just desire.
The saddest life does not burn hotly
the one that douses its own mind before.
Just just, please, be able to remember how it felt
to be the one to hire
your own dreams no matter how gaudy,
living, living, loving this war
called life without ever having to have knelt
like a local squire;
rather, consume the shoddy
and build your own relentless North Star
to follow. Don’t let their fire leave a welt
on your beautiful skin. Preach to the choir
about wearing shirts that are ridiculously dottie
if it is what you are;
it won’t hurt to loosen that belt.
Be free, free, free enough to rewire.
Don’t think of it as godly,
but as avoiding the dying cigar
of an old woman’s regret.
April 10, 2014.
That’s the end to my 2017 Spring Cleaning Series. I don’t know if I’ll do it again, but it was really interesting to go through my own incomplete pieces and unpolished thoughts to publish.