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.
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?
The Bing cherry is named after Seth Lewelling’s Manchurian orchard foreman and friend, Bing. Bing was over 7 feet tall. The Rainier cherry, named after Washington State’s famous volcanic peak, was created in 1952 by cross-breeding the Bing and Van varieties.
Yesterday I ate the last cherry in the white bowl on the varnished wood counter
In my warm kitchen.
It sat there in the bowl, shiny, impervious to dust, all afternoon staring up at me like a disemboweled eye.
Why did someone name the cherry Bing?
after a 7 foot tall Manchurian, a candidate for the forgotten man?
In my mouth the cherry felt like a vulnerable marble: warm not cold and very round yet porous; wondrous, and intimate: impossible for an explorer to resist. I pierced the shell of the cherry with my one Wisdom tooth and tasted through my teeth the sweet and the bitter, surprising youth and pungent old age. Holding it all under my tongue slowly moving the pieces I wondered was there anything else so delicious on earth as the last bite of anything on earth?
For the longest time I thought I might become
I could be Norwegian and learn the language well so people would say how
no one could tell I wasn’t a native.
My hair would miraculously turn blond.
It would be ok to like sex.
I like the sounds of their desserts.
Or I could be a lawyer in Manhattan wearing crispy tight suits in black with very high heels and click click click across the court room floor stating my case with brilliant red lips and always winning.
Rootless like a malformed carrot I
refuse to flourish in one place.
I know this is a problem this rootlessness.
It’s prevented me from
applying myself to much of anything: love, housekeeping, friendship, home repair… you get the story. I kept a suitcase filled with cash hidden in my house and a bag packed with essentials which changed from month to month.
Now my rootlessness fits right in. No one is going anywhere but everyone would like to be rootless.
Where will I go when I can go anywhere?
Hawaii because I can’t get the music of palm trees out of my head.
Like Eloise, I could move into the Four Seasons hotel on the Big Island and go down to dinner every night sitting at the bar overlooking the lapping ocean generously tipping the bartender so that he always saved my seat.
And oh yes there is the spa with palm leaves that rattle above your hut while you are having a massage. Preferably a Lomi Lomi massage and I don’t know what that is.
I have entertained myself all day thinking of places I would like to go when I can go anywhere. Frankly, it may be better in my imagination. That’s been a life long problem of mine.