No Safe Place 3
Last night between midnight and one am a Starfish
crept through my dream of a beach in Maine. It was pale and
faded. I couldn’t feel it. Because the starfish is losing
its ability to function normally, dreams may have to
Starfish are Echinoderms, belonging to the class Asteroidea,
soon there will be
starfish only in certain tide pools located in certain
cool climates with freeflowing water. The starfish may not
exist in dreams.
will not know what happened to her.
Passports will be unavailable
for marine invertabrates.
Yesterday I spoke with another single
person about the numbness that happenes
with detachment and I thought of the starfish,
unable to attach, their tube feet operated by a hydraulic
system which is now obsolete just as human connection.
The Northern Pacific Sea Star is considered one of the 100
worst invasive species. Very comparable to what the
Human is and has done to our oceans and
all the other starfish.
Second Floor Window
People have always asked me
if I live alone? I think I must seem like
a pack animal. The urge to
gather warmth around me so obvious
to others but I remain oblivious.
From my own personal observation
my happiest times
are when I am alone reflecting
on the canopy of a tree, or
a glimmer of ocean from a second floor
window as the rare is infinitely more
than the commonplace.
Here in summer, many prefer the full on
blast of ocean houses carrying past their
boatloads of revelry or roars of lionlike
testosterone gargling along from the
Maserati’s of speed boats.
I have always
preferred the second or
third row of houses far enough from the
ocean to avoid the damaging sea spray and
near enough to catch a glimpse of shiny
out the second floor corner window while
standing on a low stool.
Last night no one knew if it was
the sun setting or the moon rising
but it was orange: hung there by a
wire moving around our sky, currents
of warm air lifting and lowering its round
shape enough to light the narrow, soft roads
crisscrossing the sandy summer peninsula.
One young woman pushing her
old cruiser bike silently, leaving Book Club late after
a chat about amphibians, taking the
long way home, blond hair falling in a
triangle down her back, white Keds glistening,
she thinks of fall when everyone will be gone
and suddenly there in the mist she becomes
invisable except for the sound of one repentant
bicycle spoke grinding it’s rhythm until she’s home.
I like young old men.
Men whose twinkle never faded like some
lust or the memory of really good vanilla ice
cream. I like the round muscle of their arms,
the temptation of golden skin,
and the quick way they look at me for
what seems like a long time while we are
kissing. Each time I open my eyes there
is that gaze, eyes so clear and full of intent.
I don’t know what to do with that gaze.
It never varies. I’m so unused to direct
and constant I’m checking it, closing my
eyes and then quickly opening them again
like a child thinking it will be gone. The kiss
goes on and on like undulating waves in
a warm climate with hopeful palm trees
that clap their fronds for any passion seen
I think it’s over but something like
one finger on my cheekbone
begins the spiral again.
It would not be sensible to want this
on a regular basis but everyone does.
Desire and to be desired.
We all wait.
A remembered afternoon in summer.
Shades of Gray
When you’re a child you think everyone tells the truth.
You think your mother and father will be together forever.
When you see your first divorce it’s kind of like seeing your first accident.
You can’t believe this could happen
Sometimes people stay together because they can’t stand to be alone.
They tell themselves it is for the children
but actually it’s to spare themselves pain.
Sometimes you think it’s better to lie and have maybe three or four different lives and after a while you don’t know which life is real for you.
I’ve known a lot of people like this.
Unfortunately more than one have wanted me to join in but the problem is I don’t see shades of gray.
I like black and white.
You are mine I am yours and that’s it.
Call me crazy but it’s a heck of a lot easier.
Yesterday a man held my hand so
powerfully I couldn’t tell after a while
as it seemed so right
that consistent pressure.
Normally I don’t like comfort in any form as
it embarrasses me like the chameleon
on lava or carnation, I pull away from
touch as I know the consequences.
But this time I stayed and cried.
It had been so long since I
This summer the windows in the house steam up like they used to when there were teenagers inside.
All that glorious passion every morning.
This summer everything is slightly off:
The gaits of the horses, the timing of the stoplights, the phases of the moon, the beat of people’s hearts.
Reports keep coming of various things the vaccine does and continues to do yet they are always coupled with remarks saying of course you should have the vaccine.
Yesterday a newscaster reported that a disease which causes paralysis of the face is a side effect of one of the vaccines.
Tomorrow maybe it will be paralysis of the tongue.
In California there is no water and will not be water for a very long time. Sharing is not common among the western states.
Fires are burning and the police departments are passing out placard’s which state “evacuated” to put on your front gate when you leave.
More people died of a drug overdose in the past year than ever before. Suicide rates are up and the ages of those who kill them selves gets lower and lower.
People wonder if it’s best to keep all of this quiet. The sale of hearing aids has gone down. The news is quieter and quieter as people are turning down their television sets.
The optimists are fading and are becoming almost transparent like the colors in a bubble a child blows.
For a moment the fragrance of summer can blow across your face if you let it. Better make haste. Memories of fragrance are so fleeting.
When I was eight years old my father brought home home a long, rectangular cardboard box which he opened after dinner carefully
outside our front door. It was a clear night and warm as I recall and he removed from the box like a surgeon removing a baby from the belly of an unconscious woman during a cesarean section a long metal object with legs like a strange frozen spider, an arachnid made of metal.
Astonishingly to me, he set up this apparatus in front of our house on the brick patio still warm from the June sun in Connecticut.
I had no idea my father had the skill to produce a box of such wonder and then open it and set up an apparatus which apparently was designed to look at other planets and other worlds yet unknown to us six children.
It was dark and my mother Hubbeled for a while but then slipped into the house and we were left on the front patio with my father and the apparatus and the warm June night which made anything believable.
My brother turned to me and said “ Look through the telescope and you will see the moon. The craters in the moon are caused by ricochets from bullets in the second world war.”
I remember thinking then that war did tremendous damage.
It never occurred to me that he wouldn’t tell me the truth just as it never occurs to me now that people lie.
Looking back, the awe and magic that moment inspired In me was something
I thought of for a long time.
If guns could cause damage to things that could only be seen from telescopes produced from cardboard boxes our fathers brought home, why did they exist?
In the gray half open eye period prior to
full alert status I feel a touch or maybe an
outstretched limb, a phantom connection
I may remember. Warm and wanting..
Delaying the awakening I dwell there
In hopeful desire among my fresh sheets,
memories of sun fragrant and salt drying,
my fingers on your chest, lightly, sensing
your heart which in these dreams is
still faithful to us, your family.